After revealing a facelift for the R8 supercar back in 2018, Audi has finally announced the car’s return to the Australian market, along with detailed pricing and specification.
Starting from $295,000 (driveaway pricing TBA), the updated R8 will arrive in dealerships by the 24th of July.
The supercar retains its most essential credentials – that 5.2-litre V10, mid-ship layout and all-wheel-drive – with the overall appearance sharpened, and general equipment levels increased for the 2020 R8.
It’s a natural progression, and with the addition of a permanent rear-wheel-drive option for the R8 makes it a more compelling proposition for those cross-shopping the Porsche 911, BMW M8 Competition and Mercedes-AMG GT.
For 2020 the powertrain is unchanged, the naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 will kick out 397kW and 540Nm in the V10 RWD variant. In the all-wheel-drive form, outputs climb to 449kW and 560Nm, where the Quattro system provides better traction.
However all R8s use motorsport-derived technology like dry sump oil lubrication, preventing oil pressure surge, and allowing the engine to sit lower in the R8’s sleek shell.
Outside the R8 has been treated to a nip-and-tuck; the three openings between bonnet and bumpers hark back to Group B days while the laser lights look crisper than ever before. Directly referencing the R8’s family lineage are the contrasting grey ‘blades’ on either side of the supercar.
While the RWD variants retain a more sophisticated exterior in line with the classic usable supercar, the V10 Performance Coupe gets a larger, fixed rear wing and rolls on lightweight milled wheels to reduce unsprung mass.
Offsetting the added weight of the all-wheel-drive system was a concern for Audi engineers. Keeping the two available coupes weighing the same 1,595kg, among other things, is an all-new carbon fibre reinforced plastic front sway-bar.
While performance may be the headline grabbers, the R8 was always touted as an everyday rival to the Porsche 911, and the 2020 R8 gets more creature comforts to reinforce its famous usability.
As Audi Australia managing director, Paul Sansom put it: “The R8’s strength has always been its all-round versatility to adapt to its surroundings: on the racetrack, on sweeping country roads, or in everyday urban traffic”.
For $295,000 (driveaway pricing TBA) the R8 RWD Coupe and $316,500 (driveaway pricing TBA) Spyder get standard Nappa leather-upholstered heated seats, stainless steel pedals, MMI touchscreens, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, and red eight-piston brake callipers up front.
Adding to the performance-focussed aesthetic on the $395,000 (driveaway pricing TBA) V10 Performance Coupe and $416,500 (driveaway pricing TBA) Spyder is a carbon trim package including interior inlays and signature blades. There’s also a pair of carbon-fibre bucket seats, and standard fit ceramic brakes touted to save 11kg.
Naturally, opting for the convertible option adds weight, though Audi claims mere 44kg. The convertible Spyder allows drivers to revel in the V10 warble; the roof can be raised or lowered in 20 seconds at up to 50km/h.
For 2020 the Audi R8 is definitely sharper looking and shaping up to be a better drive, too. At Chasing Cars we’re most looking forward to testing the “entry-level” R8 RWD Coupe when Audi’s supercar arrives on the 24th of July.
This week on Chasing Cars: BMW 3 Series LCI revealed, HR-V Hybrid reviewed and electric Cayman inbound
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