Audi’s high-performance supercar is entering 2019 with a new look, an updated suspension package, and a bit more power. Audi says the sportier look is derived from their R8 GT3 and GT4 classed race cars. The new updates will be available in Europe as a coupe or a Spyder in early 2019, available to order now. Two different power ratings will be available from different tunes of the same V10 engine, mirroring the current R8 and R8 V10+ model designations.
While Audi has not released information on what those power outputs might be for the two models, the current base R8 makes 532 horsepower, while the V10+ model produces 602, and it’s safe to assume both numbers will be pumped up a bit in order to keep pace with supercar horsepower arms race currently dominating this market. In preparation for more power, Audi has updated the V10's dry sump system to keep oil pumping above 1.5 lateral G.
The suspension and all-wheel drive systems have been updated with additional sensors and parameters to account for dry, wet, and snow modes. New steering modes have allegedly been tuned for response and feedback, which is something we tend to like. With new programming in the ESC, Audi now claims the top-of-the-line model will brake from 62 mph nearly 5 feet shorter, and 16.4 feet shorter from 124 mph.
Particular focus has been paid to the car’s weight, as Audi has removed some ounces from everywhere they can. The front sway bar, for example, is now crafted from carbon and aluminum, cutting the weight of that one piece by 4.4 pounds.
There are a selection of two new wheel designs, a standard 19 inch and a lightweight 20 inch option with a “five-V” design.
The new design is, well, not really all that different from the outgoing model. There are some new wheels, different fascia, and rocker covers. Somehow those minimal changes have equated to a much more angry and aggressive looking R8. Once Audi gets around to releasing the new horsepower figures, we’ll have a better idea of whether this car can continue to compete in the increasingly more competitive segment.
Back when the R8 was launched in 2006, it was essentially the only non-911 to fit the “everyday supercar” bill, but as other supercars have matured, it now needs to make even bigger steps—like this more aggressive visuals—to stand out. Have Audi done enough?