Audi Forum Neckarsulm shows off 2003 Le Mans quattro alongside the new R8 V10 Plus

A brand new Audi R8 V10 Plus is being exhibited in Neckarsulm alongside the 2003 Le Mans quattro.

We have been talking a great deal about the second generation R8 supercar so this time we shall focus on the Le Mans quattro, a concept that came out way back in 2003 and served as a preview for the first-gen R8 which was launched several years later. The concept was originally introduced at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show with the company’s proprietary Audi Space Frame (ASF) made from aluminum while the outer skin was manufactured from a combination of carbon fiber and aluminum.

As far as the design is concerned, it’s easy to notice most of it was carried over on the production car and the reason why Audi selected the “Le Mans” moniker is because it was unveiled after Audi won the 24-hour endurance race three times in a row: 2000, 2001 and 2002. The concept also had LED headlights and magnetic ride magneto rheological dampers along with a permanent quattro all-wheel drive system.

As for power, it had a twin-turbo V10 5.0-liter FSI engine with 610 PS (449 kW) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque which was enough for a 0-100 km/h sprint in just 3.7 seconds and a 345 km/h top speed. The ten-cylinder engine worked with a six-speed manual gearbox sourced from the Lamborghini Gallardo from where the 2003 Le Mans quattro concept borrowed many of the bits and pieces.

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Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.