We headed into the mountains of southern Portugal to test drive Audi's all-new R8 V10 and V10 Plus.
German automobile manufacturer Audi lifted the veil off their revamped R8, presenting both the R8 V10 and the R8 V10 Plus in the foothills of southern Portugal. Beautiful inside and out, both models come equipped with a 5.2-liter V10 engine with quattro all-wheel drive and S-tronic gearbox. The V10 delivers 540 hp and 540 Nm of torque, while the V10 Plus produces 610 hp and 560 Nm of torque. Those with a need for speed can go from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 and 3.2 seconds respectively, and the V10 Plus can sprint from 0-200 km/h in an impressive 9.9 seconds. Further specs include a top speed of 198 mph in the R8 V10 and 205.1 mph in the V10 Plus.
Drivers will first notice the incredibly sexy roar of the engine, matching the R8's wider, lower and more aggressive stance. The weight, meanwhile, has been reduced to 3,205 lbs mainly via the new Audi Space Frame. The handling of the V10 Plus uses the new quattro setup with variable torque distribution. In addition to the four driving modes found on other performance Audis – Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual – a new performance mode on the R8 V10 Plus allows drivers to choose between three predefined settings for proper grip on dry roads, wet roads and snow.
Perhaps the biggest change of all, however, is the interior, which is completely new (besides the seating position of the mid-engined sports car) and looks nothing like the old R8. The new cockpit is now completely driver-oriented a la the R8 LMS and features Audi Virtual Cockpit with a large display replacing the dials. The center console is as minimal as can be and only features the MMI controller, gear lever and climate control.
Look for both vehicles to hit roads this fall. The R8 V10 will fetch 165,000 euros ($180k USD), while the R8 V10 plus sells for 187,400 euros ($204k USD).