The new R8 V10 starts from $146,000

The new R8 V10 starts from $146,000

Audi's R8 - often referred to as a detuned Gallardo - recently got a step closer to its Lamborghini cousin with the addition of a 5.2L V10 engine, and today Audi has released U.S. pricing for the 2010 model.

The 2010 Audi R8 V10 starts at $146,000 for the manual-equipped version, while the dual-clutch R tronic transmission bumps the price to $155,100. That's a considerably better bargain than the first R8 V10 sold in the U.S., which went for $500,000 at auction back in February. A second also sold for $350,000.

To be fair, however, the money from those cars went to charity. The winning bidders, Tom Gonzales and George and Sue Levin, took possession of their new R8 V10s today as well.

"Plenty of people have been waiting to get behind the wheel of these remarkable sports cars, so it’s great to give these generous donors – Mr. Gonzales and the Levins – the first opportunities to enjoy the Audi R8 V10 experience," said Jon Kolody, Area Sales Manager, Audi of America.

Shipment of the rest of the R8 V10 fleet will begin now that the first buyers have their cars.

The standard R8 with the 4.2L V8 engine starts from $114,200 this year, with the R tronic raising the price by the same $9,100 interval to $123,300.

With the addition of the V10 engine, Audi moves the R8's performance into the supercar category, with 0-60mph ticking past in 3.7 seconds - a hair quicker than the 638hp Corvette ZR1.

For more on the 2010 Audi R8 V10, check out our original coverage.