Sil­ver Ar­row comes home as Audi tweaks its coupé

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

AUDI now has three of the five orig­i­nal Auto Union Type D “Sil­ver Ar­row” rac­ers in its col­lec­tion.

It was bought by Audi a few weeks ago. “This is one of the most emo­tional mo­ments in our her­itage work for AUDI AG – we have come full circle,” says Thomas Frank, head of Audi Tradition.

In the 1930s the 16-cylin­der cars had his­toric races against Mercedes-Benz on grand prix cir­cuits un­til the Sec­ond World War stopped play and the cars were hid­den.

Mercedes-Benz was able to res­cue al­most all its Sil­ver Ar­row cars af­ter Ger­many’s to­tal col­lapse, but fate was less kind to Auto Union.

Zwickau, home to the Sil­ver Ar­rows, was oc­cu­pied by the Soviet Army, Auto Union was liq­ui­dated and the fac­to­ries shut down.

The Rus­sian oc­cu­py­ing forces found the Sil­ver Ar­rows where they had been stored: in a mine build­ing above ground. The cars were car­ried off to the Soviet Union as part of Ger­many’s repa­ra­tion pay­ments, and all trace of them was lost.

They were tracked down by an Amer­i­can col­lec­tor, Paul Karas­sik, and re­built by English com­pa­nies Crosth­waite & Gar­diner, with replica bod­ies from Rod Jol­ley Coach­build­ing. The lat­est Type D will be seen at the Good­wood Re­vival, from Septem­ber 14 to 16.

Audi has fresh­ened up the R8 V8 and V10 coupé and spy­der su­per­cars. There is a new seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch sports trans­mis­sion “de­liv­er­ing blink-of-an-eye gear shifts and im­proved sprint­ing abil­ity”. CO2 emis­sions are cut by up to 22g/km, and the ac­cel­er­a­tion time from rest to 62mph is im­proved by three­tenths of a sec­ond com­pared with R tronic shift­ing.

The new flag­ship is the £127,575 V10 plus. De­vel­op­ing 542bhp and 398lb-ft, the coupé-only ver­sion nips from rest to 62mph in 3.5 sec­onds and on to 197mph with S tronic trans­mis­sion; Com­bined fuel econ­omy is 21.9mpg.

With man­ual trans­mis­sion (£124,675), the ac­cel­er­a­tion time length­ens slightly to 3.8 sec­onds, top speed in­creases to 198mph and com­bined fuel econ­omy is 19mpg.

Prices for the rest start at £91,575 for the V8 coupé with man­ual gears.

EMO­TIONAL MO­MENT: The re­built Audi Sil­ver Ar­row, above, which was dis­cov­ered in Rus­sia and the tweaked Audi R8 S tronic.

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