Audi unveils a slick refresh for the R8, and contrary to rumours, the supercar sticks with a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 rather than downsizing to a turbocharged V6. The powerplant even gets a boost in output, and there are other technological upgrades to make the machine even sharper on the road.

Aesthetically, the new R8 has a sharper look. The designers make the centre portion of the grille wider and incorporate angular uprights to separate the corner intakes. At the back, a vent now extends across the entire tail, and the diffuser is far more prominent. Audi also revises the look in the engine bay by fitting a new three-piece cover that hides components like the air filter. The base R8 has high-gloss black trim on the exterior, and the R8 V10 Performance Quattro (the company's new name for the R8 V10 Plus) has a matte titanium finish. High-gloss carbon fibre is an option for both models. In addition, there's an optional carbon fibre-reinforced polymer front splitter that saves 2 kilograms.

2019 Audi R8

The refreshed R8's cabin is largely the same other than tweaked upholstery colours.

In the standard R8, the V10 now produces 562 bhp and 405.7 lb-ft of torque, which is a boost of 30 bhp and 7.4 lb-ft over the previous version. The updated powerplant gets the coupe to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds or 3.5 seconds for the convertible. The hardtop can achieve a top speed of 201.3 mph or 200.1 mph for the droptop.

2019 Audi R8

The Audi R8 V10 Performance Quattro, and its 5.2-litre V10 now makes 612 bhp and 427.8 lb-ft – an increase of 9 bhp and 14.75 lb-ft. The more potent powerplant gets the coupe to 62 mph in 3.1 seconds or 3.2 seconds for the Spyder. In addition, the hardtop can reach 205.7 mph or 204.4 mph for the convertible.

2019 Audi R8

The engineers also tweak the R8's suspension tech. For example, the drive select dynamic handling system has more distinct separations between the drive modes, and there are three new settings for the R8 V10 Performance Quattro: dry, wet, and snow. Revisions to the stability control programming also let the top model brake to a stop from 62 mph in 1.5 metres less distance and 5 metres shorter from 124 mph.

The updated R8 will go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2019.

2019 Audi R8

Gallery: 2019 Audi R8

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Fastest model is now even sharper: Extensive update for Audi R8

  • More power and torque for the V10 naturally aspirated engines
  • Modified suspension components for even more dynamic handling
  • Striking exterior design, start of pre-sales in early 2019

Neckarsulm, October 24, 2018 – “Born on the track, built for the road.” The volume- production model now follows after the world premiere of the R8 LMS GT3 at the Paris Motor Show. Apart from the sportier design, the performance of the Coupé and Spyder has been enhanced. The power of the two V10 naturally aspirated engines is uprated to 419 kW (570 hp) and 456 kW (620 hp). The models will go on sale in Europe in early 2019.

“The R8 occupies a unique position for Audi in every respect,” says Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “It’s now even more powerful and faster.” adds Oliver Hoffmann, Technical Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH: “Motorsport is part of our DNA. With around 50 percent shared parts with the R8 LMS GT3, no other automobile is so close to motor racing as the R8.”

Even more power and torque: the engines

Instant response, lightning-fast high-revving and a unique sound – the heart of the Audi R8 is its V10 naturally aspirated engine. With the basic unit, the 397 kW (540 hp) of power has been increased to 419 kW (570 hp), the torque boosted by 10 Nm (7.4 lb-ft) to 550 Nm (405.7 lb-ft), which is on tap at 6,500 revolutions per minute. The Audi R8 V10 quattro accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62.1 mph) in 3.4 seconds (Coupé) and 3.5 seconds (Spyder) before going on to a top speed of 324/322 km/h (201.3/200.1 mph).

The 5.2 FSI in the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro generates 456 kW (620 hp) instead of the previous 449 kW (610 hp), with peak torque of 580 Nm (427.8 lb-ft) substituting the previous 560 Nm (413.0 lb-ft). The increase here is primarily the result of an optimized valve train with components made of titanium. The Coupé sprints to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in

3.1 seconds, the Spyder with the same tires takes 3.2 seconds. The propulsive power ends at 331/329 km/h (205.7/204.4 mph). The two V10 naturally aspirated engines with 5.2 liters of displacement come with a particulate filter to reduce emissions more effectively.

Razor-sharp precision: the suspension

Modifications to the suspension provide even more stability and precision. The assistance has been retuned both 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.

In addition, Audi Sport has separated the profiles of the Audi drive select dynamic handling system – comfort, auto, dynamic and individual – even more sharply from each other and made them more precise. On the R8 V10 performance quattro the three additional programs dry, wet and snow form standard part of the Performance mode. They adapt the key dynamic parameters to the friction coefficient of the road. Thanks to the enhanced Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the Audi R8 V10 performance brakes from 100 km/h (62.1 mph) to a standstill up to 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) earlier; the stopping distance from 200 km/h (124.3 mph) is up to five meters (16.4 ft) shorter – in each case depending on the exterior conditions.

The new Audi R8 is equipped with factory-installed 19-inch wheels. 20-inch wheels in five-V dynamic design with new summer and sport tires, which convey even more precise handling, are available as an option. For the standard-fit steel discs Audi supplies red as opposed to black painted calipers as an option. The ceramic brakes generally come with a gray or red finish. The stabilizer at the front is optionally made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminum, which cuts weight by around two kilograms (4.4 lb).

Sharper and tauter: the design

The honed character of the new R8 models also becomes clear visually. The Singleframe radiator grille has an even wider, flatter line. Thick bars divide up the large air inlets, and flat slits in the hood are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro brand icon. The new front splitter is now wider, underscoring the sporty look. The air vent grille runs across the full width; the diffuser has been drawn upward, making the R8 seem even wider. In the engine compartment the air filter is situated under a new, three-part cover, which is available in a choice of plastic or carbon fiber.

R8 customers can choose from three exterior packages depending on the engine variant; these packages add various highlights to the front splitter, the side trims and the diffuser. Standard specification for the R8 V10 quattro with 419 kW (570 hp) is high-gloss black; the top-of-the- line version R8 V10 performance quattro with 456 kW (620 hp) comes off the production line with a matte titanium look. The high-gloss carbon package is available for both engine variants. As an option, the Audi rings and badges on the exterior are painted in high-gloss black; the new metallic colors Kemora gray and Ascari blue are recent additions to the paint range.

The new look also includes the Audi R8 interior with its driver focus. New options here include the colors pastel silver with rock gray contrasting stitching, palomino brown with steel gray stitching, and black with utopia blue stitching. The R8 performance design package with leather/Alcantara upholstery, highlights in Mercato blue and carbon-fiber trim is available for the top-of-the-line engine variants. The Audi exclusive range gives customers the opportunity to customize many details of their Audi R8 – inside and out.

New model designations

The sale will start in early 2019. During the first quarter of 2019, the new Audi R8 models will be available in dealerships in Germany and other European countries. Audi is introducing new model designations with the upgrade of the R8. The R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 will become the R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 quattro models; the Audi R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 plus are now called Audi R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 performance quattro – an analogy to the most powerful RS models from Audi Sport.

Exclusive handicraft: R8 sports car manufacture

The Audi R8 is produced under the management of Audi Sport GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of AUDI AG, at the “Audi Böllinger Höfen” site in Heilbronn – very close to the tradition-rich location of Neckarsulm. Up to 500 highly-qualified employees work here at the 30,000 m2 production site.

The R8 production is organized as a flexible factory – where Audi Sport GmbH is further expanding its competence with regards to small batch production. Self-driving assembly skids, known as driverless transport systems (DTS), are not only used to carry the finished, painted body, but also for assembly, and replace the classic conveyor technology system. The DTS transport system has autonomous navigation that uses environmental features and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as well as high-performance capacitors. During assembly, the employees perform a large proportion of the manual activities in 15 cycles.

Flexibility is extremely important at the “Audi Böllinger Höfen” site – alongside the series models, the employees also produce the R8 LMS GT4. This demands a permanent transfer of technology from the motorsport sector, as well as very strong qualifications due to the complexity of the work processes.

Before delivery, every new high-performance sports car must pass a demanding acceptance process. This is followed by a quality inspection on the factory’s own test track and a test drive on public roads. Only then is the new Audi released for delivery to the customer.

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