Ingolstadt-based automaker Audi has finally revealed the facelift for the R8, in both coupe and roadster versions. As far as the design is concerned, the refreshed R8 comes with a bunch of mild changes inside and out, along with the introduction of a dual clutch seven-speed S tronic gearbox which from now on will replace the previous six-speed automated manual R tronic. There’s also a new top-spec version of the car, the lighter V10 Plus that pumps out 542 hp which will be available only as a Coupe.
We notice that the front fascia has been revised a little bit as the 2013 R8 comes with new LED headlamps which are standard on all versions of the car. There’s also a 6-point, single-frame grille that comes with horizontal chrome inserts that adorn the struts on the V10-powered R8, along with a new look for the bumper. Looking at the back of the car we see the new set of LED taillights, a redesigned R8 logo, air outlets with three slats on each corner, a refreshed diffuser, as well as two new round tailpipes that are standard regardless of the engine choice.
Inside the cabin of the new 2013 Audi R8 the trim has suffered a few modifications, as well as the shift paddles and the needles in the instrument cluster. For more money customers can opt for the Fine Nappa, diamond-stitched full-leather treatment for the door panels, headlining and the seats as well.
The engine choices have remained the same as the new R8 is available with either a V8 4.2-liter engine that produces 424 hp and 317 lb.-ft or with the larger V10 5.2-liter engine which generates 518 hp and 391 lb.-ft. As we mentioned earlier, the previous six-speed automated manual R tronic transmission of the outgoing model has been axed in favor of the new seven-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox.
By installing this new transmission, the German automaker said that they’ve managed to cut the CO2 emissions by as much as 22 g/km, while the 0-62 mph sprint is now done by three-tenths of a second quicker. Clients can also fit their R8 with a six-speed manual transmission.
The 2013 Audi R8 Coupe fitted with the V8 engine mated to the S tronic gearbox can do the 0-62 mph sprint in 4.3 seconds, en route to a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h), while its V10-powered counterpart with the same transmission needs just 3.6 seconds to hit 62 mph, before reaching a maximum speed of 195 mph (314 km/h).
The new model year brings a “wave” design for the R8’s brake disks, lowering the car’s curb weight by approximately 2 kg in comparison to the regular round disks. This refreshed R8 now rides on bigger 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped around in 235/40 tires at the front and 285/35 tires at the back for the V8-powered model, while its V10 sibling has 19-inch alloys with 235/35 tires for the front rims and 295/30 rubber at the back.
Another novelty to the R8 lineup would have to be the new flagship variant known as the V10 Plus that basically replaces the previous GT model which was limited to only 333 units per body style. The new V10 Plus will be available exclusively as a Coupe and it comes with a reworked V10 5.2-liter engine that is capable of producing 542 hp and 398 lb.-ft. Mated to the S tronic gearbox, this version needs 3.5 seconds to perform the 0-62 mph sprint, before reaching a top speed of 197 mph (317 km/h). This version of the 2013 Audi R8 is capable of returning 18.2 mpg (12.9 liters / 100 km). With the aforementioned six-speed manual gearbox, the V10 Plus does the sprint in 3.8 seconds and tops out at 198 mph (319 km/h). With this transmission it returns 15.79 mpg (14.9 liters / 100 km).
The 2013 Audi R8 V10 Plus weighs 3461 lbs (1,570 kg) which makes it only 22 lbs (10 kg) heavier in comparison to the V8 Coupe that has a manual transmission. They’ve managed to limit the extra weight by using bucket seats with a glass fiber reinforced chassis, specially designed light alloys as well as chassis components, less insulating materials, ceramic brakes, along with various CFRP addon parts on the R8’s body. This V10 Plus model also comes with specially-tuned shock absorbers and springs, along with magnetic ride adaptive damping as standard and also different camber value on the R8’s front axle.
The new flagship R8 can be distinguished by the carbon fiber package that includes wider side blades and air vents, along with mirror housings and a front splitter also made from this lightweight material. In addition, the twin exhaust pipes, the bigger rear diffuser and the 19-inch alloys adopt a black finish, while the vent louvers next to the R8’s rear window.
We should also mention that the engine compartment now benefits from LED lightning and CFRP lining, while the bucket seats come with prominent side section for providing an improved lateral support.
The refreshed Audi R8 is scheduled to hit the showrooms in Europe towards the end of 2012, with prices at home in Germany beginning from 113,500 Euros for the entry-level V8 Coupe model, followed by the V8 Spyder at 124,800 Euros, the V10 Coupe at 154,600 Euros and the V10 Spyder at 165,900 Euros. As far as the 2013 Audi R8 V10 Plus is concerned, this will set you back at least 173,200 Euros.
The updated R8 is scheduled to debut in the United States in the first quarter of next year, but until then, in September Audi will bring to the Paris Motor Show an all-electric version of the R8 which will wear the e-Tron badge.