By Matt Schmitz on January 3, 2013
The automaker promises that improvements to the 2014 R8 will make the high-performance sports car "more dynamic and powerful than ever before." That's thanks to the newly developed seven-speed automated manual transmission; Audi credits it with shaving 0.3 seconds off the R8's zero-to-60-mph time when paired with the top-tier R8 V10 Plus model's 5.2-liter V-10.
The direct-injection R8 V10 Plus creates 550 horsepower and is good for a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph. The other available engines are the 5.2-liter V-10 and the 4.2-liter V-8, both of which are also direct injection. The eight-cylinder and 10-cylinder engines are available on both the R8 Spyder and coupe while the V10 Plus is only available on the coupe.
Exterior updates include newly structured LED headlights, a hexagonal grille, new side mirrors and large, round tailpipe trims.
Joining the R8 in Detroit will be the 2014 RS 5 Cabriolet, which expands the RS 5 coupe brand with a soft-top convertible model while boasting comparable performance numbers. The RS 5 has a 4.2-liter eight-cylinder engine that creates 450 hp, is good for a zero-to-60-mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. According to Audi, it also maintains competitive fuel economy at 16/22 mpg city/highway.
New exterior features on the cabriolet include LED light strips on the headlights and taillights; a redesigned rear bumper; a higher diffuser and a honeycomb screen insert enclosing the two large elliptical tailpipes of the exhaust system; and a spoiler lip on the trunk. When the cabriolet's push-button power top is down, it takes up 2.12 cubic feet of the trunk's total 13.42 cubic feet.
Both the R8 and RS 5 Cabriolet will go on sale in the spring, Audi said. Check back for more details during the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.Related
News Editor Matt Schmitz is a veteran Chicago journalist indulging his curiosity for all things auto while helping to inform car shoppers. Email Matt