IT TICKED all the right boxes in terms of outright performance, but did away with the endless niggles that normally haunt owners of such expensive fare. As a result, 255 units have found loving homes since it first became available on the local market.
The boffins at Ingolstadt claim the new R8 is now even more dynamic and powerful than before. The South African line-up comprises three different engine variants; the R8 V8 and R8 V10, both in Coupé and Spyder guises, as well as the new R8 V10 plus, available only as a Coupé.
As the R8 was a stunning design in the first place, not much was needed to keep it looking beautiful. The single-frame grille with the bevelled upper corners is painted high-gloss black, with horizontal chrome inserts decorating the struts on the V10 variants. The bumper is also new, with the air inlets bearing three crossbars each.
The newly structured LED headlights (standard on all models) and the large, round tailpipe trims are the most apparent changes. All models’ rear lights also include something called “dynamic turn signals,” which means the indicator light runs from the left side of the unit to the right. It’s not really a significant change, but it should provide endless amusement to anyone stuck behind you in traffic.
The updated R8 Spyder gets the same upgrades as the Coupé. The top opens and closes in 19 seconds and can be operated while driving up to 50km/h.
Audi claims the interior conveys a racing-car atmosphere thanks to a feature called “monoposto,” which is the long arc curve running around the cockpit in the area of the driver. The steering wheel, gear lever, door sills and instrument cluster all bear the new R8 badge.
All models are equipped with MMI navigation plus, Bluetooth, Audi Music interface and park distance control. The V10 models also feature a high-end Bang & Olufsen sound system.
The eight-cylinder powering both the Coupé and Spyder produces 316kW and 430Nm of torque. Mated to the newly developed seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission, it accelerates to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds (4.5 for the Spyder) and on to a top speed of 300km/h. The V10 Coupé (386kW/530Nm) completes the 100km/h sprint in 3.6 seconds (0.2 seconds longer with the roof down) and only runs out of steam at 314km/h. The top-of-the-range V10 Coupé plus is blessed with 404kW and 540Nm of torque. This means a zero to 100km/h time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 317km/h.
Power is still delivered to the road via the quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system with a heavy rear-axle bias.
The Audi R8 pricing includes a 5-year/100 000km Audi Freeway plan, with all servicing and maintenance included in the price. The R8 is only available through selected dealerships in the Gauteng region.
|Audi R8 Coupé V8||R1 529 000|
|Audi R8 Spyder V8||R1 685 500|
|Audi R8 Coupé V10||R2 037 500|
|Audi R8 Spyder V10||R2 194 000|
|Audi R8 Coupé V10 plus||R2 319 000|