Audi has updated its entire R8 sports car family, with the changes ranging from the new, all-LED headlamps and taillights to a lighter, more powerful V10 model.
The all-LED headlamps and taillights are now standard on all R8 variants. A new LED strip that serves as daytime running lights forms a clasp around the lens, while the rear indicators now perform a 'sweeping movement' from the inside out by having the row of LEDs illuminated in successive blocks. The newest R8 is also distinguishable from its predecessor through its new badge, which now sports the signature Audi Sport red diamond.
Inside, the updated R8 has its new badge on the gearshift or selector lever, the door sill trims, the instrument cluster, and in the start display of the on-board monitor. The instrument cluster itself has also been reworked, while new chrome inserts have been added in several areas. The center console, the surround for the radio and navigation system, and the handbrake lever are now also covered with delicately stitched leather.
The biggest mechanical change to the R8 is the new seven-speed S Tronic transmission, which replaces the R Tronic automated manual option of the pre-upgrade model line. The new gearbox promises to be faster than its predecessor, with gearshifts supposedly happening within hundredths of a second and with virtually no interruption to power delivery. The twin-clutch S Tronic transmission can be controlled through either the selector lever or the steering wheel paddles, and offers a sports mode that adjusts the shift pattern to extract the very best from the R8's V8 and V10 engines. It also has a launch control function that manages engine speed and permits the right degree of tire slip for the quickest possible takeoff when accelerating.
Lastly, the upgraded R8 line also gets a new flagship model in the V10 Plus.
Available only as a coupe, the R8 V10 Plus's engine puts out 542hp and 540Nm of torque--24hp and 10Nm more than the standard R8 V10--allowing it to go from zero to 100kph in 3.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 317kph.
Other features that are either exclusive or offered as standard on the R8 V10 Plus while remaining optional on the V8 and V10-powered R8s are: magnetic ride adaptive damping for the suspension; 19-inch, five-arm, double-spoke wheels; LED-illuminated engine compartment; electrically adjustable sport seats; black-painted exhausts; carbon-fiber ceramic disk brakes; black-painted exhausts; and carbon-fiber door-mirror housings, side blades, and rear diffuser.
The new R8 will go on sale at the end of the year.