Audi R8: more powerful V8 and V10 coming in 2012

Published: 25 July 2011 Updated: 26 January 2015

The R8 supercar has been a big success story for Audi, but it’s not resting on its laurels. A facelift is coming and we hear in summer 2012, it’ll get a range of stronger engines.

The 5.2-litre V10 will be tuned to a punchier 533bhp – up from 518bhp  – and our sources in Munich suggest a seven-speed dual clutch S-tronic gearbox will be launched for the first time. So far, only a delicious old-school Ferrari open-gate manual ‘box has been available, or a clunky robotised R-tronic auto.

Audi plans changes to the 2012 R8 V8 too

The entry-level Audi R8 will be revised heavily in 2012 as well: CAR has learned that its 4.2-litre V8 will be upgraded to the same spec as the Audi RS5’s: it’ll therefore muster a more useful 444bhp, up from 424bhp.

Ingolstadt types confirm there will be GT and GT Spyder variants again.

Audi R8 vs Lamborghini Gallardo: the facelifts

Although the R8 will be mildly facelifted, we suspect it’ll be a very subtle model year change to the physical design of the car. Noodling with headlamp designs, millimetric changes to the LED spacing, that sort of thing.

Over at Sant’Agata, we hear there is no further facelift planned for the Lambo Gallardo, the R8’s cousin. More special editions will be forthcoming, but Lambo fans will have to wait a further three years for the successor to the Gallardo.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large