Audi R8 raises the bar

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n New look R8 V8 and V10 Coupé and Spyder models adopt S tronic twin-clutch transmission as part of comprehensive programme of 2013 Model Year revisions;

n Latest range headed by new lighter, quicker and even more focused 550PS V10 plus Coupé version;

n All-LED headlights and rear indicators with innovative sweeping function standard across the range – equipment upgrades for most models;

n OTR prices from £91,575 to £127,575 – ordering possible from next month, first deliveries in early 2013.

The adrenaline-fuelling Audi R8 driving experience is about to be charged with even greater intensity by a new S tronic twin-clutch sports transmission delivering blink-of-an-eye gear shifts and improved sprinting ability.

The ultra-rapid transmission is just one highlight of the 2013 Model Year R8 range, which also now features new design detailing and all-LED lighting across the board, equipment upgrades for most models and a new, even more powerful and focused version of the V10 Coupé – the 550PS V10 plus.

The totally new seven-speed S tronic transmission replaces the R tronic automated manual option in the latest R8 range, and is available as an alternative to the acclaimed six-speed manual gearbox with its open stainless steel gate, which continues to be offered for all versions in the UK.

With a three-shaft layout, the S tronic transmission is less than 60 centimetres in length.

Its two multi-plate clutches are positioned behind one another (a new feature), and serve two mutually independent sub-transmissions; gears are shifted directly as the clutches alternately open and close.

As a result gear shifts take place within hundredths of a second and with virtually no interruption to tractive power.

The twin-clutch S tronic transmission can make its rapid fire shifts via the selector lever or the steering wheel paddles.

It offers a sports mode that adjusts the shift pattern to extract the very best from the V8 and V10 engines, and a launch control function that manages engine speed and permits exactly the right degree of tyre slip for the quickest possible take-off when accelerating.

With the benefit of S tronic the hand built, naturally aspirated eight and ten cylinder FSI petrol engines are given even more opportunity to show their mettle.

The integration of the new 7-speed S tronic transmission has not only reduced CO2 emissions by up to 22 grams/km, but in V8 and V10 Coupé and V10 Spyder versions it has also improved the acceleration time from rest to 62mph by three-tenths of a second compared with R tronic-equipped equivalents.

Both engines are compact, comparatively lightweight and feature motorsport-derived dry-sump lubrication which allows for low positioning and therefore a lower centre of gravity for optimum handling. The 4.2-litre V8 FSI engine produces 430PS at 7,900 rpm, and peak torque of 430 Nm between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm.

The unit powers the R8 Coupé with S tronic transmission from rest to 62mph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 186mph (with manual transmission: 4.6 seconds and 187mph).

The R8 V8 Spyder in manual and S tronic forms takes care of the sprint in 4.5 and 4.8 seconds respectively, and in both cases can reach a top speed of 186mph.

According to the combined cycle test the V8 Coupé with new S tronic transmission can return up to 22.8mpg.

The V10 engine provides 530 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, and peak power of 525PS available at 8,000 rpm. With S tronic transmission the V10 Coupé can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 195mph.

With manual transmission the values are 3.9 seconds and 196mph.

The R8 V10 Spyder with S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 193mph (with manual transmission: 4.1 seconds and 194mph). Combined economy in the V10 Coupé with S tronic stands at 21.6mpg.

In the UK, V8 versions of the 2013 Model Year R8 will feature 19-inch five-arm double-spoke wheels with 235/35 tyres at the front and 295/30 tyres at the rear.

‘Standard’ V10 models will be equipped with 19-inch ten-spoke Y design wheels with tyres of the same specification.

The R8 V10 plus will differentiate itself further through an exclusive 19-inch five-arm double-spoke wheel design. Optional wheels with a high gloss or titanium look will also be available, with an exclusive black gloss finish offered for the V10 plus.

All-LED headlights are now standard on all variants of the Audi R8, and are complemented by new strip-shaped daytime running lights that form a ‘clasp’ around the lens.

The light-emitting diodes for the high and low beam headlights have been placed above and below the daytime running lights, which are specially actuated to serve as indicators. Static cornering lights are also integrated into the headlights.

LED lights also dominate the rear of the Audi R8.

The clusters include innovative new indicators which appear to perform a ‘sweeping’ movement from the inside outwards, making them more noticeable than even the latest LED indicator systems. The sweep is achieved by a horizontal row of LEDs that are illuminated in successive blocks.

The latest R8 is also distinguishable from its predecessor by way of its new badge with signature Audi Sport red diamond, and by its repositioned diffusor, which in the V10 plus Coupé is made from CFRP.

In all engine versions the exhaust system terminates in two round, glossy tailpipe trim sections, painted black on the R8 V10 plus.

The 2013 Model Year R8 will be available in the two solid colours Ibis White and Brilliant Red, and with four metallic and five pearl effect / crystal effect options.

An additional matt effect colour is available exclusively for the R8 V10.