Audi had long threatened to build a supercar to showcase its advance technology. Indeed, in 1991, the company showed two supercars within a couple of months of each other. The Audi Quattro Spyder was the first, shown in September at the Frankfurt show. It was entirely real world, powered by a mid mounted V6 engine, using many components from Audi production cars. A few weeks later, at the Tokyo show, Audi unveiled the Audi Avus Quattro. It was a dramatic design, built around an aluminum spaceframe with polished aluminum panels and a tribute to famous pre war Audi union racers. It was also powered by a conceptual engine made up of three banks of four cylinders. In the end, neither car was made. Audi showed another dramatic aluminum clad supercar concept in 2000. The Rosemeyer, named after one of the Auto Union race drivers was a dramatic, edgy design. But it was forth time lucky with the 2003 Le Mans Quattro concept, which would eventually become the 2007 R8 with only few stylish tweaks. In fact, the styling wasn’t far removed form the 1991 Spyder.
The racy interior was dramatically different to any other Audi, though. This mid engined supercar was built around the same basic aluminum spaceframe chassis as the Lamborghini Galladro (Audi had, by now, become the owner of Lamborghini) and benefited from Quattro four wheel drive. Powered by 4.2 liter engine and promise of bigger engines in the future. The R8 received rave reviews for its poise and place. It may have taken over 16 years, but Audi finally had its own supercar.