Audi Plays It Safe With Redesign Of 610 Horsepower R8 V10 Plus Sports Car

Following the introductions of the dynamic-looking Ford GT and Acura NSX in January (not to mention the Ferrari 488 GTB), forgive me if I’m a bit “meh” on the redesign of the new Audi R8. The inspiration for R8 was unveiled in 2003 as the Le Mans quattro concept. The production version of the vehicle didn’t enter production until 2008, and here we are now with the second-generation model. Styling wise, the all-new R8 borrows heavily from its predecessor while also picking up a few design cues from its lesser TT sibling.

Audi R8 V10

Add it all up and it’s a design that won’t be mistaken for anything other than an R8, and shows an evolutionary cadence that is more in step with the design progression of Porsche’s evergreen 911 than Ford’s clean-sheet approach with the GT.

Moving on to the interior’s “virtual cockpit,” Audi has also gone for an evolutionary approach while cribbing the 12.3-inch digital infotainment/gauge cluster arrangement from the TT. By putting the infotainment and navigation displays/controls directly in front of the driver, you won’t find a huge LCD dominating the center console as you with so many vehicles these days. “The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit using the multifunction plus steering wheel,” states Audi, touting the safety aspect of this arrangement. “The driver’s hands remain on the steering wheel and he or she can concentrate on the road.”

r8v10 interior

When it comes to power, the Audi is sure to impress. The base V8 has been jettisoned in favor of an all-V10 engine lineup. The base 5.2-liter FI engine in the R8 V10 generates a respectable 540hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, while the R8 V10 plus uses an even more potent version of the 5.2-liter FSI that produces 610hp and 413 ft-lbs of torque. The R8 V10 will reach 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and tops out at 200 mph. The R8 V10 plus ups the ante with a 60 mph dash in 3.2 seconds, and will hit a top speed of 205 mph.

A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox is the only transmission offered with either R8 variant, so all of you manual gearbox fiends will have to look elsewhere. Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, however, is still very much apart of the R8’s DNA.

Audi R8 V10 plus

If the R8 V10 and V10 plus seem a bit too “old school” for you, Audi will also make available an all-electric R8 e-tron. However, this model will only be made available “upon customer request.” The R8 e-tron features a T-shaped 92 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that gives the sports car a driving range of 280 miles. The R8 e-tron packs a punch, but it isn’t enough to topple its gasoline-powered brothers — it will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Interestingly enough, the R8 e-tron would even get smoked by a Tesla Model S P85D off the line…

The R8 V10 priced from 165,000 euros while the R8 V10 plus will start at 187,400 euros; both will be available this summer. Unfortunately, U.S. pricing and availability hasn’t been announced yet.