Updated Audi R8 gets more power
Audi’s R8 supercar has a new look for 2019.
More importantly, the car retains one of the most exhilarating engines on sale, a 5.2-litre V10 shared with the Lamborghini Huracan.
Resisting the all-encompassing trend toward turbocharging (the R8 is the only free-breathing model in the manufacturer’s range), Audi has increased the V10’s outputs to 419kW and 456kW across two specifications - 22kW and 7kW more than before, thanks to fresh titanium internals.
A new exhaust particulate filter helps the model pass stringent European emissions requirements.
Revised steering, suspension and drive mode settings promise to improve stability and precision while reducing braking distances.
As before, the model is available in two body styles (coupe and roadster) in two performance tunes.
Formerly known as the V10 Plus, the top model is now called the Audi R8 V10 Performance Quattro, while the regular model is simply known as the Audi R8.
Regular models receive 19-inch wheels, while the Performance Quattro gets new 20-inch rims in a complex split-spoke design.
New bodywork echoes the R8 LMS race car, with a revised nose which includes a wider, more angular grille along with a front splitter optionally available in carbon fibre, along with revised side skirts and minor tweaks to the rear.
As before, the supercar drives all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Steel brakes are standard, with carbon-ceramic stoppers available on high-end variants.
The interior is a similar affair to its predecessor, serving up a flat-bottomed steering wheel, deep-bolstered seats and a high-tech digital dashboard.
Audi has not released updated prices for the model, which should follow its predecessor with prices ranging from $350,000 to $400,000.
The limited-edition, rear-wheel-drive Audi R8 RWS has not been replaced for now, but you can expect to see plenty of special-edition models in the future as Audi prepares to farewell its mid-engine supercar.
A track-oriented successor to the original Audi R8 GT is likely, bringing fixed-back race seats, six-point harnesses and a roll bar to take on the likes of Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS.
Such a model could serve as a farewell for the R8, which is rumoured to be discontinued in the coming years to make room for electric vehicles.
David McCowen is Drive’s news editor, combining automotive passion with more than a decade of reporting experience. Dave is often found at a racetrack – either in the press room, or driving his hot hatch.