The original Audi supercar has undergone several changes over the last few years, but this latest change has surely been the most dramatic. Higher power and torque figures and much more angular bodywork is just the beginning.
This new R8 has adopted, like the rest of the Audi lineup, a much more muscular and angled body style – a trend that’s been plaguing the industry for the last year or so. The 5.2-litre V10 has been retained, but produces another 29bhp over the former 533bhp alongside 406lb ft of torque. This increase in power means it can hit 2 tonnes in Spider guise and 201mph with a solid roof. Similarly, it hits 62mph in 3.4 seconds with just .1 of a second on top of that if you choose the Spider.
The new Plus model, now called the R8 V10 Performance, boasts and even larger power increase to 612bhp and 428lb ft with the coupe hitting 62mph in just 3.1 seconds with the Spider a tenth slower. The Spider’s also 1mph off the 205mph top speed. These increases are thanks to a titanium valvetrain, and both engines get a petrol particulate filter.
Subtle tweaks have also been made to the suspension which, according to Audi, gives the car a sharper feel. This alongside a revised electromechanical power assisted steering system and optional dynamic steering setup makes the car overall more precise and able to give more feedback – a common complaint with the past two models. To contend with this view, Audi are keen to remind us that 50% of the car is shared with its GT3 counterpart.
Traction control gets a going over, but the most distinct of changes obviously hangs with the bodywork. 19-inch wheels hide optional ceramic brakes. Above the front grill sits three slats, reflecting the original Audi Quattro, and a host of flaps, wings and diffusers improve the car’s overall look and, more importantly, aerodynamics.
Of course, a host of colours and changes can be chosen from – I highly recommend a visit to Audi’s website as soon as the car’s available to build to take a look at the host of options which includes blacking out the badges.
Full pricing and specification will be released in 2019.