2019 Audi R8: The Mid-Engined Supercar's Mid-Life Crisis
Audi's halo car gets a thorough makeover and an arsenal of motorsport-proven components.
Year, Make, Model: 2019 Audi R8
Topline: Audi will give its halo car a head-to-toe rework for the 2019 model year, featuring an arsenal of motorsport-proven components.
What's New: Audi says that both variants of its naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 will get more power. 2018 model year R8s produce 540 or 610 horsepower depending on customer choice, and for the 2019 model year, output will rise to 570 and 620 horsepower respectively. Each unit shares a large percentage of its architecture with the race engines used by the R8's GT4 and GT3 racing siblings, including its dry-sump oil system, which keeps oil flowing even at 1.5 G-forces of lateral acceleration.
The 2019 R8's handling also gets attention, with retuned components and updated electric power steering that increases road feel at all speeds. Refinements to the car's traction and stability controls on the range-topping model reduce braking distances from 100 kph (62 mph) by almost five feet, and from 200 kph (124 mph), by almost five meters (16 feet).
Standard wheels are 19 inches, but an optional 20-inch milled alloy wheel with a fresh design is optional, as are track-ready ceramic brake discs. An aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) splitter shaves 4.4 pounds while reducing front-end lift.
Quotable: "It's now even more powerful and faster," said Audi Sport's technical managing director Oliver Hoffmann in the automaker's release. "Motorsport is part of our DNA. With around 50 percent shared parts with the R8 LMS GT3 and even 60 percent with the R8 LMS GT4, no other automobile is so close to motor racing as the R8."
What You Need to Know: Audi celebrated the end of the pre-revision R8 with a limited-run Competition Package car, building just 10 for the United States market. It will arrive in dealers before the 2019 R8 does, its sales opening up in November, while holdouts waiting for the facelifted R8 will need to bide time until the first quarter of 2019.
Though the current generation of R8 still feels young at three years old, it may not be long for this world—rumors say it'll be replaced by an electric car in the early 2020s. If a screeching V-10 is your jam, it'd be wise to make a move for the facelifted R8 before it bows out. Audi was unable to confirm the 2019 R8's MSRP when contacted, though a spokesperson told The Drive that the vehicle's price "will stay at the same level as the 2018 R8."
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