The R8 is Audi’s most expensive car costing even more than the A8 L W12 sedan. The sports car which is offered in both coupe and convertible bodies has been revised for the 2017 model year. Many don’t know but the R8 is actually a close cousin of the Lamborghini Huracan as they share the same chassis and offer more or less the same level of performance. However, the Audi costs much less making it a better buy from my point of view. The 2017 Audi R8 Coupe like the R8 Spyder will be offered in two trim levels i.e. R8 V10 and R8 V10 Plus. The model will also receive a host of the automaker’s new technologies.
2017 Audi R8 Coupe Exterior
The exterior profile of the 2017 Audi R8 Coupe has undergone a comprehensive redesign. The front fascia features a larger hexagonal-shaped grille with a mesh insert. The bumper is also revised and integrates shrunken air intakes on the edges; the intakes also feature vertical slats. The headlights have straight edges rather than the mild curves of the outgoing version. In some markets, the model has laser high-beam units that operate via a camera system to detect oncoming traffic and consequently adjust the beam distribution appropriately. This technology is yet to e approved in the U.S. by the NHTSA so don’t expect such a system here.
At the rear, the coupe taillights feature new graphics. The rear grille is new and has mesh inserts. The exhaust tips are trapezoidal rather than circular like in the outgoing model. The rear diffuser that slots between the exhaust tips has also been revised. The vertical stripe above the rear air intake was eliminated. The R8 V10 plus has a carbon-fiber-reinforced wing.
Due to a host of weight saving measures, the automaker has managed to reduce the coupe’s curb weight to 3,428 lbs, around 110 lbs less than the outgoing model. The front fascia, roof arch as well as the rear frame is made of aluminum. The model is however 40% more rigid compared to the outgoing version.
While the wheelbase is unchanged compared to the outgoing model, the new R8 at a length of 174 inches, width of 76.4 inches and a height of 48.8 inches is 0.6 inches shorter, 0.4 inches wider as well as 0.5 inches lower than the outgoing model.
The cabin has undergone a more comprehensive redesign than the exterior profile. To start with, the steering wheel which has a flat-bottom is integrated with numerous controls on the crossbars. The model features sports seats with enhanced lateral supports. The seats have new headrests and revised pockets; however, these are only standard for the V10 Plus and optional for the base trim.
The cockpit sports a 12.3-inch touchscreen that houses the instrument gauges and also replaces the previous MMI screen that made the center console look rather cluttered. The display is configurable via controls mounted on the steering wheel to suit the driver’s preferences. The center stack and the dash have also been revised. The HVAC console has been relocated for easier reach while the air vents have been reshaped and the center vents have been relocated from the center stack bezel. The center console is much cleaner as the manual gearstick is not offered as an option anymore.
As for the upholstery, buyers can choose either a full Pearl Nappa leather treatment or a combination of Pearl Nappa with Alcantara. There is also an option for a clear-coated carbon fiber treatment and diamond contrast stitching.
The Audi MMI touch wheel system and the MMI navigation system are standard. The coupe also features the Audi connect module that enables the passenger to link his/her Smartphone/tablet to the car as well as assess the Wi-Fi hotspot. A 500 watts Bang & Olufsen sound system is optional for the audiophiles.
For safety, the coupe features as standard knee airbags, side airbags, head curtain airbags, antilock brakes, a rearview camera, parking sensors and stability control as standard. It is surprising that the automaker has omitted blind-spot monitoring, collision mitigation, cruise control and ABS safety systems.
Engine and performance
There are two power options for the coupe but from the same source. The models are hooked up with a 5.2 L, V-10. On base models, the engine produces 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. On the top-ranking R8 V10 Plus, the engine produces 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. In both flavors, a 7-speed dual clutch gearbox is used. The system channels power to all four wheels making use of the rear-based Quattro AWD system. The system can send as much as 100% of torque to the front axle if need be.
The base R8 V10 has a top speed of 199 mph while the R8 V10 Plus can hit up to 205 mph. The base model is EPA-rated to return 14 mpg in city and 22 mpg on highway drives. In terms of performance, the base R8 V10 takes 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph while the R8 V10 Plus cuts 0.3 seconds to complete the same run in 3.2 seconds.
Price and release date
The model is already available in Audi dealerships. The R8 has an MSRP of $162,900 with the range-topping model costing much more.