Audi Sport announced the R8, its range-topping model, will enter the 2022 model year with more horsepower. It’s also making relatively small changes to some of the other models in its range, including the RS7 Sportback.
The limited-edition rear-wheel-drive R8 became a regular-production model for the 2021 model year. Much lighter and more accessible than its all-wheel-driving sibling, it’s powered by a naturally-aspirated, 5.2-liter V10 engine whose output increases from 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque in 2021 to 563 and 406, respectively, for 2022. Mounted behind the passenger compartment, the 10-cylinder spins the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi quotes a zero-to-60-mph time of 3.6 seconds for the coupe.
R8 buyers have two new option packages to choose from. The Sport Exhaust package bundles a four-button steering wheel with a Performance driving mode and, as its name implies, a sport exhaust system with black tips. The Dynamic package brings ceramic brakes on both axles, 20-inch wheels, and leather-upholstered racing seats.
Audi is not making mechanical modifications to the all-wheel-drive R8, which carries on with a 602-horsepower version of the V10. Moving down in the range, the RS Q8, the RS7 Sportback, the RS6 Avant, plus the coupe and the Sportback versions of the RS5 get an RS-Design appearance package that brings a sportier-looking interior. For example, RS7 buyers get contrast stitching on the seatbelts and Alcantara upholstery, among other accents.
Dynamic Ride Control (DRC) technology is optionally available on the RS6 and the RS7. The RS Q8’s list of standard features grows with the addition of Adaptive Cruise Assist with Traffic Jam Assist and Audi Active Lane Assist, while the extra-cost Executive Package includes Traffic Sign Recognition and Intersection Assist.
What the future holds for the second-generation R8 is up in the air. Audi board member Hildegard Wortmann said “the icons of the past aren’t necessarily the icons of the future,” a statement which casts a big shadow over the V10-powered flagship’s future. And yet, merely building a third-generation R8 on an electric architecture isn’t an option, either. Wortmann stressed the model’s replacement “won’t just be an R8 with an electric motor.”