The Audi R8 is a sports car with a longitudinally mounted mid-engine, and uses Audi’s trademark Quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker AUDI AG, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, in 2006. The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by AUDI AG’s high performance private subsidiary company, Quattro GmbH, and is similar to the Lamborghini Gallardo. 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, was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. The Audi R8 is used as a safety car in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and British Superbike Championship racing series.
As the first Audi mid-engined sports car, the Audi R8 combines Audi’s experience gained from numerous motorsport triumphs with groundbreaking design and the acknowledged technological expertise of the brand. This expertise has led to the slogan ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ becoming a byword for leading-edge technology both on the race track and on the road. 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. The two-seat coupé is currently available in Bahrain, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and South Africa, India, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines, Hong Kong and Vietnam, and has been available in China, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Indonesia.