Accelerate

SA's premium automotive magazine

Wraps off facelifted R8

Audi has taken the wraps off of the facelifted R8 ahead of its public début at the Paris Motor Show and it features Audi’s now-familiar new face, styling tweaks inside and out and, importantly, a new S tronic dual-clutch gearbox and a new model in the range – a more focused V10 Plus.

The facelifted R8 features redesigned bumpers front and rear, new LED headlights and a new taillight cluster. The R8 logo has been tweaked, as have the rear diffuser and the round tailpipes.

On the engine front there’s been no change, with two engines in the range, namely a 316 kW 4.2-litre V8 and a 386 kW 5.2-litre V10. There has been some mechanical change, and previous experience with the R8 says it’s a good one. The single-clutch R tronic transmission has been replaced by a 7-speed twin-clutch S tronic unit, which will provide for quicker, smoother changes. On top of that, it cuts the 0-100 km/h sprint by 0.3 seconds, taking it to 4.3 for the V8 and 3.6 for the V10. The new transmission also cuts emissions by 22 g/km.

There’s also a V10 Plus in the range, a more focused R8 that will only be available in coupé derivative. In the Plus model, Audi has upped the V10’s power to a whopping 404 kW, which shaves yet another tenth off the car’s 0-100 km/h sprint as well as increasing its top speed to 317 km/h.

The V10 Plus is also lighter than the standard car thanks to lightweight alloys and bucket seats and the use of less insulation and more carbon fibre. The suspension, too, has been tweaked to offer a sportier ride, while it is visually differentiated by the carbon fibre front splitter, carbon fibre wing mirrors, black exhaust pipes and a larger rear diffuser.

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