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2020 Audi R8 Overview

The Audi R8 debuted in 2005, presenting buyers with a German alternative to the Porsche 911. The biggest changes came with the second-generation redesign in 2015. For 2020, the model gets a mid-cycle refresh with more flamboyant styling and more power. The nose is a bit more angular, its grille a bit wider, its front splitter a bit sharper, and its headlights recessed a little deeper. Audi also added three small slats right above the front grille as an homage to the old Audi Sport Quattro rally cars of the 1980s. New optional 20-inch wheels are another addition, as are Kemora Gray and Ascari Blue exterior colors. The 2020 R8 is available in either base V10 or V10 Performance versions and in either coupe or spyder body styles.

Under the three-piece engine cover, which can be had in either plastic or carbon fiber, lies the familiar naturally aspirated V10. In the base R8, the V10 now makes 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, while the Performance now makes 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. The R8 features Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, which is driven by the V10 through a 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission (DCT). As of this writing, fuel-economy figures for the latest R8 aren’t available.

The 2020 Audi R8 also features dry, wet, and snow driving modes, and Audi has reportedly retuned the steering dynamics of the R8’s electromechanical power-steering system. Standard tires include 19-inch wheels with 20-inch wheels are available. The Spyder version is available with a stiff front sway bar made out of carbon fiber, reinforced polymer, and aluminum.

While the R8's interior features ample leather, carbon fiber trim is available. Standard features included power heated sports seats, a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, and Audi’s “Virtual Cockpit” 12.3-inch high-resolution instrument cluster and information screen. Unlike the Porsche 911, the R8 is strictly a two-seater. Standard safety features are sparse, including a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors.

The R8 stays relevant, exciting, and competitive. Other alternatives include the Porsche 911 Turbo, Mercedes-AMG GT S, and McLaren 650S.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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