The second-generation Audi R8 has been a long time coming but it’s almost here, and now we know what it will cost. Remember that for the new, 2017 model, Audi will no longer offer the more-affordable, eight-cylinder version. Instead, it’s V-10 only, so you might want to adjust your sticker-price expectations accordingly.
The price of entry for an R8 is now $164,150, for the base V10 coupe. That’s a pretty big jump compared to the outgoing, 2015 model (the R8 skipped the 2016 model year), which started at $117,150 for the V8 model. Comparing the V10 to the V10, we see that the previous version was available for $155,150—but that was with the six-speed manual transmission which, sadly, is no longer available. Looking at the 2015 V10 with the seven-speed S tronic, the starting figure was $164,150—exactly the same as the 2017 model.
Audi might point out that the new car’s naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V-10 now churns out 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, against 525 and 391 for the old car. The company claims the 2017 car is 143 pounds lighter than its predecessor and 40 percent more rigid. And yet, the factory-estimated zero-to-60-mph time is slower by a tenth—to 3.5 seconds—although the top speed increases from 195 to 199 mph.
New standard features include Audi’s 12.3-inch diagonal “Virtual Cockpit” configurable display screen in place of traditional gauges, and other new tech offerings include 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi hot-spot capability, Google Earth imagery for the navigation system, and Audi Connect apps.
Compared with the R8 V10, the 2017 R8 V10 Plus adds another 70 horsepower, 15 lb-ft of torque, and $27,000. At $191,150, the V10 Plus represents an increase of $7400 versus the old car (again in an automatic-to-automatic comparison). But its 610 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque are a noteworthy jump over the outgoing version’s 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. The V10 Plus is also claimed to be lighter than before (by 88 pounds) and stiffer. Audi quotes a zero-t0-60 time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph, versus 3.3 seconds and 198 mph before, although we recorded an even more encouraging 2.7-second blast to 60 mph in our instrumented test. Additional V10 Plus goodies include carbon-ceramic disc brakes; a fixed, carbon-fiber spoiler; unique 19-inch wheels with a matte-titanium finish; a sport exhaust system; shorter gear ratios; a fixed-rate, sport suspension; racing-shell seats; and lots of carbon-fiber trim inside and out.
The 2017 R8 will arrive at dealerships by May 2016. We’d expect a roadster version to return some time later. The prospects for a more affordable, entry-level variant are a little murkier. Last year, we quoted two Audi executives effectively saying that the R8 would offer a second, turbocharged engine in a play to fill out the model range, but that was before the Volkswagen Group became embroiled in the diesel-emissions scandal. We’ll see what form the turbo R8 takes, if any, and what it does to the price of entry for Audi’s supercar.