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In the next few hours, the all-out Paris coverage will begin in earnest, so let's take a moment to have a second look at yesterday's big reveal, the Audi R8. The styling has drawn both positive an negative reactions from readers. Some wonder what the fuss is all about, while others see beauty in its lines. Striking may be a better word for the appearance, and that's not a bad thing at all. The squinty LED headlamps and the finned intakes flanking the grille give the car a purposeful look when viewed head-on. In profile, there's some TT in the roof's curvature, and the long area aft of the door (a necessity due to the engine's placement) is broken up nicely by the aluminum or carbon fiber insert residing there.

Audi Le Mans quattro conceptThe thing that's most impressive about the R8, though, is that it's basically identical in appearance to the Audi Le Mans concept that spawned it (right). Sure, you can split hairs on minor details like the exhaust location, but to do so is to miss the point. Other companies' concept cars are often pure flights of fancy, where maybe you see a few design cues make it into production. Audi has a track record of building things almost exactly as they first appeared. Look at the TT and the Pikes Peak Quattro (Q7). More often than not, Audi concepts give you something you can truly look forward to.

After the jump, you'll find the latest R8 photos from Audi in all their high-res glory. Just for fun, we've included shots of the Le Mans concept as well. Open 'em up, compare, and most of all, enjoy.

(Additional photos after the jump)

[Source: Audi AG]


Click any image to enlarge

The Audi R8:

R8 Tech:

Audi Le Mans Quattro Concept:

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Interior is awesome like all Audi's, exterior is too futuristic.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would like to have a free brochure a catalog about this beautiful angel car. If that possible too, send me a free car because I already know that I can't afford it. That's why I ask for a free one. Keep up your good job.

      God bless you
      • 8 Years Ago
      #12: It's not strictly about the length of the nose in-and-of-itself as it is the *proportion* thereof and how it harmonizes with the rest of the car. The R8's long schnawz simply does not look "coherent" to my eyes with the rest of the car, especially with the short, high tail on the counterside.

      Looked directedly in silhoutte, the heavily forward-placed windshield; short distance from the front wheelarches to the A-pillars and door seams; and the arched roof conspire together with the long front overhang to make the car appear long-nosed, tall and stubby rather than low, sleek and well-proportioned.

      My 2 Euro cents.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I hope it is a car that looks better in person than in pictures.
      • 8 Years Ago
      If you read the Audi press release, it say that they plan to produce 15 a day max. That means that if they made cars everyday they would make less than 5500 cars. 5 days a week is less than 4000. That is not less than a sixth of the number of 911's that get produced. This car is about the same level of permance as the 911 4S. It is estimated that they want to charge $100,000 for the car, which is $10,000 more than the comparable 911 4S. I think this is a car that you have to either like the look or not like the look, but above $100,000 there are too many other options. Once you start approaching the price of the 911 Turbo and the M6, you have to be a little bit better than this car will be. I would like to see an R8 that is on the same level as the 911 Turbo, maybe with the Gallardo engine. I have said repeatedly that I would also like it if Porsche had access to the platform to develop a 2 seater mid-engine V8, but I do like the R8. It has some details, like the little Audi symbols in the middle of the tail lights, that make me like it more than the 911. It has a more athletic appearance, where as the 911 is smooth.
      • 8 Years Ago
      IMO, the long front overhang is one of the few design elements that I feel detracts from an otherwise attractive car. But I don't see the R8 as a Ferrari/Lamborghini/Porsche GT/Mercedes-McLaren SLR slayer that some tongue-waggers in the automotive press are making it to be.

      It has a front fascia that seems to remind me of The Predator from the movies. Not good nor bad, just does.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The blacked-out sections on the front, rear and side panels have GOT to go!
      • 8 Years Ago
      "It was either for pedestrian safety, crash testing, or to fit a larger engine. This ultimately makes the new high performance Audi very nose heavy, and it shows a serious flaw in their design process."

      What?!?! How is it nose heavy? The engine is in the middle, not the front? This is a space aluminum frame, there is no nose heavyness. Sheesh, thanks for the FUD though.

      Any other engineering insights you'd like to share with us?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good looking car in these photos... From seeing it in person... Not a fan and not worth the money that it is said to cost...
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think I'll hold out for the R10 TDI version. ;)


      • 8 Years Ago
      OK, last comment... the aerodynamics argument in favour of long front overhangs is a weak one, only insofar as longer tail-ends are far more beneficial as far as aerodynamics are concerned. Speaking as an M.E. here.

      Certainly with exceptions noted (e.g. Ferrari Enzo), long front overhangs are more about packaging for the powertrain in a FWD configuration (typical Audi practice, especially look closely at the TT). Sorry if my growing disdain for long-front-overhang cars is showing... to me, a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is an exercise in design beauty. There, almost the entire length of the engine lies behind the front wheels. One day perhaps auto designers and engineers will revisit the Citroën DS19 paradigm of placing the engine BEHIND the front wheels in a FWD layout. So much nicer appearance, better weight distribution and vehicle dynamics. IMHO.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The thing that's most impressive about the R8, though, is that it's basically identical in appearance to the Audi Le Mans concept that spawned it."

      The only difference I notice is that the front overhang looks as long as a diving board. These new Audis trying to squeeze Lamborghini enginess into Volkswagen Golfs are getting very obnoxious. I haven't seen such incongruence between the front and rear overhang since I noticed the profile of an '05 Grand Prix. I can forgive a certain level of poor design on my rental car; I refuse to on a car in this class.

      Nice car, I'd prefer it with a six-cylinder and a nose job, though.
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