Audi has dropped the official details on its updated R8 family, and, much to everyone’s surprise, the company has added a new top model to the line-up: a 550 HP R8 V10 Plus. This new model has received a 25 HP increase over the standard V10 version which develops 525 HP. The new R8 Plus will go on sale at the end of 2012 at a starting price of 173,200 euro, about $210,000 at the current exchange rates.
Compared to the rest of the R8 line-up, the new Plus version will be distinguished by carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) additions in just about every angle of the sports car, including the front splitter, lateral air inlets, the huge rear diffuser, the lining in the engine compartment. The intense use of carbon fiber has helped drop the car’s total weight to an impressive 3461.26 lbs.
In addition to these features, the vent louvers next to the rear window have been painted in matte black, while the dual round exhaust tailpipe trim sections have been finished in gloss black. The new R8 V10 Plus also features LED lights that illuminate the engine compartment.
Updated 02/06/2013: Today Audi has unveiled a new promo video for its latest addition to the lineup: the R8 V10 Plus. Equipped with a new 7-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox, this car delivers incredible performance figures!
UPDATE 03/02/13: Yet another new promo from Audi involving the R8 V10 Plus. Don’t worry, it’s a pretty cool video that prominently discusses the power of supercar’s new mid-engined lay-out. Check it out!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Audi R8 V10 Plus.
Exterior and Interior
As with the previous Plus model in Audi’s lineup - the TT-RS Plus - the new R8 V10 Plus is just about being more powerful, but being lighter as well. To achieve this goal, Audi used adjustable bucket seats with a glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) chassis, and less use of insulating materials, special light alloy wheels, and chassis components, including the standard ceramic brakes.
These additions join the many carbon fiber elements of the new R8 Plus. These carbon fiber reinforced plastic components include the front splitter, lateral air inlets, and the huge rear diffuser.
Aside from the lightweight elements, the exterior has been tweaked aesthetically to include matte black vent louvers next to the rear window and dual gloss black round exhaust tailpipe trim sections.
Under the hood of the new R8 V10 Plus, Audi has placed the same 5.2L engine as in the standard R8 V10, but for the Plus version, the V10 delivers a total of 550 HP and a peak torque of 398.28 lb-ft at 6,500 rpm. With the S tronic, the R8 V10 Plus will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and up to a top speed of 196.97 mph, while the average fuel consumption rate is 18.23 US mpg. When equipped with the manual gearbox, the new Plus version will go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, up to a top speed of 198.22 mph and delivers 15.79 US mpg.
Like with all the new R8 models, the new Plus version gets a new 7-speed S tronic which spaces the gears closely in a sporty mode. The dual clutch transmission can be shifted at the selector lever or at the steering wheel paddles; a sports mode is alternatively available. At the press of a button, the launch control manages to start at an increased initial engine speed and with optimal tire slip.
The new Audi R8 Plus will only be available as a coupe. It will go on sale at a price of $170,545 for the manual version and $179,645 for the S tronic version.
With its 550 HP, the new Audi R8 Plus will be placed right next to the upcoming Porsche 911 Turbo - also rumored to deliver about 550 HP, except Porsche’s model is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine and a 12% fuel consumption improvement.
Even more power
Looks pretty amazing
Much more expensive
Will only be produced as a coupe