After seven years on the market, Audi has revisited their flagship sports car lineup, ushering in the 2013 R8 with revisions ranging from massive drivetrain changes to slight styling updates to the inclusion of a new range-topped model.
Emerging from the styling department boasting thoroughly updated head- and tail-lights (including some amazing turn signals) that evolve the LED theme the R8 singlehandedly started, other changes include revised from and rear bumpers, as well as the fitment of a larger rear diffuser and round tailpipes.
Underneath, the heavily criticized R-tronic transmission has been replaced by a seven speed S-tronic unit that boasts not only two multi-plate clutch systems, but also two independent sub-transmissions. Each sub-transmission is actuated by a multi-plate clutch and alternates gear selection, providing smoother and faster shifts than previously allowed. A six speed manual, for those that prefer their sports cars with a single foot-actuated clutch, is still available.
For the best-heeled R8 buyer, Audi has prepared a new range-topping R8 V10 Plus model. Boasting 550 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, the Plus also features many of the same carbon fibre reinforced plastic pieces as found on the R8 GT, including the front splitter, mirrors, side blades, engine compartment lining, and rear diffuser. Furthermore, whilst standard R8 buyers will have their choice of two solid colours (white and red), four metallic shades, or five pearlescent finishes, R8 V10 Plus owners will be able to select a unique matte finish as an exclusive feature.
With European production slated to begin at the end of the calendar year, there's no word yet on Canadian pricing nor availability, but one can expect word to follow on those matters.