Audi has unveiled the new 2019 R8, the updated version of its everyday super sports car, complete with numerous features and styling details borrowed from the wild new R8 LMS GT3 racer. It is expected that the new R8 will be available later this year and promises better handling and more choice in the exterior style.
Compared to the outgoing car, the styling changes are subtle, but noticeable. The De-Factor single-frame grille from Audi is of course available, but now with a wider, flatter line. Thick rods now divide the larger air intakes while the front splitter has been redesigned. It is wider now.
A series of flat slots were added to the front edge of the hood and directly above the grille. According to Audi, they should remember the Audi Ur-quattro brand icon. At the back there is a new, low-lying ventilation grille and an extended diffuser.
The adorable V10 from Audi is surprisingly back on the market. There are two versions of the 2018 R8 that follow the current R8 V10 and R8 V10 +. The automaker does not yet speak specific performance figures, only that there will be an increase compared to the existing 532 hp of the existing R8 and 602 hp of the V10 +.
There is a separate radiator that controls the temperature of the engine oil supplied by a dry sump. The pump module can absorb a lateral acceleration of 1.5 G for this purpose. Audi offers a selection of engine covers made of plastic or carbon fiber.
Depending on the engine, there are a choice of three outer packagings. Everyone will have different trim for the front divider, sides and diffuser. A shiny black finish for the Audi rings and other exterior badges is optional, Audi adds Kemora Gray and Ascari Blue to the paint job.
19-inch wheels are standard, with ultra-light 20-inch fully milled wheels – in a 5-V dynamic design – are optional. They come with new summer and sports tires. Ceramic brake discs are also optional and enhance the standard steel discs. If you have the money, the front stabilizer can be made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) and aluminum. Audi says that alone will reduce weight by around 4.4 pounds.
Compared to the predecessor R8, the suspension of the 2019 has been optimized for more stability and precision. Dynamic steering is optional; electromechanical power steering is standard. The latter has been redesigned to get more feedback from the road.
Underline Audi's commitment to build a supercar that you can drive every day. The Drive Select system has been extended with three new driving programs: dry, wet and snow. The automaker says changes in the ESC in the top-spec car have improved braking. From 62.1mpg to a standstill in almost 5 feet less than the old car.
What can not be seen at first glance is how much of the race car 2019 R8 is shared with the race variants of Audi. In fact, around 50 percent of the parts of the R8 are shared with the R8 LMS GT3 and 60 percent with the R8 LMS GT4. "No other car is as close to motorsport as the R8," says Oliver Hoffmann, Technical Director of Audi Sport GmbH.
We will not have to wait long to see these similarities in action. The 2019 Audi R8 will be launched in Europe in the first quarter of 2019. The pricing – and availability in the US – will be announced in more detail. There will be coupe and Spyder convertible versions.