The four-rings brand calls the 2013 Audi R8 “the sporty spearhead” of its lineup, and the svelte supercar will display an even keener edge for the new model year, thanks to a new, ultra-lightweight range-topping model, the automaker’s acclaimed S tronic transmission, and a number of style upgrades as well. The changes also herald a makeover for the 2013 Audi R8 portfolio as a whole, which will be available in three grades, with three engine choices, and in both coupe and convertible body styles.
However the biggest change to the R8 may be what’s gone missing: More than 110 lbs. of excess weight from the top-end model alone. The new 2013 Audi R8 V10 plus weighs in at just a bit over 3,460 lbs. with a six-speed manual transmission (and the similarly equipped V8 R8 is down to 3,439 lbs.). The difference-maker here is the Audi Space Frame aluminum body structure, itself just over 460 lbs. in weight and about 40 percent lighter than a comparable steel structure. There’s plenty of carbon fiber and carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer, too, for more weight savings and a dash of high-tech style.
Also new from Audi stylists is a refreshed exterior with LED headlights and rear lights that are now standard across the model range, along with a more streamlined execution of the Audi Singleframe grille, a revised rear diffuser, round exhaust outlets and dynamic LED turn signals. In the cabin of the 2013 Audi R8, owners will enjoy a more sophisticated environment that can be further enhanced with quilted-leather upholstery and accents.
The 2013 Audi R8 is expected to launch in Europe before year’s end, then head to U.S. dealerships early in 2013 at a price that’s still TBD. In much the same way, the numbers detailed next are for the German lineup and could change when the cars get to the United States.
2013 Audi R8: Roster Notes
As mentioned, the 2013 Audi R8 will be offered in three basic flavors, with each distinguished by its powertrain and performance level. The starting point is the 2013 Audi R8 V8, motivated by a 4.2-liter V8 engine with features like the automaker’s FSI fuel-injection system and sodium-cooled exhaust valves—and boasting outputs of 430 hp and 316 lb.-ft. of torque. With all that power pushing not that many pounds, the manually transmissioned R8 V8 can go from 0-62 in just 4.6 seconds and top 185 mph; relying on the advanced S tronic seven-speed automatic transmission, drivers will get from a full stop to 62 mph in just 4.3 seconds and reach a similar terminal velocity. (Note: Acceleration times were provided by Audi in metric format—that is, in terms of going from 0-100 kph—and can’t be directly converted to 0-60 mph figures; however, all 2013 models are expected to be a few ticks faster than their 2012 counterparts, and a tad more fuel-efficient, too.)
Next up is the 2013 Audi R8 V10, beneficiary of two extra cylinders and a big-time power-up over the V8 version. The 5.2-liter FSI V10 makes 525 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque, enough to slingshot the R8 from 0-62 in as little as 3.6 seconds with a standard S tronic gearbox (or 3.9 seconds with an available DIY transmission); in both cases, the 2013 Audi R8 can crest 195 mph.
The ultimate R8 for the new model year is the 2013 Audi R8 V10 plus. It leverages a tuned-up version of Audi’s V10 engine that adds another 25 horses and 8 lb.-ft. of twist, with ability to deliver 550 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque. Of course, it also delivers a neck-snapping 0-62 time of 3.5 seconds, along with the ability to reach 198 mph when packing the S tronic transmission; with the manual, the tale of the tape includes a 3.8-second 0-62 run (and roughly the same upper end).
You can look for more details about the 2013 Audi R8 in the months to come on Autobytel.