The New Audi R8: Update To The High-Performance Sports Car

No other Audi is closer to motor racing: The Audi R8 is the dynamic spearhead and the fastest volume-production model of the Audi Sport brand. The revised version of the high-performance sports car as a Coupé and Spyder hosts an even sharper design. VIP customer deliveries of the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro have officially begun in South Africa as part of a pre-launch strategy ahead of the performance sports car’s official retail launch from 1 April 2021.

Engine compartment

Power and torque: the engine

Instant response, lightning-fast high-revving and a unique sound – the V10 naturally aspirated engine is the heart of the Audi R8. The 5.2 FSI in the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro continues to offer 449 kW, with a peak torque of 560 Nm. The Coupé sprints to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, and the Spyder takes 3.3 seconds. The propulsive power ends at 3310/329 km/h. The V10 naturally aspirated engines with 5.2 litres of displacement come standard with the R8 sports exhaust system. The transmission is a 7-speed S tronic gearbox.


Razor sharp precision: the driving experience

The performance sports suspension continues to deliver effortless precision and response. The assistance is in turn delivered with both the optional dynamic steering and the standard electromechanical power steering. The steering response is direct and precise throughout the entire speed range. This ensures optimum steering sensitivity with continuously good road contact in every driving situation. Dynamic steering uses a superposition gear to change the gear ratio between 10.5:1 and 15.8:1 depending on the driving speed; the steering is very direct during maneuvering, while it is calm and smooth on the highway. In Performance mode, the driving characteristic is on a considerably more direct level in comparison to the Comfort or Auto modes. To ensure particularly precise handling in the threshold range, the gear ratio is constant (i = 14:1) in Performance mode as from approximately 140 km/h.

In addition to the well-known Audi drive select modes, the three additional programs dry, wet and snow form part of the Performance mode on the R8 V10 performance quattro. 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 to a standstill up to 1.5 metres earlier; the stopping distance from 200 km/his up to five metre shorter – in each case depending on the exterior conditions. The facelifted Audi R8 is equipped with factory-installed 20-inch Audi Sport wheels V-spoke Evo design wheels in two colour options – titanium (standard)or matte bronze. An alternative 20-inch 5-double spoke dynamic style alloy wheel in anthracite black is also available. Ceramic brakes as well as red calipers are a standard feature. The stabilizer at the front axle is optionally made from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminium, which cuts weight at the front axle by around two kilograms.

Static photo, Colour: Kemora gray metallic

Sharper and tauter: the design

The honed character of the new R8 models also becomes clear visually. The Singleframe radiator grille is even wider and flatter. In combination with the dimmed headlights and adjoining design elements, the R8 looks even sharper. Winglets at the side divide the large air inlets and the flat slits above the Singleframe radiator grille are reminiscent of the Audi Sport quattro. The new front splitter is now wider, underscoring the sporty look. The air inlet grille spans the entire width of the rear end. The diffuser is even more dominant and frames the new oval exhaust tailpipes. The air filter is situated in the engine compartment under a new three-part cover. It is available in a choice of plastic or carbon fibre.

Audi R8 customers can enjoy the standard high-gloss black styling package as a sporty exterior look to their sports car. The front splitter, the sill trims and diffuser are all finished off in black accents, with an option to upgrade the exterior look to the gloss carbon RS exterior parts which creates an aggressively sportier look. The Audi rings and badges on the exterior are painted in high-gloss black and are complemented by the standard carbon exterior mirror housings and sideblade. The new metallic colours of Kemora grey and Ascari blue are recent additions to the updated paint range. The Audi exclusive program allows customers to have any paint colours blended according to their wishes. There are three variants and the customized paint finish to choose from for the sideblades (carbon, Kendo grey or Mythos black), and there are three colours for the fabric top of the Spyder (black, red or brown). LED headlamps and rear lights with dynamic turn signals and high-beam control are standard with an option to upgrade to the Audi laser light at an extra cost.

The new look extends to the interior of the Audi R8 with its driver focus orientation. New options here include the R8 sports seat with fine Nappa leather and diamond stitching as standard. Customers are able to select between the upholstery colours of red, white or black.

Static photo, Colour: Ascari Blue metallic

The operating concept, the Audi virtual cockpit and the MMI

The driver sits in the new Audi R8 like in a race car. The entire operating concept focuses on the driver alone, who can operate all key functions without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. The R8 performance multifunction steering wheel plus integrates three satellite buttons in addition to its push-buttons for the MMI. One is used to start and stop the engine, the second is used to select the basic modes of Audi drive select and the third for the performance programs.

In the operating concept of the new Audi R8, two standard-fit high-tech modules are merged into one unit: The information from the MMI navigation plus is shown in the revised Audi virtual cockpit. It has a 12.3-inch display and the driver can use the “View” button on the steering wheel to switch between views. The performance screen is dominated by a large tachometer. Different gages can be positioned around it, for example for output, torque, G-forces, lap times, engine and transmission oil temperatures, tyre pressure and temperature. The MMI operating system is characterized by a flat menu structure that is easy to understand. The MMI search operates with free text input and the voice control system understands many phrases used in everyday language. It is operated via the MMI terminal, using the rotary push-button on the console of the centre tunnel. The MMI touch, which is positioned on its surface, is used for inputting characters, scrolling, and zooming. The driver can also control almost all functions via the steering wheel. The Audi phone box and Smartphone Interface are additional standard features which enhance the interior comfort and technology to the new Audi R8 cabin experience.

Other key standard equipment includes: rear view camera, electric and folding exterior mirrors, comfort key, parking aid plus, R8 sport seats, seat heaters, tyre mobility kit with a tyre pressure monitoring system (to name a few).

Static photo, Colour: Kemora gray metallic

Local pricing and availability

The new Audi R8 will officially go on sale in South Africa from 1 April 2021. Pre-deliveries to select customers who had pre-ordered the vehicle will be rewarded for their brand affinity as part of Audi’s South Africa’s pre-launch strategy. Audi is also introducing a new model designation with the upgrade of the R8. The Audi R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 plus is now called Audi R8 Coupé/Spyder V10 performance quattro – an analogy to the most powerful RS models from Audi Sport.

The updated Audi R8 range is priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and comes standard with a five year Audi Freeway Plan:

Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro        R3,336,000

Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance quattro       R3,592,500