The 2-seat, mid-engine R8 sports car is offered in Coupe and Spyder body styles, in V8, V10 and V10 Plus trims. The 4.2L V8 produces 430 hp and 317 ft-lb of torque, while the 5.2L V10 delivers 525 hp and 391 ft-lb. In the V10 Plus, that same engine cranks out 550 hp and 398 ft-lb. Audi states that the V10 Plus coupe is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3.7, on its way to a 198-mph top speed. All engines are paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, while an all-new dual-clutch S-Tronic automated manual transmission is optional. The unit improves shift times by up to 0.3 seconds over the previous single-clutch R-Tronic. The new gearbox includes Audi launch control, which helps provide a perfect quick launch from a standing start, and all R8 models benefit from quattro all-wheel drive.
R8 Spyder convertible models come with a power soft-top roof that can be closed or opened in just 19 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 19 mph. The roof also features triple-layer insulation, a carbon-fiber cover and a heated rear window. All R8 coupe models include a glass window over the lighted engine bay, while Spyder models come with a vented aluminum cover. Spyder models also have different side air intakes.
The interior of the R8 is a luxurious place. The arched, cockpit-style instrument panel of this two-seater allows quite a bit of interior space -- enough for taller drivers. The 8-way power adjustable seats come upholstered in soft Nappa leather or suede-like Alcantara, and the interior can be customized with various trims and inlays. Standard features include automatic climate control, a multi-function sport steering wheel, Audi concert radio with seven speakers, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and more. V10 models add Audi Navigation with real-time traffic information, as well as a 465-watt, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Safety isn't skimped either, even though the R8 is first and foremost a world-class exotic sports car. Front airbags, seat-mounted side bags, and knee airbags are all included and the aluminum space frame construction plays a role in keeping occupants secure.