Audi has finally let us in on its big secret regarding the 2014 R8. Audi had to tread very carefully with the redesign of the R8, as to not disturb the water too much and scare away the easily spooked sports car lovers. Many auto manufacturers have made the mistake of fully revamping a lineup, only to have traditionalists hate it (see: Toyota MR2 Spyder , Mazda RX-8 , and Ford Mustang II ).
Audi’s approach in this changeover seems more like a refresh than a complete redesign, as all of the changes to the R8 V10 coupe are minor nips and tucks here and there. Then again, we all know that a nip here and a tuck there can eventually turn into on gigantic facelift nightmare, so we need to really pull apart this refreshed R8 and see what’s doing and whether it can still hang with the likes of Porsche or if it will go the route of the Ford Mustang Pinto and be forever loathed, except by a few enthusiasts.
Updated 08/30/2012: Audi has unveiled today a new set of images for the facelift version of the R8 V10 sports car. Check the picture gallery to see them!
Updates 9/27/2013: Audi has released a new video of the R8 V10 showing off its new seven-speed S tronic transmission. You can see it above.
Click past the jump to have a look at the new Audi R8 V10 and see if it still stacks up to the competition.
The outside of the 2014 Audi R8 V10 coupe received a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it refresh, which is about all it needed. There are just enough changes to segregate it from the 2012 model, but not enough to alienate its traditional buyers.
The front end now boasts a single-frame front grille with more pronounced horizontal crossbars, totaling five bars. The outside of the front fascia also boast a slight revision, as the bottom inner corner of the air vents have a slightly different angle and the crossbars now total three instead of the two found in 2012. Gone from the 2014 model R8 V10 are the funny wings on the outer parts of the front bumper, giving it a sleeker appearance.
The headlights on the V10 coupe are of the LED variety, which was a part of the 2012 V10 model. The biggest difference in the headlights are that the LED driving lights are now located in the center of the headlight assembly, splitting the high and low beams. On the 2012 model, the LED light ran across the bottom of the headlight assembly and looked a little awkward.
The rear window vent louvers on the R8 V10 coupe feature an aluminum look, as opposed to the matte black look on the base model and V10 Plus.
When you wrap around to the back end of the 2014 A8 V10 coupe, you’ll notice that the taillights also boast the LED treatment. A huge change from 2012 is that the turn signals are dynamic, meaning it moves from the innermost edge of the signal housing toward the outermost side, in the direction the driver is turning toward, which is a feature that gained notoriety in the latest generation Mustang.
One thing that the R8 is well-known for is being lightweight, and Audi didn’t change this, as the R8 V10 coupe weighs in at just shy of 3,500 lbs.
|Overall width with mirrors (in)||76.0|
|Track front (in)||64.5|
|Track rear (in)||62.8|
|Curb weight (lb)||3,737|
The outside of the R8 may be all party, but the interior is pure business, as the R8 V10 coupe boasts either Alcantara/leather combination or fine nappa seating, dependent on the options you choose. These seats are electronically controlled and comfortably stuffed.
Also wrapped in luxurious leather is the center console, hand brake lever, and the molding around the V10 coupe’s standard navigation system. With all of this cushy leather surrounding you, Audi felt it suitable to also surround you in “R8” badges – on the steering wheel, gear shifter, door sill seams, instrument cluster, and the welcome screen on the on-board monitor – so you don’t forget that you are driving a high-performance sports car.
In addition to the standard navigation system, the R8 V10 coupe also features a Bang & Olufsen stereo system as a standard feature. There is no mention as to how many speakers this stereo system includes, but we would assume at least 10 speakers.
|Head room (in, front)||37.7|
|Leg room (in, front)||41.0|
|Shoulder room (in, front)||54.8|
Engine and Transmission
The R8 V10 coupe is far away from being just a stylish on the outside and luxurious on the inside, as it also has a good bit of punch just behind the seats. This mid-mounted V-10 engine displaces 5.2-liters and pumps out a pavement-punishing 525 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 390 pound-feet of twist at 6,500 rpm. We would like to see a little more twist from this V-10 engine, but we can’t complain.
The 2014 R8 V10 comes standard with Audi’s six-speed manual transmission, but you can opt for a seven-speed S troni, if you prefer not to row your own gears. This dual-clutch transmission connects to Audi’s signature Quattro AWD system, which constantly sends 15 percent of the engine’s power to the front wheels until the rear wheels start slipping. Once the rear wheels slip, an extra 15 percent more power goes to the front wheels. When combined with the R8’s launch control feature, this coupe is a true screamer.
The 2014 R8 V10 can hit 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, when fitted with the S tronic trans. When you opt for the six-speed manual, the R8 V10 hits 60 in 3.8 seconds. The top speed on the six-speed-equipped and S tronic-equipped R8s is 196 mph and 195 mph, respectively. With the S tronic, the R8 V10 gets a combined 17.96 mpg.
|Displacement (cc)/Bore and stroke (mm)||5204/84.5 x 92.8|
|Horsepower (@ rpm)||525 @ 8,000|
|Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)||391 @ 6,500|
|Engine block||Aluminum alloy incorporating silicon crystals|
|Cylinder head||Aluminum Alloy|
|Valvetrain||Continuous intake & exhaust camshaft adjustment, DOHC chain driven|
|Acceleration (0-60 mph)||3.8 sec.|
|Top track speed||196 mph|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual transmission with Audi quattro® all-wheel drive|
|EPA Mileage (City/Highway/Combined)||12 mpg/19 mpg/14 mpg|
|Fuel Capacity (gal)||23.8|
Handling and Braking
Forged aluminum double wishbones make up the front and rear independent suspension, while a set of standard magnetic ride adaptive shocks help you choose between normal and sports driving. Normal gives you a little more comfort and Sports likely eliminates all comfort, but it will handle like it’s on rails.
At the front corners are a set of 8.5J x 19 wheels wrapped in 235/35R19 tires and on the rear corners, you have a set of 11J x 19 wheels hugged tightly by a set of 295/30R19 rubber. Sure the tires are expensive, but that’s a lot of rubber grabbing onto the asphalt.
Bringing the R8 V10 to a halt are 4-wheel disc brakes that boast wave-style rotors, which are not cut in the traditional circle pattern. This helps them dissipate some heat. Also helping cool the rotors off are the internal ventilation chambers on the rotors. The rotors also boast a aluminum hub to further cool the rotors.
Suspension and Braking Specifications:
|Front Suspension||Aluminum double wishbone|
|Rear Suspension||Aluminum double wishbone|
|Front Rotors (in)||14.4 (ventilated)|
|Rear (in)||14.0 (ventilated)|
Pricing and Release Date
The Audi R8 V10 holds an MSRP of $151,200 for the manual version and $160,300 for the S tronic version. It hit the market on April 11th, 2013.
The best suited competitor to the 2014 Audi R8 V10 is the smaller-displacement 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo S Convertible. Both models boast a mid-engine setup and both are well in excess of $150K. The Porsche boasts a 3.8-liter turbocharged flat-6 that pumps out an astonishing 550 horsepower and around 515 pound-feet of torque, beating the Audi by 25 horsepower and more torque than we’d care to mention.
The Porsche is also a lot quicker than the Audi, clocking in at 60 mph in about 3 seconds, leaving the Audi 0.4 to 0.8 seconds behind. Both models boast high-level interiors, but the Audi is simply a cooler and rarer car than the 911 Carrera, but is that enough to shell out an extra roughly $15,000 for it?
For our buck, we’ll take the Porsche 911 Carrera Turbo S, though it pains us greatly to say it. Yes, the Porsche is a typical cookie-cutter Porsche, but it’s just too bad-ass and fast to say otherwise. Yeah, the R8 looks a little more unique and likely makes a cooler noise, you just cannot pass up raw power when talking about sports cars. Sure, it is a close bet and if you don’t mind less power for $15K more, have at it, as the R8 V10 is an awesome car. We just prefer the raw face ripping and pavement pounding that the 911 Carrera Turbo gives us.
- 525 horsepower V-10 is a thing of beauty
- Dual-clutch transmission
- Adjustable suspension
- Way too expensive
- Top-of-the-line Carrera turbo S is less money
- Did we mention that it’s way too expensive?
Gallery Audi R8 V10
Still more acuity for the super sports car
- Presenting the R8 family from Audi, overhauled in numerous details
- The new top model R8 V10 plus, with the new 7-speed S tronic for all variants
- LED headlights and indicator lights with dynamic display are standard
Audi has made its R8 high-performance sports car even more attractive and dynamic. The R8 V10 plus is a new top model in the model series, with a totally new 7-speed S tronic. The LED headlights and the new rear indicator lights with dynamicized display are standard equipment on all variants.
4.44 meters (14.44 ft) long, 1.90 meters (6.23 ft) wide and only 1.25 (4.10 ft) meters high (Spyder: 1.24 meters (4.07 ft)) – the broad Audi R8, developed and built by quattro GmbH, stands firmly on the road, ready to pounce. New details lend its design even more acuity. The single-frame grille with the beveled upper corners is painted high-gloss black, with horizontal chrome inserts adorning the struts on the V10 variants. The bumper is also new, with the air inlets bearing three crossbars each. As an option, Audi installs a front splitter made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The splitter is standard on the new R8 V10 plus.
LED headlights with a new technology are now standard on all variants of the Audi R8. The light-emitting diodes for the high and low beams have been placed above and below the strip-shaped daytime running lights, which are specially actuated to serve as indicators. In addition, static turning lights are integrated in the headlights.
The housings of the outside mirrors and the side blades, the lateral air inlets on the Coupé, are made from CFRP on the new R8 V10 plus top model. In the 10-cylinder variants the blades extend outwards farther than on the V8 and have special edging; small marks of distinction also occur at the sills. The vent louvers next to the rear window have an aluminum look on the R8 V10 Coupé (matt black on the R8 V8 Coupé and R8 V10 plus). As an option, LEDs illuminate the engine compartment; in the R8 V10 plus this illumination as well as a partial CFRP lining for the engine compartment are standard.
The LED lights dominate the rear of the Audi R8. One innovation from Audi is the indicator light with dynamic display at the bottom edge of the lamp – its light always proceeds towards the outside, in the direction the driver wishes to turn. Above the high-gloss black area between the vent openings sits the new badge – the letter "R" resting partly on a red diamond, the Audi Sport signature. The large diffusor, optionally CFRP (standard on the R8 V10 plus), has been pulled far upwards. In all engine versions the exhaust system terminates in two round, glossy tailpipe trim sections, painted black on the R8 V10 plus.
Audi offers the R8 in the two solid colors Ibis White and Brilliant Red, in four metallic shades and with five pearl effect / crystal effect coatings. For the R8 V10 plus a matt effect color is available as an exclusive feature. The side blades on the Coupé come in eight colors, while the soft top of the R8 Spyder comes in black, red or brown.
The R8 embodies Audi’s full expertise in ultra-lightweight design. The aluminum body with the Audi Space Frame (ASF) weighs only 210 kilograms (462.97 lb) on the Coupé, and 216 kilograms (476.20 lb) on the Spyder. The unladen R8 V8 Coupé with manual transmission registers just 1,560 kilograms (3439.21 lb) on the scales, while the open-top sports car weighs 1,660 kilograms (3659.67 lb). The R8 V10 plus, available only as a coupé, brings the needle to 1,570 kilograms (3461.26 lb). Adjustable bucket seats with glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP) chassis, less use of insulating materials, special light alloy wheels and chassis components, including the standard ceramic brakes, as well the CFRP add-on parts at the body all contribute to lowering the weight.
On the Audi R8 Spyder the lid on the soft top compartment and the side parts are also CFRP. The elegant, lightweight fabric top, with its largely aluminum and magnesium linkage, is the crowning touch to the ultra-lightweight design. The top opens and closes electrohydraulically in 19 seconds, and during driving at up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph). The heated window pane in the bulkhead between the passenger and engine compartments stands apart from the soft top; the window can be retracted and extended by a switch and also serves as a wind deflector. In case of a pending rollover, two strong, spring-tensioned sections shoot upwards from the seats.
As in car racing, the aerodynamics of the Audi R8 has been optimized for propulsion. The underfloor contains five NACA nozzles, along with two diffusors in the front section, which increase the propulsion at the front axle. The drag coefficient is 0.35 or 0.36 depending on the engine version and body shape; the frontal area measures 1.99 m2 (21.42 ft2).
The engines are assembled by hand. The V8 with 4,163 cc displacement and the V10 with its 5,204 cc displacement are captivating, naturally aspirated heavy-duty engines packed with power. The interplay with the new 7-speed S tronic has reduced CO2 emissions by up to 22 grams/km (35.41 g/mile) and decreased the sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) by three-tenths of a second. Both engines are compact and comparatively lightweight. The crankcase is an aluminum-silicon alloy; the bed plate structure provides high rigidity. The dry-sump lubrication allows low positioning of the engines; the pressure recirculation pump operates load-dependently, for increased efficiency.
The FSI direct fuel injection system allows a high compression of 12.5 : 1. Four adjustable camshafts control the valves. At low load and engine speed, flaps in the intake ducts bring about a precise, cylindrical rotation of the incoming air. The exhaust system is designed for low back pressure. The two tailpipes contain flaps; they open during sharp acceleration to produce a fuller sound.
The 4.2 FSI engine produces 316 kW (430 hp) at 7,900 rpm, with a torque of 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm. The unit accelerates the R8 Coupé with S tronic from rest to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.3 seconds and to a top speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph) (with manual transmission: 4.6 seconds and 302 km/h (187.65 mph)). For the R8 V8 Spyder the corresponding values are 4.5 and 4.8 seconds, respectively, and also 300 km/h (186.41 mph). On average the R8 V8 quattro as a coupé with S tronic consumes 12.4 liters of fuel per 100 km (18.97 US mpg).
The V10 engine provides a torque of 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm, with 386 kW (525 hp) at 8,000 rpm. Its crankshaft is a common-pin design, yielding alternating ignition intervals of 54 and 90 degrees. This design combines maximum rigidity and low weight, while at the same time generating the unique car racing-like sound of the V10.
The Audi R8 V10 Coupé with S tronic accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 314 km/h (195.11 mph). With manual transmission the values are 3.9 seconds and 316 km/h (196.35 mph). The R8 V10 Spyder with S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 311 km/h (193.25 mph) (with manual transmission: 4.1 seconds and 313 km/h (194.49 mph)). The average consumption rate of the R8 V10 Coupé with S tronic lies at 13.1 liters of fuel per 100 km (17.96 US mpg).
The new top model of the model series is the Audi R8 V10 plus. Developing 404 kW (550 hp), its maximum torque is 540 Nm (398.28 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. With S tronic, the R8 V10 plus, available only as a coupé, catapults from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of 317 km/h (196.97 mph); the average fuel consumption rate is 12.9 liters per 100 km (18.23 US mpg). The key data with manual transmission are 3.8 seconds, 319 km/h (198.22 mph) and 14.9 liters (15.79 US mpg).
Two power transmission systems are available for the overhauled Audi R8. The manual 6-speed transmission, with its lever leading into an open stainless steel gate, is standard on the V8 and optional on the V10. The new 7-speed S tronic – optional on the V8 and standard on the V10 – spaces the gears closely in a sporty mode; the final drive position has a wide gear ratio. 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 starting at an increased initial engine speed and with optimal tire slip.
The new 7-speed S tronic, with a three-shaft layout, is less than 60 centimeters (23.62 inches) in length. Two multi-plate clutches lying behind one another (a new feature), serve two mutually independent sub-transmissions; gears are shifted directly as the clutches alternately open and close. Gearshifting occurs practically without interruption of tractive power within hundredths of a second, and so dynamically, smoothly and comfortably as to be hardly noticeable.
From the 7-speed S tronic the propeller shaft runs through the crankcase of the engine to the front axle, where a viscous coupling distributes the torque. In normal operation the coupling directs about 15 per cent of the torque to the front axle; when the rear wheels start to spin, a maximum additional 15 per cent flows to the front. A mechanical locking differential operates at the rear axle. The rear-load distribution of the forces ideally harmonizes with the mid-engined concept of the Audi R8. The axle-load distribution is 43 : 57 (front : rear), with small differences between the individual variants.
The chassis of the high-performance sports car employs technologies from car racing. Double wishbones forged from aluminum guide all four wheels. On the R8 V10 plus the springs and shock absorbers have been specially tuned and the camber values at the front axle adapted accordingly. The Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping is standard on the R8 V10 and optional for the V8 variants; it offers a normal mode and a sports mode. The power steering delivers finely differentiated, super-sensitive feedback, with sporty, direct gear ratios.
The overhauled R8 rolls along on large wheels. The V8 engine versions have the standard wheel dimensions of 8.5 J x 18 at the front and 10.5 J x 18 at the rear, with tire sizes 235/40 and 285/35. On the V10 versions Audi mounts 19-inch wheels of widths 8.5 and 11 inches; the tires come in the sizes 235/35 and 295/30 respectively. The optional wheels have especially attractive designs – polished to a high gloss, with a titanium look or (on the R8 V10 plus) in black gloss.
The steel brake disks of the high-performance sports car are internally ventilated, perforated and joined to the aluminum disk bowls by pins. The new "Wave" design of the disks – the wavy exterior contour – lowers the weight overall by about two kilograms (4.41 lb) compared with round disks of the same dimensions. The aluminum brake calipers operate at the front wheels with eight pistons each, and at the rear wheels with four pistons each. In combination with the 19-inch wheels, Audi can provide optional carbon fiber ceramic brake disks (standard on the R8 V10 plus). The electronic stabilization control system ESC offers a sports mode and can also be fully deactivated.
The Audi R8 is a sports car with excellent practical skills. The front luggage compartment has a capacity of 100 liters (3.53 cubic ft); the Coupé accommodates an additional 90 liters (3.18 cubic ft) behind the seats. The long wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.69 cubic ft) affords generous space. The interior conveys a car racing atmosphere on the luxury level; its dominant feature is the monoposto – the long arc curve running around the cockpit in the area of the driver. The flattened rim of the optional, more contoured R8 leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel bears the new R8 badge, which also appears at the gearshift or selector lever, at the door sill trims, in the instrument cluster and on the start screen of the on-board monitor.
The electrically adjustable sports seats are optional on the V8 engine versions and standard on the V10 variants. Depending on the model variant, the seat upholstery is an Alcantara/leather combination or Fine Nappa; on the R8 Spyder a special pigmentation reduces heating from direct sunlight. Audi also offers optional bucket seats with prominent side sections for better lateral support (standard on the R8 V10 plus).
Numerous control and trim elements shine with subdued chrome strips or with black paint; the needles in the instrument cluster and the shift paddles have been slightly modified. The center console and the handbrake lever are covered with leather, adorned by delicate seams; in the V10 models the molding around the standard navigation system plus is also leather-covered.
With the diamond-stitched, Fine Nappa full-leather equipment level, the seats and the door trim feature quilted upholstery; for the R8 Coupé a quilted Alcantara headlining is also available. More individualistic customers can choose between leather items in different colors, inlays in Carbon Sigma (standard on the R8 V10 plus) and piano finish black. A wide range of design, styling and leather packages from the Audi exclusive customization line is also available.
The R8 V10 and the R8 V10 plus come with the navigation system plus and the Bang & Olufsen Sound System as standard on-board features. Other options for all R8 variants include a high-beam assistant, a stowage package, various travel case sets, a cell phone preparation, with belt microphone and voice control, and the parking system plus with reversing camera.
The overhauled Audi R8 will roll off the line to European customers at the end of the year.
The base price is EUR 113,500 for the V8 Coupé, and EUR 124,800 for the Spyder. The V10 variants are listed at EUR 154,600 and EUR 165,900 respectively, while the R8 V10 plus costs EUR 173,200.