Sam Philip02 September 2009

R8 V10: could do better

We thought Audi’s big-engined supercar was near-perfect, but Abt obviously has higher standards…

ABT Audi R8

The Audi R8 V10 was one of the true heroes of our Big Top Gear Performance Test. (If you don't know what we're talking about, where the hell have you been for the last fortnight?)

A potent blend of power, pace and absolute control, there's not much we'd change about Audi's ultimate supercar.

But what do we know? German tuning house Abt - already responsible for this Golf, Tiguan, Scirocco and, most worryingly, this terrifying Q5 - has decided that what the R8 V10 really needs is an extra 82bhp and a big dirty bodykit.

That means a nice round power output of 600bhp and the visual impression of a rhino in full ninja garb. Abt hasn't released performance figures for its hardened R8, but does state that it is ‘very, very fast' - a claim with which we shall not argue.

However, in the same statement, company boss Christian Abt also says the R8 is ‘not just intended to exist on paper, but also be available on the road', which we'd always assumed was a minimum requirement for anyone in the car building industry.

That's not even the best bit of the press release. Oh no. We're loving Abt's description of the R8 as a ‘medium-engined super sports car'. Yes, we know what they meant, but we think this could be start of an interesting new taxonomy.

Foremost-engined Corvette ZR1 or foster-engined Porsche 911, anyone? Yeah, work that one out...

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