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Audi R8 2019 facelift revealed

Audi has poured its Le Mans victories into its next R8 supercar, claiming the 2019 production model update shares 50 per cent of its parts with the LMS GT3 customer racer.

That should be enough to attract even more attention to the R8 that since 2006 has been the flagship sports car for Audi and has been in parallel development through the years with the five-time Le Mans 24-hour winning racecar.

Now Audi is enforcing its race-bred heritage with an updated road-going version, with the facelifted R8 expected in Australia late next year.

Following the unveiling of the R8 LMS GT3 at the Paris motor show this month, the 2019 production R8 retains the profile of the current car, but will add a more powerful V10 engine in two tuning levels, plus new suspension components and optional dynamic steering.

Externally the update shows a new face with a wider, lower floating grille and deeper splitter.

Convertible Spyder versions are 0.1s slower to the landmark triple digit figure. Convertible Spyder versions are 0.1s slower to the landmark triple digit figure.

At the back, the more pronounced engine cover is available in plastic or carbon-fibre, and two new paint colours – ‘Kemora Gray’ and ‘Ascari Blue’ – have been added to the palette.

Audi said the R8 will be available in Europe with three exterior packages. This is yet to be confirmed for the Australian market, but the packages add subtle finishes to the front face of the car including the option of a high-gloss black finish for the bonnet’s four-ring badge.

The drivetrain is basically unchanged though Audi has upped outputs from 397kW/540Nm to 419kW/550Nm in the base R8 V10 quattro guise.

V10 Plus quattro versions meanwhile, dials it up to 456kW/580Nm from 449kW/560Nm.

With three drive modes on offer, the updated R8 will scoot from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds in coupe V10 quattro form, while the V10 Plus quattro drops the time down to 3.1s.

Convertible Spyder versions are 0.1s slower to the landmark triple digit figure.

Audi has not indicated a manual transmission will return after being dropped in 2015, so the gearbox remains a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Changes to the suspension are designed to increase stability and steering precision, with a retuned electromechanical power unit. There is also the option of dynamic steering that changes the gear ratio and weight of the steering wheel feel.

Options for the car will include the upgrade to 20-inch wheels from the standard 19-inch units, and ceramic-composite brake discs to replace the standard ventilated steel rotors.

Do the changes make the R8 a more desirable sports car? Tell us what you think in the comments below.