The wraps have come off a trio of redesigned Audi R8 models, with updated looks, options, and a new top-level trim called the R8 V10 plus.
Changes to the mid-engined Audi uber-coupe are extensive and elaborate, with plentiful additions of both LED lighting and carbon fiber bits; features that are great for showing off but light on substance. So does the 2013 R8 add a new dimension to the iconic line, or take away from the purity of its performance intentions?
The R8 – now available in V8, V10 and V10 plus variants – receives a more polished front fascia with LED headlights and an optional carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) front splitter. On the side, the trademark blade intake is slightly enlarged and sharpened on the V10 and V10 plus. Around back, LED taillights are punctuated by an active turn signal. Buyers will have the super-showoff option to adorn the engine compartment in LED lights. The V8 and V10 models are available either as a coupe or convertible – the V10 plus is hardtop only. Audi have also added a sharp “R” logo overlapping a red diamond, should you accidentally mistake the R8 with one of its Lamborghini brothers or Ferrari rivals.
All aforementioned options are standard on the top-of-the-line V10 plus; perhaps intended as a luxury version of the R8 line to counter the athletic focus of last year’s R8 GT.
The redesigned features have definitely cleaned up some of the wild lines of previous R8 models and make the 2013 version appear more firmly planted on the ground. At the same time, those same changes somewhat tone down the design to the point of near-blandness. Audi is looking for a more grown-up supercar, but they may have turned the R8 into a big TT.
But that doesn’t mean the R8 has lost any of its capability. The 4.2L FSI V8 makes 430 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft of torque (from 4,500-6,000 rpm). Audi’s new S tronic transmission rockets the R8 from 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds.
Moving up, the V10 produces 525 hp with 390 lb.-ft, and 550 hp with 398 lb.-ft in the V10 plus. The same S tronic tranny brings the R8 V10 from 0-62 in 3.6 seconds, and the V10 plus in just 3.5 ticks.
A manual 6-speed is also available in all models, in addition to the 7-speed S tronic.
Pricing has been announced in euros, with U.S. dollar equivalents as follows:
- V8 Coupe ($136,960)
- V8 Spyder ($150,596)
- V10 Coupe ($186,555)
- V10 Spyder ($200,191)
- V10 plus ($209,000)
Audi hasn’t said when the 2013 R8 models will come to the U.S., but they’ll arrive in Europe later this year.
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Did Audi make the right move with the redesign and addition of the R8 V10 plus? Let us know in the Comments below.