The 2015 Geneva Motor Show opens this week, where Audi AG debuts the new R8 and R8 V10 Plus, along with other concepts like the Prologue Avant, a (possible) glimpse into the future of the vaunted A9 platform currently under development.
R8 / R8 V10 Plus / R8 E-Tron
Quite possibly the most thoroughly resolved of its development, the new R8 pulls the new body panels even tighter around its now famously aluminum chassis, it appears to be leaping forward even at rest. Front and rear aero is cleaned up considerably, rear exhaust exits are now further integrated into the rear diffusor along with the rear heat vents. The side 'blades' are now visually 'woven' into the body panels giving it a more lengthened appearance; the belt-line, greenhouse, rear haunches and nose now look like they were carved from a single solid ingot.
The R8 offers a 601 bhp 5.2 liter V-10 only for now, with a new V8 coming online later in the production cycle; this is counter to traditional rollouts that had initially offered a V8 with the higher output V10 following. The E-Tron version is a fully electric version with an achieved 280 mile range, giving production a green light.
Prologue Avant Concept
The Prologue Avant is the next concept variant to bow giving a possible preview to the much discussed A9 program. The coupe received positive reviews at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, and this latest offering expands the range of ideas brought forth from Ingolstadt as the new flagship platform continues to be developed. Prologue Avant increases the scale of Europe's most popular upmarket form factor (estate / shooting brake) for transcontinental travel in comfort with the preserved drivability, usability and fuel efficiency of traditional platforms vs. SUV's and crossovers that are more popular in the US.
RS3 / RS4 / RS6
Audi RS returns with facelift programs for its RS estate cars, new front and rear facias, interior finishes and wheel options for 2016.
TT / TTS
The long-popular TT coupe is all new with re-proportioned grille, an innovative instrument cluster with integrated navigation and information, and a harder edge throughout while keeping the classic 'teardrop' shape that was inspired by the streamlined Auto Union speed record cars of the 1930's.
The LMS program for 2016 focuses on safety, to meet the latest GT3 competition regulations for enhance integrity of the driver cabin on impact. A new insulated floor and rear diffusor allow the use of a smaller (yet still quite large) rear wing with no increase in drag. Audi plans to enter the works LMS at Nürburgring and Spa endurance races later this year.
R18 E-Tron Quattro
Audi's legendary prototypes, piloted by Tom Kristensen (recently retired), André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer and Allan McNish have dominated FIA WEC (World Endurance Championship) for over a decade; this latest version of the prolifically successful LMP1 car looks to beat back the challenge of Porsche, Toyota and Nissan for the 2015-2016 season. Audi and its R18 have led the industry in diesel / hybrid / electric technology development on the racetrack with the adaptation of such systems for road car use.
Images ©Fourtitude.com / G. Achorn / Audi AG