Facelifted supercar has been substantially tweaked to accept a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox
Julian Rendell
14 April 2012

The facelifted and significantly re-engineered Audi R8 that goes on sale this autumn has been scooped for the first time.

Spotted testing at night in non-reflective paintwork, this otherwise undisguised R8 Spyder gives away the visual changes of the facelifted supercar, due to be revealed at the Moscow show this August.

But the substantial changes are under the skin. There’s a new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission on the options list — and this has required a completely new rear structure.

Originally, the R8 was engineered with a six-speed transmission in mind, operated either by a conventional clutch and shift mechanism or an optional R-tronic clutchless sequential-change system.However, Audi’s product planners and marketeers significantly underestimated the global demand for a self-shifting gearbox. The lack of one in the R8 is understood to have put off significant numbers of buyers from all over the globe, depressing sales of the R8.

So Audi has taken the expensive step of redesigning the whole of the rear tub, engine carrier and suspension to accept the much wider and heavier dual-clutch transmission, even though the current R8 has only two years further on sale.

As yet it’s unclear whether the S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox will be offered with both V8 and V10 powerplants.

The V10 is expected to get a mild hike from 525bhp to about 540bhp, although the 424bhp 4.2-litre V8 is tipped to stay largely unchanged.

The high cost of re-engineering an existing model is expected to be largely recouped when Audi launches a new R8 in late 2014 or early 2015. Although that car, codenamed AU724, will pioneer a new styling direction for Audi and feature a predominantly aluminium body, the driveline architecture will be carried over from this autumn’s facelifted model.

As these scoops show, the facelift features subtle visual changes, such as new exhaust outlet shapes and revised light clusters front and rear.

The exhausts will change to a circular shape, replacing the current oval graphic, while the rear lights appear to have lost their distinctive quad, square-shaped outline. The same goes for the front headlamps, where the LED running lights appear to have been repositioned at the top of the reflector.

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13

14 April 2012

[quote Autocar]The facelifted and significantly re-engineered Audi R8 that goes on sale this autumn has been scooped for the first time.

Spotted testing at night in non-reflective paintwork, this otherwise undisguised R8 Spyder gives away the visual changes of the facelifted supercar, due to be revealed at the Moscow show this August.

But the substantial changes are under the skin. There’s a new seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission on the options list — and this has required a completely new rea...Read the full article[/quote] As Homer would say.......Doh!!!!!!!!!

Peter Cavellini.

14 April 2012

I'm surprised that the R8 didn't come with a dual-clutch transmission in the first place.

14 April 2012

This car, along with the Nissan GT-R, has exposed the myth that is the Porsche 911. For that alone, this car is already an icon.

14 April 2012

[quote The Special One]

This car, along with the Nissan GT-R, has exposed the myth that is the Porsche 911. For that alone, this car is already an icon.

[/quote]

I'm no fan of the 911, far from it - I don't really like it at all, but this is just becoming tedious now.

14 April 2012

[quote The Special One]

This car, along with the Nissan GT-R, has exposed the myth that is the Porsche 911. For that alone, this car is already an icon.

[/quote]

The 911 is not a myth, and its been an icon for decades, there is a difference, and something the Nissan or the Audi could never replicate, in their own ways they both may be better than the 911, but they don't have the same respect, admiration, or desirability. classic 911's can be worth silly money, it will be a very long time before the R8 or the GTR will be classics.

14 April 2012

[quote The Special One]This car, along with the Nissan GT-R, has exposed the myth that is the Porsche 911. For that alone, this car is already an icon.[/quote] Boring

 

14 April 2012

[quote Fidji]

I'm surprised that the R8 didn't come with a dual-clutch transmission in the first place.

[/quote]

As far as I remember, it was a cost issue at the time. The car is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo which dates back to 2003 - well before double-clutch transmissions became popular. Given that they were trying to make the car significantly less expensive than the Gallardo, the extra costs associated with developing a double-clutch transmission were considered too much at the time (from memory, they didn't have one ready to go, so would have had to develop one). Lamborghini were not interested in a double-clutch unit for the Gallardo, so Audi would have had to foot the bill alone.

They also underestimated the number of people who would choose the sequential gearbox over the manual. Unfortunately, the clunky sequential gearbox was probably the car's biggest weakness, and reduced the showroom appeal of the R8 once it ceased to be the latest thing around in the marketplace - especially once Porsche and Ferrari started to show how good a double-clutch transmission can be.

15 April 2012

With a dual clutch gearbox, it's straightline performance will be getting closer to the Gallardo LP560 despite being heavier and with 10 less ponies. Can't wait to see the car in the flesh! Talking about iconic cars. Don't think we will see a GTR or R8 that will cost more in ten years time. On the other hand, a well look after 993 turbo is appreciating.

15 April 2012

VAG admitting fault in market understanding is a step frwd - (albeit brought about by the usual learning from a financial experience!). The glorious V10 should have been offered from the begining and only because of the weight and size constrictions was it ignored. That has cost them sales, time, investment and...egg placed squarely where it belonged. Whilst many probably missed the little ditty in the story..launching where?? ahhh Moscow! Well Well Well. Errr why? simply because it happens to be one of their biggest markets, despite the crappy weather - this car is a status symbol already here - much as the Bently is. After these two you are down the list in common or garden Infiniti, Massa, Jag, MB, BMW, Audi's etc.... nuff siad.

15 April 2012

[quote herbie911]Don't think we will see a GTR or R8 that will cost more in ten years time.[/quote]

So they're better to buy new and secondhand.

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