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2017 Audi R8 is high in cultured good looks

Audi's second-generation R8 supercar doesn't have quite the same look-at-me design philosophy of other high-dollar automobiles, and that's just fine. Just fine, indeed.

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Emme Hall
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The biggest visual change on the 2017 Audi R8 is the bisected side blade.

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You want carbon fiber? How about carbon-fiber engine compartment, front and rear spoiler, rear diffuser and exterior mirror housings.

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The R8 comes with dynamic turning signals in the rear, essentially a very fast sequential signal that is sure to get noticed.

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The front fascia has gotten a bit of an uplift, bearing LED headlamps and daytime running lights.

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Beneath that hood is a frunk with enough space for, well, not much. But really, who cares? Pack lightly and enjoy the ride.

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The rear spoiler is fixed on the R8 V10 Plus. A deployable spoiler graces the rear end of an R8 outfitted with the detuned V10 engine.

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While 19-inch wheels are standard, this test model came with 20-inch forged wheels with a titanium finish.

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The mid-engine V10 Plus puts out 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.

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There is also a base R8 available, with 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The price difference? About $27,000.

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Drivers can choose from Comfort, Auto or Dynamic modes. A Performance button allows for further customization to dry, wet or snow.

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The optional 20-inch wheels are staggered 245/30 in the front with a wider 305/30 in the rear, wrapped with summer tires.

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Flat-bottomed steering wheels, you make my rocking world go 'round (with apologies to Freddie Mercury).

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The Audi Virtual Cockpit 12.3-inch display has custom views. Here in dynamic mode is a large tachometer front and center with navigation on one side and a g-meter on the other.

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You can scroll through various bits of information on the screen, here going from navigation on the left to tire pressure monitoring.

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You can also choose to have navigation fill the entire screen. The Google maps can be displayed in graphic or satellite view.

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A full interior leather package is an extra $3,000.

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The only thing missing on the R8 is the gated manual shifter from the R8 of yore. Alas, it is not to be. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is the only way to get the power to the pavement.

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