Audi’s refreshed-for-2014 mid-engined supercar, the R8, goes on sale today and official pricing has been announced. Starting at $ 119,150, the R8 coupe comes with a 430-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 with a six-speed manual. Audi will offer the V-8–powered R8 in a spyder as well, while a 525-hp, 5.2-liter V-10 will be available in both the coupe and spyder. For the ultimate R8, there is a new V-10 Plus model that can be had only in coupe form, and it will be good for 550 horsepower with carbon-ceramic brakes standard. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard on all models as well.
Pricing for the base R8 (if there can be considered such a thing) represents a modest $ 700 increase over the previous V-8 model; changes for all 2014 R8s include new “wave”-rotor brakes, new LED headlights and taillights, large dual exhaust outlets that replace the previous quad outlets, and new interior trim bits. A gated six-speed manual is standard on all R8s, while a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional across the board. Pricing is as follows:
• V-8 coupe: $ 119,150; $ 128,250, automatic
• V-8 spyder: $ 132,650; $ 141,750, automatic
• V-10 coupe: $ 155,450; $ 164,550, automatic
• V-10 spyder: $ 168,950; $ 178,050, automatic
• V-10 Plus coupe: 174,795; $ 183,895, automatic
Any flavor of R8 sets our enthusiast hearts aflutter, but the new V-10 Plus model puts it in full triathlon-pounding mode. Consider not only that the 550-hp V-10 makes 398 lb-ft of torque (25 horsepower and 7 lb-ft more than the standard V-10), but that Audi estimates the Plus model weighs 130 pounds less than the regular V-10 due to weight-reducing features such as the use of carbon fiber for the side blades, front splitter, rear diffuser and spoiler; a smaller fuel tank; manual seats; and reduced sound insulation in the engine bay. Audi estimates that the V-10 Plus equipped with the automatic can launch from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. Top speed is pegged at 196 mph.
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While we’ll wait to strap our test equipment on the R8 to get you the real numbers, there can be little doubt that Audi is not backing down in the supercar cage fight. We look forward to putting it up against the Porsche 911 and the Nissan GT-R to see which one comes out on top.
Until then, check out this preview video of the new R8 as featured in the upcoming Iron Man 3 movie: