One of the last surviving naturally aspirated supercars is adored by enthusiasts, but the prohibitive starting price of $172,850 after taxes is a tough pill to swallow. The most recent sales numbers in the United States confirm demand for the Audi R8 has taken a major hit, with sales dropping by a worrying 38 percent to just 574 units in 2019.
The silver lining is a hidden discount discovered by Cars Direct in a dealer incentive bulletin that takes off $7,500 from the V10 machine’s steep starting price in a best-case scenario. That’s because the incentive is offered by Audi to dealers, but they’re not obliged to pass it along to consumers that are either buying or leasing. Ideally, the price cut would lower the R8 Coupe’s MSRP to $165,350, which wouldn’t make it exactly affordable, but it’s better than nothing.
It’s actually the first discount offered by Audi for the facelifted R8 supercar since it went on sale in the U.S. last spring. The pricey machine carrying the Four Rings can cost as much as $214,995 for the limited-run Decennium special edition, with the R8 V10 Performance Spyder not far behind at $208,100 before options.
Speaking of the droptop, Cars Direct discovered there’s a dealer located in Atlanta, Georgia selling a 2020 R8 Spyder for $17,653 less than the MSRP, at $178,492. If you know where to look, other dealers are typically offering discounts varying between $8,000 and $10,000. Audi now has a more attainable rear-wheel-drive R8 for sale in Europe, but it's unclear at this point whether the tail-happy supercar will make it to the U.S.
These price cuts are unlikely to rejuvenate sales of the R8 in a significant way, but that doesn’t mean Audi’s flagship performance model will be discontinued. Despite the rumors previewing the supercar’s demise, the company recently hinted there will be a third generation with an electrified powertrain to meet emissions regulations.
It’s not clear at this point whether the 5.2-liter V10 will survive, but Audi Sport Managing director Oliver Hoffman previously said he’s doing his best to keep the sweet-sounding FSI alive. A similar configuration of the ten-cylinder mill is used by the Huracan, and it will be interesting to see what Lamborghini will be doing with the supercar’s replacement.