Performance Cars

2019 Audi R8 looks refreshed and sharper than ever

The R8's fundamentals stay the same, but it gets a few performance tweaks and some aesthetic upgrades for 2019.

Audi's R8 has long been one of our favorite fast cars and it looks like it's getting even better for 2019.

Audi

The Audi R8 V10 is an easy car to love. It's handsome, sounds incredible, and in supercar terms, it's relatively affordable to own, reliable and actually makes for a pretty reasonable daily driver. Audi probably could've soldiered on with the R8 as it is for a couple more years without garnering too many complaints. Not content to rest on its laurels, the company announced Tuesday that its mid-engined missile is getting some tweaks.

First and foremost, that high-revving naturally-aspirated V10 isn't going anywhere. It's available in two power ratings. We're guessing that means the standard car will still produce 532 horsepower and the Plus model will net out at 602, though for the moment, Audi isn't specifying.

In terms of performance changes, Audi promises the 2019 R8's handling is getting a little love in the form of some suspension and steering adjustments. Again, the German automaker is being pretty cagey as to what it's changing in the suspension, but the steering has been tuned to provide more feedback, and there's still an optional variable-ratio dynamic steering system.


Audi is bringing new drive settings to the R8, too. Specifically, it's adding dry, wet and snow settings to the car's performance mode. Frankly, we'd like to meet the maniac who is driving their R8 V10 Plus in the snow in performance mode, but since it's all-wheel drive, with a good set of snows, we wouldn't mind trying it out, either.

New lightweight 20-inch machined wheels are available as an option, 19-inch units are standard. As before, carbon-ceramic brakes are available, as one would expect on this kind of machine. Audi has also revamped the car's front splitter, making it from carbon-reinforced plastic, a change that shaves a little over 4.4 pounds from the nose of the car.

The 2019 Spyder also gets the same freshen new look and performance tweaks.

Audi

Speaking of which, the nose of the R8 is now more square-looking, with some cool vents above the remodeled (and still sizable) central grille that are meant to evoke Audi's famous original Quattro model from the 1980s. Out back, there's a redesigned rear diffuser with central vent. There are also two new colors available for 2019: Ascari Blue and Kemora Gray.

While none of the changes that Audi is making to either the 2019 R8 Coupe or droptop Spider are huge, the cumulative result of these small upgrades should make a great car even better. Audi will begin offering the refreshed R8 in Europe starting early next year, but for now, a company rep would only confirm to Roadshow that in our part of the world, the model "will arrive in 2019" and is "subject to a future announcement for the US market."