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There’s still a lot of buzz regarding the Audi R8 V10 Plus, as several auto and tech journalists took it around the Daytona International Speedway. We detailed that in our review roundup yesterday. But what is the R8 V10 Plus, and how is it much better than the standard R8? Let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the base model and its more powerful new variant.
The Audi R8 V10 Plus is capable of 70 more horsepower and 15 more lb/ft. of torque than the standard R8. That means instead of 540 horses and 398 lb/ft., the R8 V10 Plus makes 610 horses and 413 lb/ft. And that’s still coming from a naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 engine! As CNET put it in its review of the V10 Plus, the car’s engine is a standout in an era where cylinder counts and displacement are both going down, and forced induction is more and more of a thing. That engine is mated to a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission, and like your typical Audi, it comes with all-wheel drive. All in all, it’s a smooth and flexible powertrain, as most reviewers will tell you.
In addition to the more powerful engine, the race-worthy R8 V10 Plus is a lighter, slimmer vehicle than its standard counterpart, weighing in at about 3,630 pounds, or 110 pounds less than the regular R8. According to Audi, the R8 V10 Plus is “50 percent identical” to its racing equivalent, with generous use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, blended in with its Aluminum Space Frame chassis. That gives it a similar build to another supercar and the R8’s corporate cousin, the Lamborghini Huracan.
Still, as CNET said in its review, the base V10 model is no slouch at all. Even without a manual transmission, the standard R8 is still a car you’d have fun driving at higher speeds than usual, though it’s still not the kind of R8 you’d want to drive on a racetrack, due to the lack of a manual. With an estimated 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 199 mph, the standard R8 doesn’t lack for power. And it’s also a good deal more affordable, though that’s merely relative – the base R8 will set you back by $162,900, as to $189,900 for the R8 V10 Plus.
On the other hand, the base R8 does come with a wide range of infotainment and navigation features, including MMI navigation, Google Earth support, Internet radio, and more. But since the V10 Plus is, as we said, lighter than the regular R8, the 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system is merely optional on the V10 Plus. Still, all of the standard R8’s exciting tech features remain. You get a cabin without the usual center screen, but with a 12.3-inch “Virtual Cockpit” display that handles all infotainment, navigation, and driving aids, seamlessly combining simplicity of use and high-tech features.