Introduced in the eponymous update (Research & Development Update) for Asphalt 8: Airborne, Research & Development, known as R&D for short, is a single player laboratory-style special event that introduces four new game elements: Lab, Test, Quality Checks, and Proto Keys, as well as a number of modifications to existing elements, such as R&D Basic Kit Box, or car-specific free upgrades. As in the Car Mastery, the R&D selection, loading, and pre-race screen introduce a new graphic language. This special event is only available for players with at least 30 stars in the Career Mode.
In contrast with Car Mastery, the R&D is more story-oriented. It focuses on telling the story of a car development with the player and other scientists from the car's company being involved.
Vehicles unlockable via R&D can be purchased for a limited time outside of their events, although they can only be purchased with tokens and tend to be extremely expensive; one such exception is the Apollo Intensa Emozione, which was available only as an in-app purchase. As of the Car Blueprints Update, most of the R&D-unlockable vehicles can be crafted with Blueprints. However, as of the Fall Out Boy Update, most of the R&D events award the vehicle only after the completition of the entire R&D, these vehicles being not blueprint-buildable.
Numbered from .001. up to .005. (depends on the event), each Lab consists of multiple Tests, currently between 6 and 20 Tests per Lab. After completing a Lab, the next Lab may not be available, because they are gradually released; however, it can be unlocked using Tokens. The amount of Tokens needed to unlock decreases with the waiting time needed.
An R&D event has at least 3 Labs and at most 5 Labs. On average, an R&D event has 4 Labs.
Each Test, with a varying race type and track, needs a certain number of Quality Checks (also abbreviated as QC) to be collected, as well as a main goal to be fulfilled. Numbered continously, a Test cannot be raced, if the previous Test has not been completed. Each time you race a Test, you use one Proto Key.
Tests can be automatically bypassed by paying a certain amount of Tokens ( 35 - 2,800) to use Auto-Test. However, Auto-Test should be used only as a last resort in order to avoid losing excessive amounts of Tokens. Auto-Test's cost decreases as Quality Checks are accumulated throughout the test, but cannot decrease in Ultimate AI Challenges. It is unknown exactly how the Auto-Test cost decreases with each obtained Quality Check, but a test that costs 900 to Auto-Test and requires 50 Quality Checks to pass will cost 448 when 26/50 Quality Checks have been collected.
An R&D event has at least 30 Tests and at most 65 Tests. In most cases, an R&D event has 50 Tests and 4 Labs.
- R&D Basic Kit Box (sometimes capitalized as R&D BASIC KIT BOX) - grants 3 - 5 cards usable on the car.
- R&D Advanced Kit Box (sometimes capitalized as R&D ADVANCED KIT BOX) - grants 6 - 10 cards usable on the car.
- R&D Professional Kit Box (sometimes capitalized as R&D PROFESSIONAL KIT BOX) - grants 10 - 18 cards usable on the car, sometimes with the description mentioning a guarantee of the car's engine card popping up. This box is sometimes available for a limited time after a test, and can be bought for 450 - 2,400.
From the Car Blueprints Update onwards, BP Boxes required for the car are awarded through tests.
Clearing all Tests awards the car. From the Car Blueprints Update onwards, the player instead receives the last few BP cards required for the car, after which the player can assemble the car, if they have enough BP cards required.
- Ultimate AI Challenge
Throughout the R&D, a special Versus race against a professional ghost AI (named the "Ultimate AI") called the Ultimate AI Challenge is frequently encountered. The player must beat the ghost AI on the track in order to either advance to the next Lab or complete the R&D event. Each Lab has at least one Ultimate AI Challenge. Most R&Ds have 6 total Ultimate AI Challenges.
- Quality Checks
These are acquired during a race, and appear in two main variants: checkpoint-like markers in the game, that are collected by driving through this point, similar as with Nitro power-ups, jumping over the location does not collect, and rewards depending on a specific requirement. Each marker counts as one Quality Check. The main goal also counts as one Quality Check. Any Quality Checks accumulated in excess of the requirement to complete a Test are forfeited; as such, any extra Quality Checks do not carry over to the next Test. If the main goal is failed, the collected Quality Checks can be retained by paying a fee of up to 50.
A criteria allowing to acquire multiple Quality Checks as Subgoals during a race, measuring your driving skills, including:
- Collect Quality Checks (Finish race)
- Finish at least THIRD (Finish position: 3)
- Finish FIRST (Finish position: 1)
- Beat a Race Time of ##:##:###
- Get # Knockdowns (Knockdowns: #)
- Get # Knockdowns without a Wreck (Knockdowns without Wreck: #)
- Do # Flat Spins (Flat Spins: #)
- Do # Flat Spins in One Jump (Flat Spins in One Jump: #)
- Do # Barrel Rolls (Barrel Rolls: #)
- Do # Barrel Rolls in One Jump (Barrel Rolls in One Jump: #)
- Do # Tilt Jumps (Tilt Jumps: #)
- Get # s of Air Time (Total Air Time: # s)
- Drift Distance: # yd / m
- Record # Perfect Runs (Perfect Runs: #)
- Do # Perfect Nitros (Perfect Nitro Triggered: #)
- Record NO WRECKS (No Wrecks)
There are two additional goals with objectives that use any one of the above-mentioned requirements except for Collect Quality Checks, which is restricted only to the main goal. Sometimes, the additional goals may repeat the main goal, but with different numbers.
- Proto Key
Next Key delivery in ##:##:##.
A system similar to Fuel for Events that limit the number of races within a given time. There are maximum of three Proto Keys available, Proto Keys are made of a special material that dissolves when the key is used; after using the last one, the user has to wait 3 hours (6 hours for the McLaren 650S GT3 R&D Event, 4 hours 30 minutes for the Audi R8 e-tron Special Edition R&D and Maserati Alfieri R&D Event) before being able to race again. Unlike fuel, which restores 1 bar per 10 minutes, the Proto Keys instead restock all three at a time (the same goes for Championship Tires), and the restoration process only starts once the three keys are used up. As with fuel, Proto Keys can be restored using Tokens (up to 150 ( 180 for E-Tron Special Edition) to restore all three; price decreases over time down to a minimum of 5). It is recommended to refill Proto Keys sparingly to conserve Tokens, especially towards the end of the Proto Key cooldown period in order to refill Proto Keys at the lowest cost.
When the player runs out of time in any R&D event, they will be told that the R&D has expired but that all upgrades will be kept for when they own the vehicle.
Since the Enduro Update, R&D events usually occurred after the end of an Enduro Double Down event and before the next EDD event. From the Championship Update to the end of the Lunar New Year 2017 Update, R&D events followed a Championship and were followed by an EDD, in accordance with a fixed special events pattern.
- Main article: Research & Development/Events
|R&D Events||Vehicles||First (Subsequent) Event Date||Labs / Tests||Time Limit (Days)|
|Lamborghini Huracán||October 1, 2015|
(March 9, 2016)
|3 / 30||15|
|Lamborghini Egoista||December 19, 2015|
(May 11, 2016)
|4 / 65||15|
|Peugeot SR1||January 20, 2016|
(July 14, 2016)
|4 / 45||8|
|ED Design Torq||February 4, 2016|
(September 29, 2016)
|4 / 50||8|
|Alfa Romeo 4C||February 25, 2016|
(September 4, 2016)
|3 / 35|
(5 / 50)
|BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage||March 2016|
(March 3rd, 2017)
(January 19, 2018)
|4 / 50||14|
|Mosler Super GT||April 2016|
(November 22, 2016)
|5 / 50||14|
|Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe Touring Car 2014||June 2016|
(July 29, 2017)
|4 / 50||12|
|W Motors Fenyr Supersport||August 9th, 2016|
(July 12, 2018)
|4 / 65||15|
|15||GT by CITROEN||October 25th, 2016||4 / 50||14|
|Arash AF10||December 23, 2016|
(May 19, 2017)
(November 20, 2017)
|4 / 60||12|
|18||Renault Alpine Celebration||January 25, 2017||4 / 50||10|
|20||Lotus Evora Sport 410||April 25, 2017||4 / 44||9|
|22||Porsche 911 GT3 RS||June 23, 2017||4 / 50||14|
|24||KTM 1290 Super Duke R||August 23, 2017||4 / 50||7|
|25||Ducati SuperSport S||September 9, 2017||4 / 50||10|
|26||Peugeot RCZ R||September 24, 2017||3 / 35||5|
|27||Suzuki Hayabusa||October 3, 2017||4 / 65||12|
|28||McLaren 650S GT3||October 30, 2017||4 / 50||14|
|30||Pagani Huayra BC||December 21, 2017||4 / 60||11|
|31||BMW S 1000 RR||January 6, 2018||4 / 50||10|
|33||Audi R8 e-tron Special Edition||February 12th, 2018||4 / 50||10|
|34||Yamaha YZF-R6||March 7th, 2018||4 / 50||7|
|35||Apollo Intensa Emozione||May 4th, 2018||4 / 60||12|
|36||Rimac Concept S||June 14th, 2018||4 / 50||14|
|38||Mazda RX8 Special Edition||July 19, 2018||4 / 44||9|
|39||Zenvo TS1 GT 10th Anniversary Edition||August 2, 2018||5 / 50||14|
|40||Maserati Alfieri||September 13, 2018||4 / 50||10|
|?||Hyundai i30 N||?, 2018||4 / 44||?|
|?||Ducati XDiavel S||?, 2018||4 / 50||10|
|?||Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR my2017||?, 2018||4 / 60||12|
^The third revival of the Arash AF10 R&D was originally meant for the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR my2017, due to reports of players receiving notifications for R&D of the Aprilia instead of Arash.
Research & Development Intro Screens
Push the capabilities of the [R&D boss vehicle name] to new extremes by working as an R&D driver and mastering different development tests.
Every test you complete will help you to develop perfectly engineered upgrades that will maximize your ride's potential.
Collect Quality Checks during Validation Tests to push performance beyond the limits and develop new upgrades.
Put your ride to the ultimate test by going head-to-head against an advanced AI, programmed to calculate the [R&D boss car's manufacturer name/Torq]'s ultimate path and performance, in the Ultimate AI Challenge!
For security purposes, the Proto Keys are made of a special material that will dissolve after one race. Use them wisely -- it takes time to make more!
Complete all [30-65] R&D tests within [5-15] days to get the [R&D boss vehicle name] for free, as well as other amazing rewards. All upgrades applied during tests will remain on the vehicle after the R&D process is finished.
- The sound effect played when collecting a reward in R&D are also reused for Championships.
- From the Elite Cars Update onwards, it is now possible to see the quote for a test in the loading screen.
- As of the Enduro Update, the sound effect played when refilling Proto Keys is no longer used when a Proto Key is used.
- As of the Enduro Update, in the race countdown, during Ultimate AI Challenges, the text that says "Ultimate AI Challenge" is now in all capital letters.
- As of the Fifth Anniversary Update, the R&D events can now feature elite vehicles.