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2018 Audi R8: Overview

What’s New for 2018?

After a complete makeover last year, the 2018 Audi R8 coupe and convertible return with just a few minor upgrades to the coupe. A new smartphone interface allows for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, there’s a new Black Optic package, and laser high beam headlights are now offered on base V10 trims. Later this year, a lighter and less expensive rear-wheel-drive R8 V10 RWS will debut. For 2018 horsepower numbers have been marginally revised down for both the V10 and V10 Plus.

What We Like

Attractive styling; excellent interior; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; outstanding performance

What We Don’t

Overall design looks a lot like the previous generation; pricing has gotten very high; really could use a manual transmission option

Overview

The 2018 Audi R8 was fully redesigned last year, touting a new look, new equipment and — perhaps most noticeably — a new interior with a dramatically updated design.

We’ll start with the new look. When you see the new Audi R8 on the road, you might be surprised by just how similar it is to the original car. There’s a reason for that: The R8 has been nipped, tucked, modernized and enhanced, but there’s no dramatic overhaul here. Audi knew better than to mess with success.

It’s a different story on the inside, where the R8 offers an unusual (but excellent) LCD gauge cluster and cockpitlike switchgear, including a giant red starter button on the steering wheel and unusual climate controls that hang from the dashboard just within the driver’s reach.

Under the hood, the R8 features a 5.2-liter V10, a unit it shares with the Lamborghini Huracan. It’s good for 532 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque in the base-level R8 ($166,150 Coupe, $178,350 Spyder with shipping), or 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque in the upgraded R8 V10 Plus ($195,650 with shipping). When it arrives later this year, the rear-drive R8 is expected to shave about 100 pounds off the R8’s weight and come in just under $140,000. All models employ the same 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

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