Detroit Motor Show 2009 Financial crisis or not, it was a fait accompli that Audi would get around to putting Lamborghini's V10 in its R8 supercar.
10 in to R8, part I
Despite the fact that Audi's first crack at a supercar, the R8, has been roundly praised by all and sundry, it seemed like a matter of time before the company from Ingolstadt would offer a V10 version — the standard R8 uses the company's 4.2-litre V8. Think about this: Audi owns Lamborghini, parts of the Audi R8 body structure come from Lamborghini's "entry-level" Gallardo model and the Gallardo is powered by a thumping V10.
10 in to R8, part II
Like in the bog-standard R8, the V10 engine is sited in the middle of the car under a clear window for all the world to see.
Officially titled the Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro, the V10 R8 goes on sale in Europe in the second quarter of 2009, and goes on show for the first time at January's Detroit Motor Show.
10 in to R8, part III
Displacing 5.2 litres, the V10 has 386kW of power, 530Nm of torque and can reach 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds. That's quite a fair chunk more than the V8's 309kW, 430Nm and 4.6-second sprint time. More significantly, however, it's still less powerful and slower than the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 that uses the same 5.2-litre V10 — 412kW, 540Nm and a 3.7-second 0-100km/h time, if you must know.
There's an abundance of leather and carbon fibre on the inside, as well as a Bang & Olufsen sound system with an integrated navigation and entertainment system at the centre of the dash.
10 in to R8, part IV
This is not the first time that Lamborghini's V10 has shown up in an Audi. The RS6 (a souped version of the A6) and the S8 (a sporting take on the A8 limo) have already been down that path.
Externally the V10 R8 is distinguished from the V8 version by its unique alloy wheels, and fatter, more aggressive air intakes at both the front and the rear. There's also carbon fibre on the wing mirrors and the enlarged "slideblade" — the grey-coloured vertical streak behind the door.
Left leg workout or not?
A choice of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed sequential transmission (dubbed R-Tronic), which can change gears by itself, is offered.
V8 R8, part I
The standard R8 also misses out on the honeycomb-style grille but still manages to look pretty sweet.
V8 R8, part II
In fact, if you pressed us, we probably prefer the look of the regular R8 — it still says supercar but without all that added machismo.
Lamborghini Gallardo, part I
This is the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 which, in addition to the 5.2-litre V10, shares a whole bunch of oily bits with the V10 R8.
Lamborghini Gallardo, part II
Driving off into the sunset in an Italian supercar does have a certain charm about it.