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Sensational new Audi R8 Supercar By Brian Foley

Despite global recession the era of the supercar still lives, and the sensational new Audi R8 is now more dynamic and powerful than ever before thanks to numerous improvements. 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. Latest range headed by new lighter, quicker and even more focused 550PS V10 plus Coupé version. All-LED headlights and rear indicators with innovative sweeping function standard across the range – equipment upgrades for all models.

The exterior design features newly structured LED headlights, hexagonal single-frame grille and large, round tailpipe trims . The rear lights include the innovative dynamic turn signals, generated by LEDs, the light runs from the inside out in the direction in which the driver wants to turn.

The body of the R8 V10 plus features numerous carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) parts, including the side blades on the flanks, the side mirror housings, the enlarged front spoiler and the distinctive diffuser. The same material is also used in the interior. The driver and passenger sit in bucket seats with folding backrests. The interior of all versions of the high-performance sports car is now even more refined.

Powering the R8
The new 7-speed S tronic significantly boosts the performance of the Audi R8. Models equipped with this transmission sprint from zero to 100 km/h 0.3 seconds faster than if equipped with the R tronic. Fuel consumption decreases by up to 0.9 litres per 100 km.

The engine powering the Audi R8 V8 Coupé produces 430 PS and 430 Nm of torque. In combination with the 7-speed S tronic, it accelerates the R8 Coupé from zero to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds on its way to a top speed of 300 km/h. The Audi R8 V10 Coupé with the S tronic completes the standard sprint in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 314 km/h. The V10 engine generates 525 PS and delivers 530 Nm of torque to the crankshaft.

The new flagship of the range is the Audi R8 V10 plus. Developing 550PS and maximum torque of 540 Nm at 6,500 rpm, this coupé-only version catapults from rest to 62mph in 3.5 seconds and achieves a top speed of 317kph when linked to S tronic transmission; With manual transmission, the acceleration time lengthens slightly to 3.8 seconds, top speed also increases to 319kph.

Engine line-up:
•4.2 FSI quattro with - 430 PS
•5.2 FSI quattro with - 525 PS
•5.2 FSI quattro with - 550 PS

The updated R8 Spyder gets the same upgrades as the Coupé. The body of the open-top high-performance sports car weigh 216 kilograms. The top compartment cover and the side elements are made of CFRP.

The fabric top, large portions of which are made of aluminium and magnesium, tips the scales at just 42 kilograms. It opens and closes electro hydraulically in 19 seconds, even when driving at speeds of up to 50 km/h. When closed, it tapers down to two long, slender fins.

The soft top, the frame of which is covered by a headliner, is quiet and fully suitable for high-speed driving. The heated glass window, which is separate from the top, is nestled in the bulkhead between the passenger compartment and the engine compartment. It is raised and lowered via a switch whether the top is up or down, taking on the function of the wind deflector.

The performance and consumption figures of the R8 Spyder differ only minimally from the Coupé version. The new seven-speed S tronic is optional with the V8 and standard with the V10. The new top version, the R8 V10 plus, is not available as a Spyder.

In terms of standard equipment, the Audi R8 gains Bluetooth interface and preparation for tracking. The V10 models add front and rear park assist while the V8 adds satellite navigation and 19” wheels. Prices begin at €167,500 for the Audi R8 V8 Coupe.

Such technology and performance does not come cheap. The R8 Spyder is priced from €180,000 ex works. The range topping Audi R8 V10 Plus is €254,000.