The ultimate road-going R8?

The second-generation Audi R8 is about to receive its mid-cycle facelift. We’ve already seen prototypes on public roads, and it seems that the Germans have prepared big changes for the facelift. It also seems that Audi is working on a higher performance version of the R8, possibly a successor to the GT model.

Although it has yet to confirm such a model, a new R8 GT makes sense given the fact that the second-gen supercar has yet to spawn any special editions yet. The original GT was discontinued back in 2013, while the LMX was produced in 2014 only. It’s been four years since Audi offered anything above the R8 Plus, so it’s about time the German brand gave the supercar a performance bump. A beefed-up R8 could arrive in 2019, but until we find out more about that, let’s take a closer look at what upgrades it may get.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 GT.

Audi R8 GT Exterior

  • Wider, Sharper Front Grille
  • Same Headlamps
  • Bigger Fender Vents
  • Bigger Diffuser
  • Fixed Rear Wing
  • Oval Exhaust Tips
2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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Having already seen other spy shots with the facelifted R8, I can tell that this car is pretty much the same

Having already seen other spy shots with the facelifted R8, I can tell that this car is pretty much the same. The front fascia sports the same changes, including the Singleframe grille that is wider, but at the same time narrower, making the nose seem flatter and more aggressive. It also sports a honeycomb mesh and a revised splitter below.

The same goes for the side vents, which are no longer rectangular and separated from the headlamps. The latter, as well as the front hood, are carried over from the outgoing model, but the car here still looks very different from the R8 we all know.

There aren’t any new features to talk about as far as the side profile is concerned, except for the really thin vent under the door. This tiny gap could be some sort of aero feature, but it could also have a cooling function. One thing’s certain; it’s being used for the first time here.

2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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While the Spyder has a spoiler integrated into the decklid, this coupe comes with a fixed wing

The rear end boasts the same upgrades we’ve seen on the Spyder model, starting with a new grille that stretches the entire width of the car. The diffuser is also new, with the vertical fins set further apart from each other. We can also see the massive oval outlets that replaced the R8’s traditional rectangular pipes. However, while the Spyder has a spoiler integrated into the decklid, this coupe comes with a fixed wing. Granted, the outgoing coupe also has a wing, but this one seems to be a bit different, which suggests revised aerodynamics for a more powerful car.

Granted, there’s no way I can tell at this point, and this test car may actually be just a revised R8, but as I said in the introduction, it’s about time Audi made a successor to the GT or the LMX.

Audi R8 GT Interior

  • Alcantara and leather
  • Extra standard features
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • More carbon-fiber
  • Carbon-fiber seats
2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Interior
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The seats should become a bit more aggressive in this model and Audi could even introduce all-carbon units

Our paparazzi didn’t manage to snap shots of the interior, but it’s safe to assume that changes will be mild. The standard R8 will probably get a few new upholstery options and minor revisions to the trim, but other than that, the overall design will remain the same. Sure, the supercar will gain updates to the infotainment system and the instrument cluster, both of which will get transferred into the GT model.

Just like the regular R8, the GT will get Alcantara and leather upholstery as standard, as well as diamond-quilted stitching on the seats. However, customers who want a more race-like feel will be able to order an all-Alcantara cabin in black with contrast stitching here in there. The seats should also become a bit more aggressive in this model, and Audi could even introduce all-carbon units. Speaking of the lightweight material, expect to find chunks of it on the center stack, center console, and even on the door panels.

Audi R8 GT Drivetrain

  • Beefed-up V-10 engine
  • Up to 700 horsepower
  • 0 to 60 in less than three seconds
  • Dual-clutch automatic
  • 205 mph top speed
  • Quattro AWD
2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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The R8 GT should have at least 650 horsepower at its disposal

The R8 will get its juice from a 5.2-liter V-10, the only engine available in the supercar after Audi discontinued the V-8 unit. Shared with the Lamborghini Huracan, the V-10 produces 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque in the base R8 and 610 horses and 413 pound-feet in the Plus version. Needless to say, a GT badge will require more than that.

There’s no word as to how much extra oomph it will get, but the R8 GT should have at least 650 horsepower at its disposal. Some rumors claim that Audi may go as high as 700 horsepower, but that’s not really necessary since the car is expected to be around 200 pounds lighter than the standard R8.

2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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Just like the other R8 models, the GT will use a dual-clutch transmission and a Quattro AWD system

The extra oomph and the lower curb weight will enable the GT to become the quickest model of the current R8 range. The R8 Plus needs 3.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, so the GT could do it in three or even 2.9 seconds. This benchmark will make the R8 GT as quick as the race-spec LMS model. Top speed should be on par with the R8 Plus, which tops out at an impressive 205 mph.

Just like the other R8 models, the GT will use an S Tronic dual-clutch transmission and a Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The latter is able to divert up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels in normal driving conditions and split it between both axles on slippery surfaces.

Audi R8 GT Prices

2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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The R8 GT will be the most expensive supercar in the lineup. As of now, the V10 Plus tops the range with a $194,400 sticker, so expect the GT to fetch in excess of $200,000. There’s a big chance that the GT will also be offered in a limited-edition run, so don’t be shocked if Audi will ask more than $230,000 for one.

Audi R8 GT Competition

Porsche 911 Turbo

2017 Porsche 911 Turbo High Resolution Exterior
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The Audi R8 is usually compared to the Porsche 911 Turbo, even though the latter has a different layout and a smaller engine. While the 911 Turbo is less powerful than the R8, it’s quicker due to its lighter weight and better dynamics. The R8 GT will enable Audi to provide a competitor for the 911 Turbo S, which uses a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter flat-six rated at 580 horsepower. But even though the Porsche is significantly less powerful than the R8 GT, it’s quicker, needing only 2.8 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Besides being quicker, the 911 Turbo S is also more affordable, retailing from $190,700 before options.

Read our full story on the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo.

Ferrari 488 GTB

2016 Ferrari 488 GTB High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Granted, the 488 GTB is a superior supercar in just about every aspect, but it competes in a more expensive segment that the R8 GT aspires to reach. This works against Audi, as the 488 GTB not only benefits from a badge with superior heritage, but it also boasts a more appealing design, better fit and finish, and a more powerful drivetrain. The 488 GTB draws juice from a turbocharged V-8 engine that replaced the all-motor unit in the 458 Italia. The mill cranks out 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of twist, which is enough to push the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. More impressively, the GTB is one of the fastest Ferraris on the company’s Fiorano track, having lapped it quicker than both the 458 Italia and the mighty Enzo. Its top speed is similar to the R8 at 205 mph. The 488 GTB is pretty expensive though, coming in at around $350,000.

Read our full review of the 2018 Ferrari 488 GTB.

McLaren 720S

2018 McLaren 720S High Resolution Exterior
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Developed as a replacement for the 650S, the 720S is by far the most aggressive looking supercar in this comparison. Inspired by the P1, the 720S has an organic look that stands out among similar vehicles. Its interior is also heavily oriented toward track racing, featuring a no-nonsense driver’s compartment and a rotating instrument cluster that becomes narrow for track duty. It also has the performance to obliterate everything in its path, with the 4.0-liter V-8 tuned to deliver a whopping 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. The 720S is among the quickest sports cars on the market, needing only 2.8 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Its top speed is also superior to the competition, being rated at 212 mph. More good news comes from the pricing department, as the 720S is more affordable than the Ferrari 488 GTB at $284,745. Granted, it’s notably more expensive than the Audi R8 GT, but it’s also a better car in every way.

Read our full story on the McLaren 720S.

Conclusion

2019 Audi R8 GT Spyshots Exterior
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Ever since Audi discontinued the R8 e-Tron, there have been rumors that the nameplate wouldn’t live past this second generation. While it would be sad to see the R8 go, I can definitely understand such a decision. The German supercar competes in a really tough segment. Not only is it less powerful than most of the competition, but it’s significantly slower too. And, when it comes to V-10 cars, it’s obviously overshadowed by the Lamborghini Huracan. But if Audi decided to discontinue the R8, we definitely need to see a new GT or LMX model hit the market before the nameplate goes into the history books.

  • Leave it
    • * It might be just a facelifted R8
    • * Not confirmed for production

Further Reading

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.

2011 Audi R8 GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 374873

Read our full review on the 2011 Audi R8 GT.

2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus Exterior High Resolution
- image 720053

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus.

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