Audi to Debut 2014 R8 V10 Plus and RS5 Cab at NAIAS

Posted by: Kenny Chan onJanuary 3rd, 2013

Audi of America has announced that they will be bringing the recently updated R8 model line along with the RS5 Cabriolet to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. Audi has finally made a change that enthusiasts have been clamouring for in the R8, and it is one of the biggest reasons that the car is not more popular in that segment. They have finally ditched the terrible R tronic transmission and replaced it with a dual clutch version they dub S tronic.

“Coming off the momentum we’ve built with the launch of the all-new Audi S models, the new Audi R8 and RS 5 Cabriolet further invigorate the next chapter of our Audi performance models,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “We know that driving enthusiasts are excited to have these cars come to our shores, but they will be even more thrilled to know this is just the beginning.”

For the 2014 model year, the R8 will sport a third engine variant on top of the current R8 V8, and R8 V10. New for 2014 is the R8 V10 Plus which provides a 25hp bump over the regular V10 for a total of 550hp. The small power bump is enough to shave an extra 0.1s off the 0-60 time over the regular V10. Oh, and that new seven-speed S tronic transmission? That change alone shaves another 0.3s off the 0-60 time on the R8 V10 Plus. Reviewers that have driven the car (sadly, I have not been offered to drive one but you know how to reach me Audi!) say the shifts are much smoother and lightning fast offering a much better driving experience not only at high speeds on the track but even when cruising around.

For all you spec warriors, the R8 V10 Plus puts out 550 hp as mentioned before with 398 lb-ft of torque, completes the 0-60 in a mere 3.3 seconds and continues to accelerate up to 196mph. The regular V10 (it’s really weird to call it that) packs 525 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque while the V8 rounds out the line-up with 430 hp and 317 ft-lb of torque. Interestingly enough the R8 V10 goes on a small diet and sheds about 100 lbs courtesy of a plethora of carbon fiber parts including the side blades, front splitter, rear diffuser, spoiler and ceramic brakes. It even comes with a smaller fuel tank.

This comes up whenever new high performance cars are discussed, but Audi is one of the few automakers that is still offering drivers a choice to row their own gears with a gated 6-speed manual transmission so don’t bother posting the “Oh that’s a shame I would totally buy one if they had a manual version” comment.

One other point that I like to discuss, and its the first thing I check out when looking at new cars nowadays is their headlight designs. With LEDs showing up on all cars, designers can no longer slap on a strip of LED lights to make their headlights stand out. Audi has always been in the forefront of headlight designs and with the 2014 R8 they have gone with an all-LED approach. This however isn’t the biggest change for this round. The new tail lights (also LED) have been redesigned with a new strip of LEDs for the turn signal that are lit up in sequence, a feature Audi refers to as dynamic turn signals. It looks nice, but yet simple enough that I expect we’ll see it trickle down to other models eventually.

2014 RS 5 Cabriolet

The R8 won’t be hogging all of the attention at the Detroit Auto Show, as Audi will be bringing in the newest variant to the RS5 model line-up. The RS5 Cabriolet loses its roof but maintains its sporty and aggressive look. New light weight aluminum fenders have been put in place to counter the additional reinforcements needed to maintain a rigid body for the convertible RS5. Other changes include a revised rear diffuser that sits slightly higher than it does on the coupe. A small spoiler on the trunk (yep, carbon fiber) helps provide more downforce.

Under the hood the RS5 Cabriolet gets the same 4.2L V8 pushing out 450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 time is 4.9 seconds which is not bad considering this thing weighs in at 4420 lbs. You don’t buy this thing for all out performance, the cabriolet is for those that like to cruise around on nice days with the top down with occasional spirited driving. Speaking of the top, its fully automatic and takes only 15 seconds to open and 17 seconds to close. The best part of the top is that you can do this while driving up to 30 mph.

Both of these hot rides will be available for sale in a few months but we’ll be down in Detroit at NAIAS to check these out in person. Can’t wait! One can only hope they decide to bring the RS6 Avant just to show us what we cannot have. Stay tuned for our coverage. In the mean time check out the gallery below for more car porn.

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