For those who still have sufficient cash-flow to purchase high end sports cars, the latest and greatest remains a must. In keeping with that reality, Audi is cranking up the juice on its flagship R8 sports car with the introduction of the R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro, which got an early reveal on the web today. The R8 shares some less visible bits with its corporate cousin, the Lamborghini Gallardo, but until now the Lambo's V10 engine has remained exclusive to the Italian side of the family.
The R8 V10 will be the street going version of the R8 LMS that debuted a couple of weeks ago at the Essen Motor Show in Germany. It's 5.2L V10 is rated at 525 horsepower and 390.91 lb-ft of torque in European spec form. Those numbers fall a bit shy of the latest Gallardo LP560-4 even with the same displacement, which ensures that the Lamborghini can still command a price premium over the German machine. The U.S. version of the R8 V10 should remain pretty close to these numbers. That will be enough to push the 0-62 sprint under four seconds to 3.9 seconds. Unfortunately, the R8 is still saddled with the same craptastic 6-speed R-tronic as the only alternative to its proper manual gearbox. The R8 V10 now also inches closer to the magical 200 mph mark with a terminal velocity of 196 mph. The V10 version gets a new set of all-LED headlights for both high and low beams and the scoops on the side blades now bulge out to suck in the extra air needed to feed and cool the larger engine. A new rear diffuser also helps keep the rear end planted where a set of twin oval tailpipes replace the quad exhausts on the standard model. The R8 V10 will be available in Germany starting next spring with a base price of EUR 142,400 (approx $180,000) and will make its official debut in January at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. Follow the jump for Audi's official press release and check out the high-res images in our gallery below.