UN­DER THE SKIN

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Gotcha - Paul Gover

WHAT IS IT?

Audi R8.

WHY THE FUSS?

Fastest of the fast Audis.

WHEN’S IT HERE?

Early next year.

HOW MUCH? From $280,000 (much cheaper than a Lambo Hu­ra­can).

There is lots of go-fast ac­tion at Audi, in­clud­ing the pocket rocket S1 but noth­ing says speed like the R8. It ar­rived as an af­ford­able Audi ver­sion of the Lam­borgh­ini Gal­lardo in 2006 and is about to be to­tally over­hauled for 2015. There are ru­mours of a mid-mounted twin-turbo V8 for the two-seater su­per­car, which gets an all­new body. The best pointer to de­vel­op­ment of the R8 is the new Lam­borgh­ini Hu­ra­can, the Gal­lardo suc­ces­sor that’s also pro­vid­ing the ba­sic me­chan­i­cal pack­age for the new Audi hero car.

LAND ROVER DIS­COV­ERY

The car that used to be called Free­lander will be the start of a new gen­er­a­tion of smaller Dis­cov­ery mod­els in 2015. The Free­lander re­place­ment is sig­nif­i­cantly big­ger and uses the ba­sic pack­age from the city-fo­cused Evoque, though with the em­pha­sis on fam­ily use and of­froad abil­ity. This Carparazzi pic­ture shows a prom­i­nent grille, slop­ing roof and a spoiler on the tail­gate.

VOLVO XC90

The big­gest of the XC fam­ily is fi­nally be­ing over­hauled for sales from 2015. The new XC90 will be at least 150kg lighter and much more ef­fi­cient than the orig­i­nal, most likely with a twin-charge 2.0‒litre petrol en­gine as Volvo moves to a line-up that, de­spite its in­volve­ment in V8 Su­per­cars rac­ing, is to­tally pow­ered by four-cylin­der pow­er­plants. It’s also likely to set a new safety stan­dard in­clud­ing pedes­trian de­tec­tion af­ter dark.

BENZ C63 AMG

The big rims are the give­away to a Carparazzi shot of the next Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. The ba­sic C-Class is al­ready be­ing rolled out and the C63 will fol­low later this year with a smaller 5.5‒litre twin-turbo V8 in the en­gine bay. There’s not much to see in this win­ter test­ing pic­ture be­yond wider bumpers and wheels but we’re ex­pect­ing much larger air in­takes in the nose by the time it’s ready for show­rooms.

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