Normally automakers will go to great lengths to keep their new products a secret, but recently, Audi has ditched secrecy in favor of transparency. The automaker peddled its 2016 R8 ahead of the model’s rumored debut at the Geneva Motor Show by allowing the automotive media to come for a ride along in the car at the Ascari circuit in Spain.
In addition to giving journalists a hot lap around the twisty Ascari circuit, Audi also divulged some early details on the R8. The car will launch with updated 540 horsepower and 610 horsepower versions of Audi’s 5.2-liter V10, which will be mated to a seven-speed S-tronic dual clutch transmission. Electronic steering, a lighter chassis and new performance driving settings will also be on offer, contributing to a “more precise” car, Audi says.
To help develop their new R8, Audi employed works driver Frank Stippler, who used to race an R8 LMS Ultra in FIA GT competition. Stippler was in charge of doing all the development driving for the new R8 program, so he knows the car better than almost anyone else. As a result, he was the most qualified person to drive the car at its first media event. Check out the video of him wheeling the R8 around Ascari in the video below, and be sure to check back for all the official details on the car following its debut in early March.