Audi R8 cut-away

Audi R8 cut-away

Audi already has a lighter and more hardcore version of its R8 supercar, the new 2011 Audi R8 GT, which comes packing a 560 horsepower V-10 engine and a 220 pound lighter curb weight than the regular R8 V10 model. However, according to a new report, Audi engineers are developing an even lighter model dubbed the R8 NF.

The automaker recently held a special presentation at its lightweight research and production plant in Neckersulm, Germany where several teaser images of the R8 NF were shown. The images included a computer-generated rendering of the car’s passenger cell, as well as carbon fiber and other lightweight materials used by Audi.   

A visual timeline showcasing Audi’s roll-out plan for carbon fiber in more of its models showed the supposed R8 NF’s passenger cell at the 2014 mark, suggesting the car’s launch is still several years away. The new passenger cell would feature carbon fiber for the rear bulkhead between the seat backs, as well as for the engine compartment and B-pillars.

At the same presentation, Audi also showed off an R8 that had several of its components replaced with lighter carbon fiber units, as well as a similar crash-tested version. Items replaced included the bumpers, decklid, roof and floor pans, and according to its creators the car would be approximately 20 percent lighter than the already light aluminum-bodied R8 but just as safe, if not more.

Stay tuned for an update.

[Automobile Magazine]