Autovox’s Audi R8-based project car packs a supercharger, less weight and a serious sting in its tail.
For its Audi R8 project car, Autovox put it on a diet and brought it to the gym.
GIVEN how Autovox carries some of the hottest aftermarket items around, it’s an exciting prospect when it does a project car. Its latest one, based on an Audi R8, certainly doesn’t disappoint. As with all the best project cars, there was a clear goal in mind, and a big clue in this case is the name of this extra-special R8: Hummingbird. Taking inspiration from the bird’s ultra-light and speedy nature, Autovox wanted to shave weight and add power to the supercar. This is no mean feat, considering the R8 employs lots of lightweight aluminium in its construction, and its powerplant is a 4.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 with a potent 430bhp. But if Autovox is up for anything, it’s a challenge. And the Hummingbird is considerably lighter and more powerful than the standard R8 4.2.
The key components of this car’s “diet” are a Braille lithium-ion battery and carbon fibre bucket seats from the limited edition, stripped-out R8 GT. Against the standard items, the former is some 20kg lighter and the latter weighs over 30kg less. While that’s impressive, the upgrades to its motor are even more so. Thanks to a PES Tuning supercharger kit, the car’s V8 now produces 625bhp and 650Nm (the standard R8 4.2 has 430bhp and 430Nm). That’s even more powerful than the range-topping R8 V10 Plus, which has 550bhp and 540Nm. The Hummingbird “hums” better than its un-fettled cousin, too, thanks to a Capristo exhaust system that endows it with some hard-edged, throaty vocals.
A PES Tuning supercharger kit endows this uprated R8 with a humming 625bhp and 650Nm.
However, while it’s clear this automobile is a far cry from a standard R8 4.2, Autovox has elected to keep the cosmetic mods subtle, though a petrolhead with a keen eye will notice how it’s sporting the front and rear bumpers from the R8 V10, along with the model’s flared carbon fibre “side blades” (the R8 4.2 has non-flared items). More carbon fibre can be found in the car’s front lip, rear diff user and rear spoiler. Even more subtle, though, is how this modified vehicle sports a gunmetal grey colour scheme. While it resembles Audi’s Daytona Grey hue, it is in fact a custom shade done up by Kolorwerx, and one that was inspired by the colour of the Lamborghini Estoque.
But if you think the Hummingbird is just a drag racing show pony, you’d be sorely mistaken, as it is equipped with suspension specialist KW’s V3 coilover kit. In addition to its superadjustability, the kit also comes with a hydraulic nose-lift system, all the better to help protect that pretty carbon fibre front lip from nasty speed bumps and steep carpark ramps. Helping the handling is the fitment of Alcon carbon-ceramic brakes. They should provide for almighty stopping power, even after sustained abuse at the racetrack.
The R8 Hummingbird is dripping with carbon fibre add-ons.
The cockpit has received a comprehensive refinish, with generous lashings of Alcantara and carbon fibre. Of course, these don’t have the same performance-enhancing benefits as the supercharger kit or the lightweight seats, but they do underline the Hummingbird’s potential for automotive mayhem. Autovox’s reworked R8 is how a good project car should be – menacing yet understated, and dripping with a boatload of lustworthy uprated components.