It’s that time of the year. Automakers start refreshing their supercar lineups. For owners, fans and just general observers, the news is met with anticipation and trepidation. You already love something, so you want automakers to go easy with ‘reinventing the wheel.’
Audi finally took the cover off the 2017 Audi R8, and if you liked the older R8s, the 2017 model will not disappoint. Power, everyday usability and enough style to cause whiplash on every road.
Audi fans are breathing a sigh of relief on the style front. The automaker kept it simple, with small design tweaks on the exterior. You’ll notice the R8 looks sharper and a bit more angular. When compared to other supercars, the design stacks up rather well. Audi did use the hexagonal grill design that is becoming standard on its entire vehicle lineup.
The familiar air vents are being updated with vertical blades to replace the slats on previous models. Its rear air ducts have also been replaced just above the exhaust tips.
Past that, you look at the car and immediately recognize its an R8. No radical design departures from Audi. Under the facade is a new multi-material frame that shaves weight off the 2017 R8 and makes it 40 percent more rigid. It tips the scales at 3,205 pounds for the V10 Plus model.
The lightest model of the Audi R8 it’s replacing? A V8 manual that weighed in at 3,583 pounds.
As for power? Did you notice I mentioned the V10 Plus model? Yeah, Audi is dropping the V8 option and will only offer a 5.2-liter mid-mounted V10. The engine outputs 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Audi’s Plus variant will increase the horsepower to 610 and torque to 413.
Either way, get a radar detector. You’re gonna need one. Both variants have a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission and features Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive.
On the interior, the Audi R8 is meant for an afternoon drive, not a road trip. You’re not packing a Costco adventure in the R8. Both models have Nappa-leather cabins and feature Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
The 12.3-inch display is powered by Nvidia’s Tegra 30 chip. High-resolution graphics are the order of the day. For navigation, Audi is using a Google Earth-based system that delivers elevation data along with satellite overview maps. Damn convenient for those speeding through mountain areas they’ve never been through before.
How much? Audi hasn’t released pricing information yet, but you better bring one hell of a checkbook. It is one of those ‘if you have to ask…’ supercars.