Leaked: Audi R8 V10 (Italian muscle in a German body)


**UPDATE: new pics of the R8 in it’s natural Quattro habitat: winter!

Audi’s hugely popular halo car, the R8, has always made do with a gloriously high-revving but slightly torqueless 4.2L V8. Until now. Now the R8 has received a heart transplant for Audi’s corporate partner Lamborghini in the form of the Gallardo’s 5.2L V10. Clearly, our prayers have been answered, so thank you Mr. Christ.

Follow the jump for more pics and more details!

The newest R8, set to be fully revealed in Detroit next month, will put down 525hp and 391 torques through the rear-biased Quattro all-wheel drive system. With a top speed of 316 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of only 3.9 seconds, this will be Audi’s fastest production car ever, although the title of the most powerful remains with the current RS6. These power figures are just slightly lower than the new Gallardo LP 560-4. Audi has to maintain a certain hierarchy, you know. Except the Audi messed up the pricing because the R8 V10 and Gallardo will be nearly identically priced in Canada. 

At an expected price of about CDN $200,000, or 40% more than the standard R8, the price is too close to the Gallardo LP 560-4 (MSRP CDN $190,000). I’m not sure that many people will pay this much for an Audi when Italian glory and passion are so close. I know I’d take the stonking new Gallardo over this new R8. What about you?

The R8 V10 model will be not so easily distinguished from the lesser V8 model by LED high and low beam headlights, slightly larger sideblade intakes, a new set of wheels, oval exhaust pipes, less slats on the grilles, and two more humps on the engine cover. Make sure to keep these clues in mind when you pull up to an R8 in Q2 2009 because if you notice any of these things, the guy (or girl) isn’t even worth giving the thumbs-up to. Why? Because they could have had a Lamborghini.