The Audi R8 (Typ 42) is a mid-engine, 2-seater sports car, which uses Audi's trademark quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker Audi AG in 2006.
The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG's high performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, and is based on theLamborghini Gallardo platform. The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the Audi Space Frame, and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built around space frame principles. The car is built by quattro GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi's 'aluminium site' at Neckarsulm in Germany.
In 2005, Audi announced that the name of the successful Audi R8 race car would be used for a new road car in 2007, the Audi R8, based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, appearing at the 2003 International Geneva Motor Show, and 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The R8 road car was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. There was some confusion with the name, which the car shares with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning R8 Le Mans Prototype (LMP). 6-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx described the R8 as "the best handling road car today". The Audi R8 is used as a safety car in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and British Superbike Championshipracing series.
To produce the R8 at quattro GmbH, seventy workers fit 5,000 unique parts by hand. The factory at Neckarsulm, redeveloped at a cost of €28 million, usually produces between eight and fifteen cars a day, up to a maximum daily output of 29 cars. Ninety-five lasersinspect the entire car in five seconds to ensure that over 220 measurements are within 0.1 millimetres of the programmed plans.
The two-seat coupé is currently available in Bahrain, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Africa. The R8 Spyder23, an open-top roadster model, followed in 2009. In Latin America, the R8 became available at the end of 2008 at dealers inMexico City, Bogota, Medellin, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Santo Domingo. Customers bought every unit available for 2008 within a week after the R8 premiered at the Bogota International Auto Show and Auto Expo of Medellin.