It might not look like it, but the Audi R8 was launched back in 2006. In spite of being Audi’s first effort in the class, it gathered universal praise as a very competent supercar that was also practical enough to be used every day.
Five years ago, double-clutch gearboxes were not all the rage that they are today; even the then current Ferrari, the F430, was sporting a normal automated manual that was identical in concept to the R8’s R-tronic offered alongside the six-speed manual.
Unless you’re a hardcore R8 afficionado, you’ll be hard pressed to tell the differences of the “old” and the revamped for 2013 model. The two most important changes were the replacement of the old gearbox by a modern dual-clutch S-tronic seven-speeder and the addition of a top of the range V10 Plus edition.
Available only as a coupe, it is sportier than the V10, but less hardcore than the pre-2013 GT. The latter might have been more powerful, at 560HP, but the 542HP V10 Plus a) sports the aforementioned, much improved transmission and b) it isn't a limited edition like the GT but a regular production model.
Moreover, its 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 3.5 seconds (3.8 for the manual) and top speed of 317 km/h (197 mph, and –strangely- 1 mph/2 km/h higher than the S-tronic for the manual) compare favorably to the GT’s S-tronic only 0-96 km/h (0-60 mph) 3.8 seconds and 317 km/h (197 mph) top speed. Plus, with the newest model you get the carbon ceramic brakes as standard…
Audi has just released its latest commercial highlighting the V10 Plus’ strongest point – and you can watch it right after the break.
By Andrew Tsaousis