For the 2019 model year, Audi have revealed a series of improvements to their flagship sports offering, the R8 supercar. These have arrived in the form some rather interesting exterior tweaks, an updated powertrain, and some sharpened suspension tune.
The most pronounced change here is visual and they start at the nose of the car, which has been redesigned to incorporate more dramatic elements such as a 3D effect sills set at the crown of its Singleframe grille, which is now wider and flatter.
The same applies to the front splitter, extending slightly further out than before, to match the low-set air vent at the rear. There are a number of other minor changes but crucially, they amount to a more cohesive and appealing look to the 2nd-gen R8. As before, customers are given plenty of latitude for customisability, able to choose from three exterior package as well as various colour and material options for the accents like the peripheral aerodynamics and side blades. Shown here are two new additions to the paint palette, with the coupe showcasing Ascari Blue and the Spyder finished in Kemora Gray.
Under the glass engine cover, the 5.2-litre FSI atmospheric V10 engine now produces more power relative to its respective variant from 2018. As before, outputs are split between the base V10 and V10 Performance, replacing the V10 Plus.
Via a new ECU and an improved intake system, the entry-level V10 now develops 419kW from 397kW previously. Torque, meanwhile, sees a raise of 14Nm to 550Nm. In the V10 Performance, thanks to lighter titanium internals, takes matters to 455kW and 565Nm.
This translates to improved 0-100km/h sprint times which, aided by the quattro all-wheel drive system and dual-clutch transmission, has been shaved to 3.1 seconds to 100km/h in the V10 Performance. The new ‘standard’ R8 will do the same in 3.4 seconds, a gap that should be imperceptible without timing equipment.
The second generation Audi R8 has only been around for some 3 to 4 years, and while some lament the more angular approach to its exterior design and the culling of the 4.2-litre V8 variant, the Ingolstadt mid-engine contender is in a league of its own - shared, awkwardly, with its sister car, the Lamborghini Huracan.
Audi is still mum about the possibility of replacing the R8 beyond the life of this 2nd-generation model, making each year-on-year update just a little bittersweet. However, beyond 2020, should Ingolstadt have nothing coming down the pipe, Lamborghini can’t as easily build their Huracan successor - handily their most popular model to date. Should the bulk of the work be transferred to Sant’Agata, who is to say that Audi engineers might not want to improve upon the work of the Italians.