The 5.2-litre V10 motor shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo is significantly throttled in the R8. MTM release the latent horsepower and more with an ECU remap and sports exhaust. Apart from offering lower backpressure, the stainless steel sports exhaust also gives the MTM R8 V10 its deeper and more commanding voice.
These changes boost power from 525 to 606hp at a screaming 8,000rpm, while torque goes up from 530Nm to 560Nm at 6,500rpm. The time 0-100km sprint drops from 3.9 to 3.5 sec for the Coupe, and from 4.1 to 3.7 sec for the heavier Spyder. Top speed of both versions is 322km/h, up from 313km/h.
Climbing down from these heady speeds quickly and safely falls to the MTM high performance brake upgrade that uses 380 x 34mm vented discs in front, clamped by massive eight-pot alloy calipers. The factory rear brakes remain standard.
While increasing engine power is always a good way to gain a performance edge, MTM go one better by removing excess weight as well. The bulk of the weight saving comes from replacing the heavy standard sports seats with Recaro carbon-fibre race-style seats.
These lightweight seats save a significant 40kg, and hold the occupants firmly in place against lateral g-forces when the driver is exploiting the cars enhanced cornering abilities.
The suspension upgrade consists of suspension, wheels and tyres. KW created an MTM specific calibration for their Variant 3 coil-over suspension, which is adjustable for ride height as well as bounce and rebound control. While this suspension can lower the car by as much as 60mm from factory ride height, MTM optimise the R8 for street use with a 20mm drop. There is also a front lift option for owners who have ramps and speed bumps to negotiate.
The exact calibration of the suspension settings revolves around the choice of wheels and tyres. For mainly street use with some track work, MTM recommend their Bimoto forged alloy wheels in 9.0J and 11.0J x 20-inch sizes, shod with 245/30ZR20 and 315/25ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tyres.
However, if your driving leans more heavily towards trackdays, then the wheel/tyre combination of choice should be MTM’s Nardo alloy wheels in 8.5J x 19 and 11.0J x 20-inch sizes, wrapped in 235/35ZR19 and 315/25ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup+ rubber.
While either wheel/tyre combination will significantly improve handling and grip, the wider rubber and lowered suspension also give the car a more purposeful, ground hugging stance that is further enhanced by the MTM aero body kit. The new front spoiler lip, side skirts and rear spoiler are additional parts and do not replace any of the aluminium bodywork.
A final visual flourish for the more extrovert R8 driver is the MTM Decal set whose dynamic chequered flag graphics are available in different colours to complement the paintwork of their car.