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Audi unveils new R8 styling

The updated R8 precedes a new model set for 2016.

More wicked news from Audi as it polishes its R8 supercar with a new transmission for even more blistering performance. Out goes the clunky electro-mechanical six-speed gearbox and in slots a seven-cog dual-clutch box.

Audi Australia says the updated R8 - in V8 and V10, coupe and Spyder and R8+ coupe - will be here early next year but hasn't announced prices. Only 26 R8s have been sold this year to the end of June compared with 28 Lamborghinis and 49 Ferraris.

The updated R8 precedes a new model set for 2016. Other changes for the 2013 R8 are improved LED headlights and new rear LED lights, a deeper rear diffuser, new bumper and grille and subtle changes to the R8+ lightweight model.

The new transmission - called S-tronic by Audi but known by the Volkswagen Group as DSG - is optional on the V8 and standard on the V10. It is an evolution of the current DSG design with a new layout for the two clutches, a small 600mm overall gearbox length and drive to the front wheels via the engine's crankcase.

Up to 30 per cent of torque can be directed to the front wheels. The new transmission has reduced emissions by up to 22g/km CO2 and fuel consumption by 1.2 L/100km. The V8 S-tronic averages 12.4 L/100km and the V10 is 13.1 L/100km.

Audi claims the new model is quicker to 100km/h by up to 0.3 seconds. That gives the V8 S-tronic a 4.3 second time and only 3.6 seconds for the V10. Power outputs remain the same at 316kW/430Nm for the V8 and 386kW/530Nm for the V10. Both engines are also available with a six-speed manual - standard on the V8 and optional on the V10. Details of the Spyder version are identical to the coupe.