The Audi R8 (Typ 42) is a sports car with a longitudinally mounted mid-engine, and uses Audi's trademark quattro permanent four-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German automaker AUDI AG, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, in 2006.
The car was exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by AUDI AG's high performance private subsidiary company, quattro GmbH, and is similar to the Lamborghini Gallardo. The fundamental construction of the R8 is based on the Audi Space Frame, and uses an aluminium monocoque which is built around space frame principles. The car is built by quattro GmbH in a newly renovated factory at Audi's 'aluminium site' at Neckarsulm in Germany.
In 2005, Audi announced that the name of the successful Audi R8 race car would be used for a new road car in 2007, the Audi R8, based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car, appearing at the 2003 International Geneva Motor Show, and 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show. The R8 road car was officially launched at the Paris Auto Show on 30 September 2006. There was some confusion with the name, which the car shares with the 24 Hours of Le Mans winning R8 Le Mans Prototype (LMP). 6-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx described the R8 as "the best handling road car today".
The Audi R8 is used as a safety car in Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters and British Superbike Championship racing series.