New Audi R8 gets race-car tech and a facelift
Audi has just pulled the covers off its latest R8, with slightly revised styling, a little more power and a host of new technology sure to make your head — but not the car — spin.
The German automaker says the new R8 shares about 50 per cent of its parts with the R8 LMS GT3 race car, and 60 per cent with the GT4.
The exterior styling of the new car has only subtle changes. Up front, the grille is wider and lower, with larger air inlets, and a wider splitter keeps it all hunkered down. Above Audi’s trademark grille is a set of slits the automaker says are meant to throw back to the Ur-quattro, the legendary rally car. At the back end is an extended diffuser.
Of course the R8 comes with a V10, but there are now two choices: the V10 or V10+. Power numbers were not released but expect an increase over the standard 532 and 602 horsepower, respectively. The dry-sump pump module can withstand 1.5 lateral G of acceleration, and the oiling system has its own, separate radiator to keep things cool.
Audi has improved many areas of the R8, especially braking. It now stops 1.5 metres shorter than before, thanks to the tuning of the electronic stability control and available carbon-ceramic disc brakes.
There are standard 19-inch wheels, with the option to upgrade to 20-inch fully milled ultralight wheels.
The handling is said to have been improved with optional dynamic steering; standard is electro-mechanical power steering, which has also been tuned for better road feel. The front stabilizer bar can be had in carbon fibre-reinforced polymer and aluminum, which sheds 4.4 pounds and adds more precision and stability to the handling.
There are now three drive modes to make Audi’s “everyday supercar” more usable: dry, wet and snow. If you’re out there driving your R8 in the Canadian winter, we salute you.
Coupe and Spyder versions of the new R8 are expected to hit the sales floor in Europe in the first quarter of 2019. North American pricing and availability will be available closer to the release date.
Subtle changes to the Audi R8’s exterior styling include a wider, lower grill.