Undertaking the herculean task of designing and manufacturing a modern supercar for an established auto manufacturer comes with plenty of potential pitfalls, sleepless nights and verbal wars for all involved. Compared to the so-called cottage-industry supercar makers, an established manufacturer has tighter tolerances and a more judgmental judiciary awaiting to return their vehicular verdict regarding the product.
So when Audi decided to venture into the supercar sector, expectations and eyebrows were raised simultaneously. Fortunately, Audi didn’t just deliver, they downright brought it. The R8 came with a reworked version of the 4.2-liter V8 FSI mill found in the B7 RS4 that called the Lamborghini Gallardo platform home. It revved higher and pumped out 414bhp, more than sufficient back in the day. Rear-biased Quattro made it an unforgettable drive every single time you got behind the wheel without taking away too much of the coveted supercar characteristics away from the equation.
A while later, they rolled out an even more powerful V10 version that had a 5.2-liter V10 based on the mill found in the Gallardo. The two versions had very little distinguishing them apart from the exterior and even less so on the inside. With 525bhp on tap, bragging rights were never extinct for V10 owners to harp on about.
Nonetheless, many a driver have often voiced their opinion leaning in favour of the V8 version for the zen-like yin and yang balance that the power and platform culminated in. That additional 111bhp was a bit overwhelming, albeit in a good way, and driving enthusiasts preferred the satisfaction, involvement and skill required to make the most of the V8 version.
However, as Dim Weasel, pardon me, Vin Diesel, would have drilled into your head throughout the Fast & Furious franchise, you should look good doing it as well. Hence, the subtle cosmetic differentiations that split the V8 and V10 versions apart would go a long way to giving the R8 V8 some much deserved street cred. Personally, the V8 has always been the better looking version in my books, primarily through the devil-is-in-the-details subtle differences.
If it escaped you, somewhere in these pages is an Audi R8 4.2, blending perfectly into the background courtesy of the delicious Emma Juwita. So how do you go about adding a little more bite to the V8 mill but just as loud a bark to the exterior?
The sample from Exotic Mods here goes a long way in proving that sometimes less is more. The signature V8 burble is further amplified and exhaust backpressure is reduced with a Stasis cat-back exhaust system. It ends in a quad pipe configuration, two at each end of the bumper, exactly like the stock unit. Just a musing, the V10 version has single tailpipe exits on each end.
Apart from that, the engine received a custom ECU remap from Exotic Mods to liberate the extra ponies held back by the restrictive factory tune. Grinding away in sync with the Stasis pipes, the car now makes a healthy 460bhp, an impressive increase of 46bhp.
Sending power to all four wheels is the Audi R-Tronic transmission that is sort of the missing link between dual-clutch transmissions and manuals. The R-Tronic is defined as a paradoxical automated manual transmission, similar to the SMGs in Bimmers. To the driver, it functions as an automatic but to the car; it is pure manual with just the ECU doing the actual shifting. Described as wonderfully satisfying with the full beans on, these transmission are quite clunky in daily driving conditions and makes parking a real pain.
Nonetheless, we doubt any spirited driver worth their nuts will be too bothered.
The chassis is eerily well-balanced, having been slightly reworked from sister company Lamborghini’s Gallardo. However, some extra character is injected in by means of a set of H&R sport springs that lower the car and give it a menacing stance over those custom ADV.1 wheels that arguably steal some of the limelight away from Emma.
Wheels make or break a car, regardless of the colour, body kit or ride height; period. The ADV.1 wheels here were ordered in staggered sizes to get the perfect fitment for this R8. The model of wheels is the 5.0 Deep variant and the fronts are 19-inchs while the rears are a size bigger at 20-inchs with some defined concave effect. Michelin rubbers do the best they can to keep the German bruiser in contact with the asphalt.
The jump in power was not significant enough to warrant bigger brake calipers but just for an added notion of safety, the rotors were upgraded to Alcon C-Hooks at the front and rear.
Sprucing up the interior is a carbon fiber steering wheel and bits of interior trim from MA Carbon. Even the airbag surround on the front was not spared with a TID Styling airbag surround replacing the stock piece. TID Styling also provided the aluminium paddle shifters that seamlessly link the driver to the transmission and allows quick fire cog swapping.
Finally, we reach the cosmetic modifications that deceptively cast this V8 under a V10 light. One of the biggest distinguishing factors amongst the cars is the trademark R8 side blades. While the V8 version has side blades that flow with the contours of the profile, the V10 has side blades with the lower portion that noticeably angles out to scoop in more air for the engine. This is one of the biggest giveaways in telling the R8s apart and Exotic Mods swapped out the stock pieces for home-brewed carbon fiber units.
Apart from that, the exterior gets a pair of Exotic Mods carbon fiber side mirrors, a Reiger carbon fiber rear spoiler, TID Styling front lip, R8 V10 side skirts, smoked R8 GT taillights and a beautiful PPG pearl white paintjob for the details to stand out.
And there you have it folks, balancing the best of both worlds to create and an R8 that is surely a hoot to toss around on the strips of black ribbons around KL as well as one that is equally as easy on the eyes, not as easy as Emma, but that is an argument for another day.
Hyperfacts! Car: Audi R8 4.2 FSI Engine Mods: Stasis cat-back exhaust system Electronics: Exotic Mods Custom ECU remap Transmission: Stock R-Tronic Chassis & Handling: H&R sports springs Brakes: Alcon high performance brake rotors (front & rear) Wheels & Tyres: ADV.1 5.0 Deep custom forged wheels (19-inch front & 20-inch rear) Interior: MA Carbon steering wheel, MA Carbon interior trim, TID Styling carbon fiber airbag surround, TID Styling aluminium paddle shifters, custom-wrapped Nappa Leather seats Exterior: Exotic Mods carbon fiber side mirrors, Exotic Mods carbon fiber V10 side blades, Reiger carbon fiber rear spoiler, TID Styling front lip, Audi V10 side skirts, PPG Pearl White paintjob, Audi R8 GT smoked tail lamps Power: 460bhp Garage: Exotic Mods (Sunway Damansara)