Audi has revealed their facelifted Audi R8, along with a new transmission, brakes, and an entirely new flagship model for 2013.
The most obvious changes to the 2013 Audi R8 are the new fascia with LED headlamps, that are now standard on all models (previously only the V10), a six-point single-frame grille with horizontal chrome inserts adorning the struts on the V10 variant, and a redesigned bumper with triple-crossbar air inlets and optional carbon fibre front splitter.
The rear of the R8 also benefits from new LED taillights, a restyled diffuser that rises higher into the bumper, air outlets with three slats on each corner and two new round tailpipes on all engine versions. Audi R8 V8 models ride on 18-inch alloy wheels, while the V10 models roll on 19-inch units.
Interior changes are limited to minor updates to the trim, the needles in the instrument cluster and the shift paddles. An attractive mix of piano black, carbon fibre and satin chrome trimmings can be paired with options such as diamond-stitched, Fine Nappa full-leather treatment for the seats, door panels and the headlining.
Mechanical changes include new, ‘wave’ design, brake discs that are said to save 2 kilograms over the conventional items, as well as a 7-speed S tronic, dual-clutch, transmission that replaces the previous, clunky, 6-speed R tronic ‘box. All V8 models come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission with the S tronic as an option, while the V10 is the other way around.
The engine lineup is still much the same, with the base 4.2-litre V8 unit delivering 316 kW and 430 Nm of torque. The R8 V8 is capable of reaching 100 km/h from a standing start in 4.3 (S tronic) or 4.8 seconds (manual), top speed peaks at 300 km/h and combined cycle fuel consumption dips as low as 12.4 L/100km. The R8 V8 Spyder S tronic achieves the same sprint in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 297 km/h.
The Audi R8 5.2-litre V10 also retains its power outputs of 386 kW and 530 Nm. When matched with the new S tronic transmission, the V10 sprints from 0 – 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and top speed is 316 km/h. Corrsponding figures for the R8 V10 Spyder are 3.8 seconds and 313 km/h.
Headlining the updated R8 line-up, however, is the new Audi R8 V10 plus. Based on the limited edition R8 GT, of which only 333 examples were produced, the new R8 V10 Plus offers 404 kW and 540 Nm with either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed S tronic transmission. Available only in coupe bodystyle at this stage, the R8 V10 Plus S tronic races from 0 – 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds (3.8 seconds for the manual) and accelerates to a top speed of 317 km/h (S tronic) or 319 km/h (manual).
The V10 Plus stands out from its ‘lesser’ coupe siblings with a carbon fibre package that adds a front splitter, mirror housings, wider side blades and air vents. In addition, the vent louvers next to the rear window, the 19-inch alloy wheels, the larger rear diffuser and the twin exhaust pipes are finished in black. Other features include the CFRP lining and LED lighting for the engine compartment, as well as bucket seats with prominent side sections for better lateral support.
The 2013 Audi R8 is expected to reach most of the world’s Audi dealerships by the second quarter of next year, with news of a South African debut yet to surface.