Matthew Jones25 July 2012

First pics: facelifted Audi R8

Audi adds 542bhp ‘Plus’ model to its flagship, along with spot-the-difference tweaks up front...

Audi R8 facelift

Audi has facelifted its very pretty R8. No seriously. Look again. There's a redesigned bumper, weird upside-downy wrong-way-roundy LED headlights, a new R8 logo, restyled rear diffuser and a new rounded single exhaust protrudes from its rump. Which means it still looks a bit awesome.

More significant are the oily revisions. There's a new seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission and a more focused V10 Plus model joining the R8 line-up. Engine variants include the previous model's entry-level 424bhp 4.2-litre V8 and 5.2-litre V10 with 518bhp, but Audi's chucked away the current model's six-speed automated manual R-tronic ‘box and replaced it with the new seven speeder.

See more pics of the Audi R8 facelift here

Audi reckons the new gearbox conspires to a 22g/km CO2 emission decrease and improves the 0-62mph sprint by 0.3sec - the entry-level V8 gets there in 4.3sec and the V10 arrives in 3.6sec.

The new model we'll no doubt be getting excited about is the more focused V10 Plus, which will be offered as a coupe only. Audi's increased power by 24bhp to 542bhp, which reduces the car's 0-62mph time to 3.5sec and stretches the top speed to 197mph.

It's lighter too - the V10 wears featherweight alloys, there's less insulation, its suspension's been tuned and there are lightweight buckets seats inside.

Styling wise, the Plus differentiates itself with a carbonfibre front splitter, mirror housings and air vents. The rear diffuser's also bigger than standard and the exhaust pipes are painted black.

UK pricing's yet to be announced, but the Germans are paying €113,500 (£88,300) for the V8 coupe, €154,600 (£120300) for the V10 and €173,200 (£134,800) for the V10 Plus.

Like it, TopGear.commers?

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.