The new R8 V10 plus has a claimed top speed of 197mph, with 0-100km/h dispatched in 3.5 seconds

The new R8 V10 plus has a claimed top speed of 197mph, with 0-100km/h dispatched in 3.5 seconds

Five years after it went on sale in European markets, an updated R8 supercar has been announced by Audi. As well as the standardisation of the formerly optional LED highlights, a dual clutch gearbox appears for the first time, as does a 550hp (404kW) V10 engine.

The R8 continues to be available as a coupé and a spider but there will be no roadster version of a new range-topping variant, the R8 V10 plus. This car is powered by a 550hp (404kW) version of Audi's existing 5,204cc V10. In other 5.2-litre R8s, the standard V10 continues to produce 525hp (386kW), while the 4.2 FSI-powered cars' output remains quoted as 430hp (306kW).

The new transmission, which Audi calls S tronic, is a dual clutch design with seven speeds. An R tronic (electro-hydraulic automated six-speed manual) is also available and this comes with an open gate selector in stainless steel. The automated manual gearbox is standard for V8-engined cars and optional for the V10s, with the exception of the V10 plus which has the S tronic as standard. Customers may, however, choose to have an R tronic V10 plus.

Styling changes over the existing R8 range include new bumpers, headlights, grille and tail-lamps as well as revised badges. A carbonfibre front splitter, one of the distinguishing features of the V10 plus, can be ordered at extra cost for other R8s.

Following a debut at the Moscow motor show in late August, the revised R8 should reach European dealerships from the fourth quarter.

Audi of America recently announced details of its 2013 model year range, noting that there would soon be a separate media release for the R8. It is therefore assumed that North America's 2013MY R8 will be the facelifted model.

Author: Glenn Brooks

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