► Auto and Spyder
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► Facelift, with abeyance tweaks
► … And still naturally-aspirated!
Audi has accustomed its R8 supercar a mid-life refresh, with increases to ability and torque that advance all variants over the 200mph bound for the aboriginal time. As before, Auto and Spyder versions are available, with a V10 agent in one of two states of tune, and the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox the alone transmission.
Prices alpha from ‘approximately’ £128,200 for the entry-level coupe, ascent to £150k or so for the V10 Achievement Spyder. Aboriginal UK deliveries activate in bounce 2019.
Exterior changes are subtle, but accommodate a wider, adulate advanced grille, three little slits at the advanced of the beanie that anamnesis the Ur Quattro, and there’s a new, added advanced splitter and added upswept rear diffuser. There are a brace of new colours (Kemora Grey, Ascari Blue), new 19-inch alloys (20s for the V10 Performance) and some another high-gloss carbon/glossy atramentous trinkets for the bodywork. Mostly it aloof looks a little lower and added lantern-jawed at the front. The autogenous is unchanged.
The engineers have, however, fiddled with the double-wishbone abeyance – though bounce and damper accouterments carries over – and there’s a new another advanced anti-roll bar in carbonfibre and aluminium that saves 2kg. Audi had the accepted and another items on display, with the above activity like a block of advance brim in comparison. All cars we collection got the appropriate anti-roll bar. The changes are said to accompaniment both the accepted electromechanical and another Dynamic council (both of which accept software changes), and the accomplish amid the altered active modes – Comfort, Auto and Dynamic – are said to be added pronounced.
The R8 hasn’t gone turbo. The artlessly aspirated 5.2-litre V10 lives on with a block of added achievement and torque acknowledgment to ECU re-mapping. The accepted archetypal now produces 533bhp at a agreeable 8250rpm, an access of 30bhp. Torque rises by 7lb ft to 406lb ft, afresh at a aerial 6500rpm.
What was advanced accepted as the V10 Plus becomes the V10 Performance. Its 612bhp/428lb ft is an access of 10bhp and 15lb ft respectively, which Audi attributes to a revised valvetrain with titanium apparatus as able-bodied as beginning ECU mapping. It agency the V10 Achievement auto can advance from aught to 62mph in 3.1 abnormal and ability 206mph – one tenth and 1mph up on the old car.
The Spyder achieves 3.0sec and 205mph. But, an architect acquaint us the ability abstracts are low-ball – maybe this is post-dieselgate conservatism, maybe it’s to assure the Lamborghini Huracan (the abject archetypal Lambos are now slower, admitting the Performante is still ahead), but either way we’re told the archetypal abstracts are 5% up. Let’s alarm it about 650bhp then.
The accepted auto isn’t apathetic at 3.4 abnormal and 201mph, with the Spyder afresh a tenth and 1mph off those benchmarks. Expect commensurable mpg and CO2 emissions to the antecedent model, admitting the new car will be activated in band with the new WLTP regulations and the abstracts weren’t accessible in time for our drive.
All versions appear with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive. We asked the engineers if the rear-wheel drive RWS will re-appear, which acquired abundant ‘I charge analysis with my colleagues in marketing’. This seemed actual promising.
Caveat time: with homologation still pending, we were belted to clue active in the V10 Achievement Auto at the Ascari ambit in Spain. We were additionally active on Michelin Cup 2 tyres – stickier tyres commonly begin on the 911 GT3, Ferrari Pista and added track-bred projectiles. They are optional, but Audi can’t acquaint us which markets they’ll be offered in – so, they ability not alike appear to the UK.
Does it feel alike faster and hungrier at aerial revs? Possibly, but afresh I’d never apprenticed an R8 on clue – an ambiance area you’re consistently wringing out an agent for all its worth. So, assets in achievement aren’t anon obvious, but the V10 continues to be a majestic assemblage that defines this active acquaintance – the R8 absolutely is a viscerally quick machine.
It is, of course, beneath agog at lower revs and beneath able to awning your mistakes aback you’re in a accessory too aerial than a turbo rival, but we’re not accusatory – the V10’s conciseness of response, afire ability commitment and alarming dispatch will never accept you boot fingers on the dashtop. Mix in an alien soundtrack of able low-rpm purrs and afire high-rpm fireworks and you’ve got a powerplant that not alone accomplish the hairs on the aback of your abutting angle on end, but waxes them apple-pie off too. The turbocharged McLaren 570S and 600LT cannot appear abutting to this affectionate of excitement.
The dual-clutch manual is adored with a huge bandwidth – the first- to second-gear upshift at abounding revs and abounding ability has a absorbing automated violence, and yet you can bead it in auto and angle about silkily. If anything, the transitions amid college apparatus at chase acceleration could accept a little added analogue and character, but they’re absolutely smooth, quick and acutely effective.
On track, the R8 strikes a acceptable antithesis amid absorption and a aloof to hardly understeery antithesis on a abiding burke through faster corners. This provides not alone aerial limits, but additionally a acceptable feel for the alien bend of those limits. But the mid-engined blueprint additionally allows you to use the not accessible weight of the V10 to playfully acclimatize the rear end beneath braking or with adapted lifts off the burke – it gives the R8 a multi-dimensional, awful acknowledging feel. The adherence ascendancy Sport approach lets you accomplishment all this afterwards clumsy action too.
A McLaren 570S does feel lighter, added active and added tactile, but the R8 makes for a secure, fast but still agreeable way to get yourself about a circuit. The carbon-ceramic brakes additionally accepted actual capable, admitting the pedal went a little bendable afterwards a few hot laps –firmer antecedent acknowledgment wouldn’t go amiss.
Both the approved council arrangement and the another Dynamic another accept been fettled via adjustments to software. We’d stick with the accepted system, which has a weightier, added constant feel, article that added a faculty of abutment and acknowledgment through some of Ascari’s long, fast corners. That said, the faster-paced Dynamic accoutrement is far from off-putting, and there’s no agnosticism it adds to the faculty of activity through lower-speed flicks of administration – I wouldn’t abatement an contrarily absolute acclimated archetypal with the arrangement fitted.
A clue analysis on Cup 2 tyres isn’t the best ambiance to aces up on nuanced differences amid old R8 and new. But we do apperceive that the Audi R8 charcoal the ultimate circadian supercar, one adored with a different mix of attributes too: a bawl old-school V10, the aegis of all-wheel drive, a berth that’s aerial on clarification and technology, and appraisement that undercuts mid-engined rivals.
Lamborghini’s Huracan ability appear abutting because the two are based on the aforementioned architecture, but the Italian’s autogenous and infotainment lag behind, it’s costlier too, and you don’t get the account of all those Audi dealerships to about-face to. Once again, though, we doubtable the purer rear-wheel-drive R8 will be the one to have, if they do absolutely body it.
Engine: 5204cc 40-valve V10, 612bhp @ 8000-8250rpm, 428lb ft @ 6500rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch, all-wheel drive
Performance: 3.1sec 0-62mph, 205mph, tbc mpg, tbc g/km CO2 (pending WLTP testing)
Weight: 1735kg, steel
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