Audi R8 V10 plus 2013

It feels like a compromise between siblings. The limited-edition R8 GT was too much of a good thing to let it completely slip away, so we each get to keep half. That’s roughly how many parts Audi says the V-10 Plus shares with the track-focused R8 GT. With half of the track-car’s upgrades, the R8 V-10 Plus doesn’t offer the same weight reduction, but it has shed quite a few pounds and makes up for the difference with a whole new quicker-shifting transmission.

It starts with a 550-horsepower version of the 5.2-liter V-10. The upgraded engine first showed up in the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. For the R8, it’s a 25 horsepower increase over the base V-10 and only 10 shy of the GT. We also get the ceramic brakes and a host of carbon-fiber bits, reducing the vehicle’s weight by 130 pounds. As would be expected, it’s nearly half the GT’s 220-pound reducĀ­tion. The biggest change is the new transmission. Ditching the not-so-smooth sequential manual for the time-tested RS-model-proven dual-clutch transmission is a logical step that should have been made a few years ago. On its own, it reduces the zero-to-60 time by 0.3 of a second, helping take the R8 V-10 Plus down to 3.3 seconds for the 0-60 rush and holding gears and blipping the throttle with the best of them.

The new trim and transmission are part of other subtle tweaks for the new year, which includes a new grille and full-LED lights on the outside and diamond-stitched leather seats on the inside.Audi R8 V10 plus 2013 backAudi R8 V10 plus 2013 photoAudi R8 V10 plus 2013 photo2Audi R8 V10 plus 2013 interior photoAudi R8 V10 plus 2013 interior

Price: $170,000
Engine: 5.2-liter V-10
Horsepower: 550
0-60: 3.3 seconds
Top Speed: 197 mph
Transmission: 6-speed manual or
7-speed dual-clutch
Torque: 398 foot-pounds