Review: Audi R8By Chris Walsh
September 13, 2012
A new version of the magnificent Audi R8 has gone on sale this month and Audi reckon the driving experience will come with even greater intensity as a brand new ‘S tronic’ twin-clutch sports transmission heads-up a raft of changes.
This totally new box replaces the ‘R-tronic’ option in the latest R8 range and is available as an alternative to the six-speed manual, which continues to be offered for all versions in the UK.
The improvements deliver blink-of-an-eye gearshifts and improved sprinting ability via the selector lever or the steering wheel paddles.
It offers a sports mode that adjusts the shift pattern to extract the very best from the V8 and V10 engines and a launch control function that manages engine speed and permits exactly the right degree of tyre slip for the quickest possible take-off when accelerating.
The ultra-rapid transmission is just one highlight of the 2013 R8, which also features new design detailing, all-LED lighting across the board and equipment upgrades for most models.
There is even a more powerful and focused version of the V10 Coupé –the 542bhp V10 plus.
The naturally aspirated eight and ten cylinder FSI petrol engines have not only reduced CO2 emissions (by up to 22 g/km), but have also improved acceleration times across the board. Both engines are compact, comparatively lightweight and feature motorsport-derived dry-sump lubrication, which allows for low positioning and a lower centre of gravity.
The 4.2-litre V8 produces 424bhp at 7,900rpm with torque peaking at 430Nm between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm. In its fastest form, this unit powers the R8 from rest to 62mph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 186mph. According to the combined cycle test the V8 Coupé with new S tronic transmission can return up to 22.8mpg.
The V10 engine however, provides 530Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm and peak power of 518bhp arrives at an impressive 8,000rpm. With the S tronic transmission, The V10 Coupé can accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 195mph.
Combined economy in the V10 Coupé with S tronic stands at 21.6mpg.
But, for those with a few extra quid in their pockets may want to consider the Audi R8 V10 plus.
Churning out 542bhp and a maximum torque of 540Nm at 6,500 rpm, this coupé-only version catapults from rest to 62mph in 3.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of a monstrous 197mph when linked to S tronic transmission.
Combined fuel economy is improved to 21.9mpg.
Equipment levels have also been boosted for the new R8, particularly where V8 Coupé and Spyder models are concerned.
As well as all-LED headlights and new design 19-inch alloy wheels, they gain the Audi Music Interface (iPod connection), satellite
Bluetooth mobile phone preparation and heating for their Fine Nappa Leather-upholstered sports seats.
Prices start at around £90,000 for the V8 manual Coupé andtop out at around £127,000 for the fabulous V10 S Tronic Coupé Plus.