2019 Audi R8 First Drive: Power Hitter

"The R8 occupies a special position for Audi in every respect," says Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. "Now it's even stronger and faster."

Fans of the R8’s unique balance of performance will be delighted. But does the already excellent Audi even need an upgrade? A rhetorical question, sure, but one the team in Neckarsulm, home of Audi’s RS brand, didn’t even bother to ask – of course the R8 would get an upgrade.

What's New With The Audi R8?

So, let's take a closer look at what Audi Sport has been up to. The R8’s single-frame grille is wider and flatter. Strong bridges divide the large air intakes, while slits at the very front of the hood are reminiscent of the iconic Sport Quattro (and curiously enough, also of the new A1). A new, wider front splitter channels air under the R8, while an air outlet in the rear fascia forces air through the enormous diffuser. At each side of the rear fascia, there’s a Howitzer-sized, oval exhaust tip. Overall, the new R8 further emphasizes its width, even though the dimensions remain the same.

In the engine compartment, engineers moved the air filter to a new, three-part cover, available in either plastic or carbon fiber. R8 customers can choose from three exterior packages, which set different accents on the front splitter, sill strips and diffuser. On request, Audi will p...