|January 18, 2007
The Audi R8: The Interior
A sports car with unique personality
Sheer sports racing atmosphere in the cockpit, with perfect command over the vehicle – but coupled with spontaneous well-being and ease of operation. Also spacious and comfortable enough for a lengthy journey – allying sophistication with an impression of sheer quality. In the case of the Audi R8 these are not opposites, but different facets of a unique, unbeatably personable sports car.
The Audi R8 reveals one of its most surprising aspects the moment the door is opened, because a mere glance suffices to identify an interior that differs fundamentally from all other sports cars by virtue of its dynamic design.
The central element of the cockpit's design is the monoposto, providing a visual echo of the world of motor racing. The monoposto is a vast arc that envelops the driver, frames the steering wheel and visually connects all displays and controls. It provides the driver with a tailor-made command centre, as in a racing car. Never before has driver-oriented architecture been applied as systematically.
Diverse customisation options
The instruments together with their cowl are embedded in the monoposto; the monitor of the radio and navigation system with the MMI operating system and the controls for the automatic air conditioning are located to one side. This marks the transition between the monoposto and the high centre tunnel with the gear lever. The latter is extremely short, but is guided precisely through its stainless steel gate. Alternatively there is the selector lever of the R tronic sequential sports transmission. On the opposite side, the monoposto continues into the door, with the door handle an extension of the frame.
The monoposto forms part of the diverse range of customisation options for the R8: as the basis it – together with the door handle and sections of the centre tunnel – can be supplied as an exclusive version in genuine Piano finish black.
Carbon fibre is the alternative for that authentic motor sport look: in this instance, the components are made from genuine carbon fibre.
he steering wheel: Nappa leather over a magnesium core
The three-spoke sports steering wheel of course remains the focal point of the car's controls. With a diameter of 365 mm, it is both sportily compact and ergonomic in shape. The steering wheel rim has a flat lower edge. This is a further aspect of sports racing atmosphere in the Audi R8, but also brings major functional benefits, facilitating entry and exit for the driver. The steering wheel is trimmed in Fine Nappa leather, with a die-cast magnesium core providing strength. Other options include operation of the radio and telephone via the steering wheel and the R tronic shift paddles behind the steering wheel.
Concentrating on the essentials was the priority in the ergonomic arrangement of the R8. The most important criterion – particularly for high-speed driving – is short reach distances for all controls, to keep the time that there is only one hand on the steering wheel to an absolute minimum. In typical Audi fashion the monitor is well within the field of view, and the elements of the MMI operating system are located directly beneath it.
Lap timer for the laps on the racetrack
The instruments have an elegantly sporty design and can be read with precision. In addition to the analogue speedometer, the speed is displayed digitally in the driver information system display between the instrument dials. As well as the instructions from the navigation system and the cruise control settings, all comfort and convenience functions can be personalised here. Examples include the coming home function for the lighting – including the engine compartment lighting – and the brightness of the footwell illumination.
There is one particular function in the driver information system to assist the driver if they want to probe the true potential of the Audi R8 on the racetrack: the lap timer. The on-board computer then processes the readings and displays the fastest, slowest and average lap times.
A perfect fit for all
The basis for that feel-good experience on board the Audi R8 is the sports car's dimensional concept. Because from the very moment the designers put pen to paper, it was clear that the R8 had to provide an exceptional amount of space for a high-performance sports car. The long wheelbase of 2,650 mm serves as the starting point. It permits a good interior length, an optimum range of adjustment for the seats, space for luggage behind the seats and, finally, even a spacious footwell. The shoulder width of 1,390 mm is another measure of the R8's spaciousness.
Whether for a tour over Alpine passes, a longer business trip or just for a few small errands, with 100 litres of luggage capacity beneath the front lid and a further 90 litres behind the seats (60 when loaded up to window level) the R8 is well equipped even for the requirements of everyday use. The tailor-made luggage set from quattro GmbH, with cases and bags in leather and carbon fibre, is a particularly exclusive feature here.
Even golfers need not forgo their R8 as a means of getting to the course: the storage space behind the seats is large enough to accommodate two golf bags.
The equipment, data and prices stated here refer to the model range offered for sale in Germany. Subject to amendment; errors and omissions excepted.