As facelifts go, these mid-life revisions to the Audi R8 are about as balmy as a plucked eyebrow. The R8 is, as you’ll know, Audi’s mid-engined sports offering, which began activity with a naturally-aspirated V8 added than a decade ago, but which eventually adopted a V10 abounding time to become a bona fide supercar.
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And it still is, aloof about, although the capital supercar bold is keener on ability numbers that alpha with a seven, or thereabouts, these days. So the R8 has been accustomed a 30hp access in the case of the accepted version, or a 10hp access for the Plus (which becomes the Performance) so that it has 570hp or 620hp, sitting it neatly adjoin what you ability alarm its junior-supercar competition: the McLaren 570S, Mercedes-AMG GT R and Porsche 911 Turbo.
Otherwise the changes to the R8 are minimal. There are the beheld ones, which Audi has made, it says, to be added evocative of the R8 GT3 chump antagonism car, versions of which cycle bottomward the actual aforementioned assembly band at the actual aforementioned time as roadgoing R8s. They accept the aforementioned anatomy and V10, afterwards all.
But the alley cars that cycle bottomward the band from now on, ability and actualization aside, are not so altered to the R8s that accept been congenital back this added address car accustomed in 2015. There’s the aluminium architecture, with a naturally-aspirated agent in the middle, alive all four auto through a seven-speed dual-clutch auto (no chat on addition rear-drive RWS yet), and two seats central a berth that’s affably akin in very-Audi style.
Dynamically, changes extend to a new advanced anti-roll bar, a carbon fibre/aluminium admixture which is lighter than the antecedent angled animate bar. There’s a revised council rack, said to accord added accurateness and response, and a new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyre design, necessitating a retune of the adherence control. Springs and dampers go changeless and, if you like, you can still blueprint ‘dynamic’ variable-ratio steering.
We’ve had a quick go, on clue only, in the Performance version, which retains the accepted carbon bowl brakes that are an advantage on the approved R8. And it feels like… an R8. Sorry. But if you can feel the added 10hp in 620 back it was absolutely a while back you aftermost collection one, in a altered country, in altered conditions, you’re a bigger alley tester than I am.
What I can say is that the agent acknowledgment is still agitating – this is a car that revs to 8,750rpm and makes aiguille ability at 8,000, and it has ten artlessly aspirated cylinders so it’s a contentment to rev out, calmly in the top bristles best accepted assembly sports car engines. The DSG gearbox is slick, the anchor pedal feel hardly adamantine to modulate, and the administration absolutely terrific.
I absolutely enjoyed an RWS on alley and clue the added month, decidedly because of the way it steered, but there’s still a admirable adaptability and antithesis to the 4wd R8. It’s abiding beneath abiding ability in quicker corners, but accommodating to circle if you aisle the brakes, but with the advancement of alive it can advice cull itself beeline acknowledgment to the stabilising access of ability to the advanced end. There isn’t the authentic activity of, say, a McLaren 570S, though, because the Audi is heavier, it’s a bit like the latest Honda NSX, alone added alive and accommodating and engaging.
And the steering? Bigger than before, I’d say, but still not as affable as back it has no drive to the advanced auto (RWS) and nor does it accept the feel of its best rivals, like the 570S. But it’s middling in weight, accurate, and tells you abundant about what’s activity on. And if you blueprint the alive steering, again back you abode the car in ‘Performance’ mode, it locks it into a distinct 14:1 council arrangement so it’s added anticipated on track.
And that’s that. Can’t acquaint you what it’s like on the alley because Audi insisted the cars didn’t leave the circuit, but the affairs are it feels like an R8 – which agency it’s appealing nice. The alive position is able and the autogenous still actual logical, and baroque enough, address in apperception the brand on the nose. Prices will be up by a bit: a Performance is estimated at £141,000, the approved car £128,000, and you can still get a Spyder if you want. An agreeable car, then, which stays as recommendable as ever.
Engine: 5,204cc, V10, petrol Transmission: 7-speed, dual-clutch, 4wdPower: 620hp at 8,000-8,250rpmTorque: 428lb ft at 6,500pm0-62mph: 3.1secTop speed: 205mphWeight: 1,670kgMPG: 24mpg (est)CO2: 290g/km (est)Price: £141,000 (est)
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