2020 Audi R8 gets more power and a Lamborghini-esque makeover

Audi’s given the 2020 model of its range-topping supercar a thorough mid-cycle refresh.

The 2020 Audi R8 gets sharper styling in the form of a bigger grille, more flourishes, and three vents below the hood as a tribute to the brand’s rally heritage.
The 2020 Audi R8 gets sharper styling in the form of a bigger grille, more flourishes, and three vents below the hood as a tribute to the brand’s rally heritage. –Audi

It seems the mid-engine V10 Audi R8 has leaned even more into its Italian roots. Audi’s given the 2020 model of its range-topping supercar a thorough mid-cycle refresh, adding more power, sharper styling, and a few other changes to keep its most exciting car as exciting as possible.

First and foremost, the front fascia gets a host of new styling tweaks, including a slightly larger grille, a sharper front splitter with Lambo-like winglets on the outsides of the lower air vents, and three small slats above the grille and below the hood as a tribute to the World Rally Championship-winning Audi Sport Quattro from the 1980s.

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Out back, there’s a larger vent area between the taillights and the rear bumper, and the exhaust pipes get more pronounced silver-lined housings with a big rear splitter in between.

The interior receives no major changes, but the R8 does get more power in both the base and Performance versions. —Audi

The other hallmark changes are under the hood – or rear cowl, we should say – where Audi continues to proudly say “nein, danke” to turbochargers. The 5.2-liter V10 continues to be offered in two power outputs, this time with 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque from the base motor, an increase of 30 horsepower and eight pound-feet over last year.

As for the R8 Performance model, it turns the heat up to 611 horsepower and 417 pound-feet, a bump of nine horsepower and four pound-feet over last year, so clearly the base model gets the better end of the deal.

In terms of technology updates, the R8 keeps it solely performance-centric, with a number of software tweaks that Audi assures will enhance the driving experience, such as three new profiles in the drive mode selector for dry, wet, and snow conditions, and tweaks to the stability control settings that help shorten the car’s stopping distance.