Quicker, sharper, and meaner: Audi rejuvenates the R8 for 2019

The mid-engined Audi R8 just got better.

Audi has given the coupe and convertible versions of its range-topping model an array of design, tech, and mechanical updates that come together to increase its desirability. Let’s start with the front fascia, which looks more chiseled and more aggressive than before. The frame around the grille underlines the LED headlights and receives three rectangular air vents positioned right below the hood. The vents are a heritage-laced styling cue added as a tribute to the rally-winning Sport Quattro coupe made during the 1980s.

Walk around back and you’ll notice smaller design changes. The air vent below the lights is lower than before, according to Audi, and the diffuser is bigger. Nineteen-inch alloy wheels add a final touch of sportiness to the design. Super-light 20-inch units are offered at an extra cost for buyers looking to shed as much weight as possible. Those who take that route — which inevitably leads to hot laps at the track — will also want to get the carbon ceramic brakes and the front stabilizer bar made with a mix of carbon fiber and aluminum.

The R8 doesn’t succumb to the industry-wide trend of offering downsized engines. It carries on with a naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 engine closely related to the unit that powers the Lamborghini Huracan. Audi promises it will continue to offer two variants of the 10-cylinder engine but it is keeping full technical details under wraps. British magazine Autocar has learned the standard model packs 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, increases of 30 and 10, respectively, over the outgoing R8. The Performance model ups the ante with 611 hp and 417 lb-ft. of torque.

A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and the firm’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system come standard regardless of how much power the V10 makes. The well-received, tail-happy rear-wheel-drive model could return a little bit later in the production run; keep your fingers crossed if you like your R8 sideways.

While you can’t see the software changes, Audi promises you’ll feel them when driving the R8 on a twisty road. Engineers have recalibrated the steering system for increased response and feedback. They have also added three profiles to the drive mode selector called dry, wet, and snow, respectively, that modify dynamic parameters (like the firmness of the suspension and the sharpness of the throttle response) according to different road conditions. Finally, tweaking the ESC settings reduced the car’s stopping distance.

In Europe, the updated R8 will begin arriving in showrooms in early 2019. Audi will release pricing information and complete technical data in the weeks leading up to the model’s on-sale date.  We don’t have details about the American-spec version of the car yet. An Audi representative told Digital Trends information about the model we’ll get here hasn’t been finalized so it won’t be announced until later.

Updated 10-31-2018: Added information about the U.S.-spec model.

Photography

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.
Cars

Land Rover shows its artsy side by previewing the 2020 Range Rover Evoque

Land Rover made life-sized wire sculptures to preview the 2020 Range Rover Evoque. The all-new SUV will make its debut during a private event held in London on November 22, and deliveries will begin in 2019.
Cars

BMW’s 2020 M340i will show off mix of tech and luxury at the Los Angeles show

The 2020 3 Series represents the seventh generation of BMW's bread-and-butter luxury sedan. Where previous generations emphasized the driving experience, the 2020 3 Series focuses more on tech than ever before.
Cars

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.
Cars

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
Cars

VW will use Siri as the designated driver for its connected car party

Volkswagen of America added Apple's Siri to help drivers control and interact with their cars. Owners can customize voice commands to tell Siri to change access settings such as interior climate, vehicle lock status, and fuel checks.
Cars

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.
Cars

Meet the born-again Ford Bronco that will soothe your ’90s nostalgia

Ford has confirmed it will bring the Bronco back to American showrooms in a few short years. While it's still very much a work in progress, this is what we expect from the Blue Oval's born-again off-roader.
Cars

Quick! Someone petition Ferrari to make this luscious tribute to the F40

Ferrari looks toward the future as it designs hypercars like the LaFerrari. Designer Samir Sadikhov turned his eye toward the past to create a modern interpretation of the 1987 F40 without venturing into full retro territory.
Cars

Where are you going this weekend? These 5 off-road vehicles say 'anywhere'

The body-on-frame SUV is going extinct, but there are still several options for buyers looking to skip the asphalt. To help you sort the good from the bad, we've rounded up the best off-roaders currently available.
Cars

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.
Cars

Lime’s first carsharing service motors into Seattle this week

Lime may be better known for its app-based bike and scooter rental services, but in Seattle, Washington this week it's launching its very first carsharing service, similar to Car2go and Zipcar.
Deals

These headlights have 4 color settings to help save lives under all conditions

Boslla headlights are an easy-to-install solution to achieve all-weather lighting for your vehicle. After a quick ten-minute install, these lights have up to four settings to get you through anything.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.