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Audi refreshes R8 for early 2019 launch

Written by: Neil

Audi’s R8 supercar has been updated with a refreshed exterior look and more power than before.

Under the bonnet of the facelifted second-gen R8 is one of two naturally aspirated V10 engines: the 562bhp quattro or the 612bhp performance quattro. It comes in a choice of two bodystyles too: the fixed-roof coupe and drop-top spyder.

Planted in the coupe, the Audi R8 V10 quattro can race to 62mph in 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 201mph, shifting to 3.5 seconds and 200mph for the marginally heavier convertible.

The more powerful engine – the 5.2-litre FSI performance quattro – does 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, topping out at 205mph. Stick that unit in the spyder and those numbers shift to 3.2 seconds and 204mph.

Stylistically, the R8 looks very much as before, which is fine for a car as eye-popping as the R8.

But look closer and you’ll notice that the front grille is now lower and wider than before, while the front apron is a touch more intricate, now coming with an additional pair of blades in the side vents and a new front splitter.

Suspension has been modified to provide even more stability and precision. The assistance has been retuned with the optional dynamic steering and the electromechanical power steering. Steering response, transitions between individual drive modes and feedback from the road come across as even more precise across the entire speed range.

Michael-Julius Renz, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH, said: “The R8 occupies a unique position for Audi in every respect. It’s now even more powerful and faster.”

Oliver Hoffmann, Audi Sport’s technical managing director, added that around 50 per cent of the parts are shared with the R8 LMS GT3, which means no other production automobile brings humble motorists closer to motor racing than the R8.

Jess Wort, marketing manager at Petrol News, comments: “Prices for the second-gen R8 currently start at £112,525 so expect a slight and reasonable increase when the order book opens in the first quarter of 2019.”

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