Wednesday, 25 July 2012 11:57 AM
It’s a subtle makeover for the Audi R8 supercar, to say the least, but as it’s a coupe and convertible shape that are generally considered to be big styling hits; some gentle tweaks here and there will probably do for another year or two.
We now have standard LED lighting all over the exterior of the R8 – and inside too, to reflect your mood – and there have been some subtle tweaks to the front and rear bumpers. Plus lashings of extra carbon-fibre sprinkled all over; depending on model and spec.
The biggest news for the 2013 Audi R8 is the replacement of the old – and sometimes rather slow-witted - automated manual R tronic gearbox with a faster S tronic dual-clutch 7-speed shifter. The new gearbox brings small reductions in CO2 and some pretty decent improvements to acceleration. A manual gearbox is still on offer at a lower price than the S tronic, coming as standard on the R8 V8 and as an option on the V10.
So, to the speed of things. The new S tronic ‘box slices a rather juicy three tenths off the V8’s to-62mph sprint, which now stands at 4.3secs. The manual V8 sits at the same 4.6secs. The much mightier V10 R8 also looses three tenths of a second on its sprint time; from 3.9secs to 3.6secs. That’s a pretty serious improvement.
And now to the icing on the new Audi R8 cake – the R8 V10 Plus. While the name may not be particularly fiery; the power and styling gains for the most expensive R8 are certainly spicy. Power goes up from 525bhp to 550bhp (398lb ft of torque) and there is carbon-fibre all over the feline aluminium bodywork. The R8 Plus will hit 62mph in 3.6secs and power on to 196mph. No 200mph capability for this supercar, then.
Audi are yet to confirm the full UK prices and specs for their new flagship supercar, but it will be more expensive across the board – coupe and convertible - than the current R8. That’s the price of progress.
By Daniel Anslow
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