The most obvious change in the R8 5.2 FSI quattro is that hunk of aluminum beneath the rear glass. The 5.2-liter V-10 of this R8 outputs 390 pound-feet of torque and 525 horsepower.
Sixty-two miles per hour (100kph) is achieved in a scant 3.9 seconds, with a top speed of 196mph.
All LED headlamps
The R8 5.2 (pictured top) gets full LED lighting for high and low beams, turn signals, and daytime running lamps. The center grill gets chrome accenting to further distinguish it from the V-8 model (below).
LED headlamp assembly
Audi is the world's first automaker to use LEDs for the high beam, low beam, daytime running lights, and turn signals. Each headlight integrates 54 of these high-tech light sources. With a color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin the LED light closely resembles daylight, which is less tiring to the eyes in night driving. Further advantages of the LEDs include brilliant illumination, low energy consumption, and a virtually unlimited service life.
Out back, the R8 5.2 gets an all-black license plate surround (versus the color keyed V-8) and a new diffuser below the bumper. The V-8's quad exhaust tips have been replaced with more prominent dual tips for the V-10.
The dual exhaust tips fill the bumper openings much better than the quad tips and the black section of the rear bumper makes the V-10 R8 look visually wider.
Additionally, matte-aluminum vents flanking the rear window distinguish the V-10 from lesser R8s.
Audi's quattro all-wheel drive puts power to all four wheels and helps the R8 5.2 achieve lateral acceleration of up to 1.2G.
Wheels and brakes
The R8 5.2 features new 19-inch Y-spoke wheels with big 14.9 inch brakes (14.0 inches at the rear). Optional carbon ceramic brakes shave 20 pounds of combined unsprung weight over the stock stoppers.
Audi magnetic ride adapts the characteristics of the suspension in milliseconds to the nature of the road surface and to the driving style. Suspended in the oil of the shock absorbers are tiny magnetic particles which, when a voltage is applied, rearrange themselves so as to slow down the flow of oil through the valves.
Modified "sideblades" feature larger intakes to help the big V-10 breathe more easily.
In the cabin, the R8 5.2 is virtually unchanged from the standard model.
The Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro goes on sale in 2009 in Germany for 142,400 euro ($183,700).