Fantastic to see the car out in the sun here in the USA fairly quickly since its reveal in mid-2015. We’re seeing the car arrive to first buyers around the same time as in Europe — by the end of March in some cases. No big lag in crossing the Atlantic, in other words.
The new R8 is mysterious in person. You really have to know cars to note that this is the new model, first of all. Second of all, its new design details are not all immediate winners.
The new look is defined by sharper, more formal creases around the upper and lower elements of the design. Where the original R8 has just a swirl of alloy bodywork for its front and rear fender-tops, the new model is far sharper. This is particularly pronounced around the tail — where the new R8 makes points in
Same goes for the deeply sculpted intake slash cutting deep into the doors — pushing cold air into the engine intake blades behind the doors. These have an integrated intake that avoids the previous R8’s extended element that stood proud of the bodywork.
Overall, it is subtle if not exactly gorgeous.
Not just the Lambo nearby, but also the latest 911 GT3RS in eyeshot.
Versus the 911, the R8/Huracan twins are vastly more exotic. They are lower and wider, of course, but the impact in person is hard to qualify unless beside one another. Here, the Porsche looks tiny and tall — even in its most-track-focused street variant for comparison.
Versus the Huracan, the R8 makes a unique statement with its vertical-oriented grille and face. This is wildly different from the pin-needle of ultra-low leading edge in the Huracan’s nose. The Audi continues its design mood with a slightly taller and more rounded front hood/fender look.
But most crucially, the R8 and Huracan have completely different windshield and A-pillar designs and hard points. Where the Huracan brings its A-pillar forward — extending visually down to the front axle. The windshield is then ultra raked and the doors have another full piece of quarter-window glass ahead of the door mirrors.
The R8 skips all this in favor of a much more vertical glass for the windshield. The A-pillar base is then rearward versus its Lambo position. The overall effect is integrated with a more rounded, slightly bubble-like roofline that feels taller than the Huracan. End result? The Huracan is far more wedgy, while the R8 resembles the iconic streamliners of the brand’s 1930s back catalog. The R8 is still deeply exotic in isolation — but a bit more mature and demure beside those internal rivals as well as the new 2016 Viper ACR nearby.
We see yet more major differences between the R8 and Huracan in their intake and rear pillar combinations. Intake tracts are located uniquely for each. In this angle below, we also see the dramatically deeper tumblehome of the Huracan’s glass. It is sunken deep inside the outer door elements, while the R8 mounts its side windows and roof much more conventionally.
There are great comfort and shoulder-room benefits for this move in the Audi. And it highlights how special and fabulous the 2017 cockpit really is. A quantum leap forward into the future.
THE JOY OF SPECS
Audi just priced the 2017 R8 Coupe in its two USA forms: the V10 and V10 Plus. Pricing takes a huge leap in the V10 Plus: up nearly 30 Gs to a a $191k base price for the full-power version making 610-horsepower.
The V10 is the base model here in the states after low uptake of the previous ‘entry-level’ V8 R8, and carries a $164k base price for its 540HP and 3.5-second sprint to 60-mph.
These are slightly slower than the 3.2-seconds and 199-mph V-max of the V10 Plus, but few will be disappointed by the R8 V10’s power or presence.
The pricing of the R8 V10 climbs up to the mid $170s fairly rapidly with a few desirable options. We specced out a matching Dynamite Red example of the new R8 over on AudiUSA.com to get a sense of the options and out-the-door pricing.
With the $1500 optional 20-inch wheels in bright silver, the carbon exterior pack for $6k, diamond-stitched leather for $5k, carbon interior pack for $4k and a few other details, our price was $179k — very close to this photo subject. There are just two really dorky wheel choices for the R8 V10 so far — with no dark options. Those are reserved for the V10 Plus, which has the same two styles… but both in dark ‘titanium’ finish versus bright silver.
Other visual Plus clues? The V10 Plus wears extra spoilers front/rear that are missing on the V10.
The biggest omitted option is the $10k carbon brake option, which we suggest you skip as well. For all but the most-extreme track days, the vented/drilled steel brakes will be plenty powerful — and will never squeak or graunch like some carbon-ceramic brakes in everyday driving.
The color pallette of the R8 speaks to this split mission: a few exotics like bright blue and yellow, but far more variety in the white/grey/black color range.
The dozen color options are shared between V10 and V10 Plus — bar one. The Camo Green Matte is a shade available only on the V10 Plus.
Check out the options list, pricing and tech specs of this gorgeous new Audi supercar below.
2017 Audi R8 V10
2017 Audi R8 V10 – $164,000
2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus – $191,000
2017 R8 V10 Options
Packages & options
Red Brake calipers$700
R8 V10 Tech Specs
Engineering | Performance
Engine type V10 with cylinder on demand™ engine efficiency technology
Displacement (cc)/Bore and stroke (mm) 5,204/84.5 x 92.8
Horsepower (@ rpm) 540 @ 7,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm) 398 @ 6,500
Engine block Aluminum-alloy incorporating silicon crystals
Cylinder head Aluminum-alloy
Valvetrain 40-valve DOHC with continuous intake & exhaust camshaft adjustment
Induction/fuel injection FSI® dual injection
Acceleration (0 – 60 mph) 3.5 sec.
Top track speed 199 mph 8
Battery 420 A/75 Ah
Alternator 210 A
Transmission | Drivetrain
Transmission Seven-speed S tronic® dual-clutch transmission with quattro® all-wheel drive
Type Electromechanical power steering system
Turning diameter (curb-to-curb) (ft) 36.7
Front Aluminum double wishbone front suspension (Audi magnetic ride)
Rear Aluminum double wishbone rear suspension (Audi magnetic ride)
Front (in) 14.4 (ventilated wave-design disc)
Rear (in) 14.0 (ventilated wave-design disc)
Material ultra® lightweight technology – ASF® multi-material space frame
Warranty | Maintenance
Warranty 4-Year/50,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty
Maintenance 12-Month/5,000 mile (whichever occurs first) NO CHARGE first scheduled maintenance
Wheelbase (in) 104.3
Length (in) 174.3
Height (in) 48.8
Overall width with mirrors (in) 80.2
Overall width without mirrors (in) 76.4
Track front (in) 64.5
Track rear (in) 63.0
Curb weight (lb) 3,649
Head room (in, front) 38.5
Leg room (in, front) TBA
Shoulder room (in, front) 55.1
Seating capacity 2
EPA Estimates | Capacities
City TBA mpg 9
Highway TBA mpg 9
Combined TBA mpg 9
Engine oil (qt) 8.8
Fuel (gal) 21.9
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.