The Audi R8 now appears sharper and wider thanks to new upgrades and it brakes even better now. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Audi R8 now appears sharper and wider thanks to new upgrades and it brakes even better now. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Audi R8 is about as close as one can imagine to the perfect supercar blueprint, with its naturally-aspirated V10 engine and full-bodied war cry.

If you have enough road, the Coupé variant will sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 3.2 seconds and onto a not-to-be-sneezed-at 331km/h. The Spyder version dashes to 100km/h in 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 329km/h.

Audi’s two-seater, mid-engined sports car has been updated for 2021 with new styling elements on both the inside and out.  

External differences between the old and new are a wider and flatter singleframe radiator grille, making the car look more spread out on the road. Edge air-inlets now appear on the bonnet tip and there’s a more forceful looking, gloss-black diffuser at the rear finished off by a pair of big-bore oval exhaust tailpipes.

There’s an option to swathe some of these external parts with gloss carbon fibre. You can choose between the standard 20-inch Audi Sport wheels in V-spoke Evo design and in two colour options – titanium or matt bronze. There’s also a 20-inch double spoke anthracite black option too.

There are new additions to paint ranges in the form of Kemora grey and Ascari blue but if you so wish, Audi can create a bespoke colour. The Spyder’s soft top gets three new colours: black, red or brown, while both models get LED lights front and rear with an option to upgrade to the more powerful Audi laser light.

You can have your R8 served in full-helmet guise or al fresco. Picture: SUPPLIED
You can have your R8 served in full-helmet guise or al fresco. Picture: SUPPLIED

Moving inside, you can option specific R8 sport seats with built-in warmers and wrapped in red, white or black leather with diamond stitching. The Audi virtual cockpit with a dominating digital tachometer and MMI operating centre is driver-centric. Audi says the driver can now operate all key functions without having to take their hands off the multifunction steering wheel.

A 31.2cm main display supplies the infotainment. There’s also an Audi phone box and smartphone integration, a rear view camera, electric and folding exterior mirrors, comfort key, parking aid plus, and a tyre mobility kit with a tyre pressure monitoring system.

There are no technical changes and the 5.2l V10 still offers 449kW and 560Nm hooked up to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and quattro drive.

There are now three more drive modes on offer through the Drive Select programme. Comfort and Auto modes are joined by Dry, Wet and Snow while an enhanced Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) sees the Audi R8 V10 performance use its standard fitment ceramic brakes to stop 1.5m and 5m earlier, respectively, from 100km/h and 200km/h.

The new Audi R8 officially goes on sale in SA in April but you can pre-order yours for R3,336,000 for the R8 Coupe V10 performance quattro and R3,592,500 for the Spyder.

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