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Audi's awesome 200mph R8 supercar.

AUDI is turning up the heat in the supercar league by announcing a 200mph version of its R8 with a six-figure price tag.

We may be in the midst of a world recession but there are still plenty of people, such as premiership footballers, whose stratospheric earnings are unaffected.

These are the sort of folk at whom the new 5.2-litre V10 version of the AudiR8is aimed, whichatpounds 104,665 represents less than a week's wages for some.

It can nip to 60mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed nudging 200mph with a tail wind. It comes with R-tronic sequential shift transmission, or for those on a budget who can affordonlypounds 99,575 there is a manual shift alternative.

With a power output of about 520bhp the V10 is a whopping 100bhp more powerful than the standard 4.2-litreV8model and has an additional 100Nm of pulling power.

Remarkably, however, the fuel consumption figurefor both is virtually identical at 20.5mpg. This helps to give the car a reasonable range between fill-ups, which is useful when racing at Le Mans where the car will be competing in virtually showroom form next summer.

Despite the massive power hike, the V10 engine weighs just 30kg more than the V8, which endows the car with an awesome powerto-weight ratio of about 320bhp per ton.

While revving freely to 8,700rpm in each of its six gears, the R8 V10 can accelerate to 125mph in just 12 seconds but anyone who wants to reverse the process as quickly as possible will have to pay extra for fade-free ceramic brake discs, which are not standard.

However, all models come with LED headlights, which Audi is claiming to be a world first. Until now LED lights have been limited to daytime running lamps and indicators rather than for high and low main beam settings.

Electric adjustment and heating is added for the leather-upholstered sports seats and there is DVD satellite navigation and a CD changer playing through a 465-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Despite boasting more speed cameras than the rest of Europe combined, the UK is expected to be the car's largest market and the first of the super R8s will arrive here in spring.

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COSTLY: The Audi R8 V10 costs over pounds 100,000
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 14, 2008
Words:384
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