After the unveiling of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 at the 2018 Paris Motor Show earlier this month, production versions of the new R8 Coupe and Spyder are now starting down the assembly line at the Audi Sport factory, with first deliveries starting in early 2019.
The main update is the provision of more powerful V10 engines. Naturally aspirated, the engines are available to customers in two output ratings. The compact engine has a separate radiator which controls the temperature of the engine oil from a dry sump. This principle was adopted from motor racing and allows for an extremely low installation position of the engine, producing a low centre of gravity. The pump module operates with multiple suction stages and assures proper lubrication under all conditions – including during lateral acceleration of around 1.5g, which is possible in the R8.
Depending on the engine, the three additional programs (dry, wet and snow) are added to the Audi drive select modes with the performance mode. They adapt the key dynamic parameters to the friction coefficient of the road. The quattro all-wheel drive system is standard with every R8.
Thanks to the enhanced Electronic Stabilization Control system, the top variant brakes from 100 km/h to a standstill up to 1.5 metres earlier; from 200 km/h, it can be to 5 metres shorter but the distances would also depend on surface conditions. Ceramic brake discs are offered as an alternative to the standard steel discs.
Modifications to the suspension are said to provide even more stability and precision. The assistance has been retuned both with the optional dynamic steering and the electromechanical power steering. Steering response and the feedback from the road come across as even more precise across the entire range of speeds.
As standard, the R8 is equipped with 19-inch wheels but customers also have the option of ultralight 20-inch fully milled wheels in five-V dynamic design with new summer and sport tyres. The stabilizer at the front is optionally made from carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminium, which cuts weight by around 2 kgs.
There are also exterior cosmetic changes, with the Singleframe radiator grille gaining a wider, flatter line. Thick bars divide the large air inlets while flat slits in the bonnet are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro brand icon. The new front splitter is now wider, as is the striking low-set air vent grille at the rear. The grille rounds off the diffuser that extends quite some way up. In the engine compartment, the air filter is situated under a new, 3-part cover that is available in a choice of plastic or carbonfibre.
Customers can choose from 3 exterior packages (depending on the engine variant) and as an option, the Audi rings and badges on the exterior are painted in high-gloss black. For those who want more personalization, there’s also the Audi Exclusive range with many details that can be varied, inside and out.
“The R8 occupies a unique position for Audi in every respect,” said Michael-Julius Renz, MD of Audi Sport GmbH. “It’s now even more powerful and faster.” adds Oliver Hoffmann, Technical Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH: “Motorsport is part of our DNA. With around 50% shared parts with the R8 LMS GT3 and even 60% with the R8 LMS GT4, no other automobile is so close to motor racing as the R8.”