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4 Big Changes Coming to the 2017 Audi R8

Written By, NowCar Team

Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, it doesn't look like much has changed for the Audi R8's 2017 model. The iconic Iron Man car's design has been refined over the years, but still remains uniquely recognizable as a new car for sale in Orlando. 

In a field of turbocharged and hybrid supercars, however, the Audi's naturally-aspirated V10 stands out in a crowd of competition hell bent on doing whatever it takes to be the fastest, and most efficient, car in their price range.

But despite Audi sticking with the V10, it does have some tricks up its sleeves.

Out with the V8: The V10 is King

Audi has dropped the R8's V8 engine option to better focus on the V10, which seems to working out perfectly for the German company. The V10 trim's power is up 26 percent over the previous model, while the V10 Plus is up 11 percent.

Both options also use new technology to reduce the supercar's fuel consumption. Up to 10 percent savings can be had thanks to features that shut off half of the V10's cylinders in certain driving situations and off entirely in others.

Unfortunately this change is accompanied by the loss of the traditional manual transmission. A new seven-speef "S Tronic" transmission will now be offered, and manual enthusiasts will have to settle for paddle shifters.

The Lighter the Better

Another impressive improvement is the weight reduction from the previous model.  The 2017 R8 is set to be up to 110 pounds lighter, thanks to new applications of carbon fiber throughout the structure.

New All-Wheel Drive Tech

More power, fuel savings, and weight reduction would look pretty good on Audi's changelog for the new R8. But they didn't stop there.

Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system is also seeing a significant upgrade, meant to improve the overall grip. The upgrades allows the R8 to send 100 percent of its power to the front or rear wheels as necessary.

Limited Production Fully-Electric Version on the Horizon

Audi has teased its series of "e-tron" concept cars for years now, but it will finally be making a production run with the limited R8 e-tron in 2017

From what we know about typical electric cars, however, you wouldn't expect the R8 e-tron to be impressive compared to its V10 counterparts, right?

Well, you'd be wrong. The e-tron will actually produce 456 hp and a monstrous 678 pound-feet of torque from two electric motors. 

Thanks to all of that torque, 0-62 mph happens in just 3.9 seconds. That's barely slower than the V10 and V10 Plus variations. 

With all of that power, you'd also think its range is extremely limited, right?

Wrong again. The R8 e-tron will actually have a range of up to 280 miles thanks to its 92 kilowatt-hour battery. 

The bad news is, the R8 e-tron is likely to be an extremely limited release and it's not yet clear where exactly it will be available. Pricing for a V10 also ranges from $150,000 to $200,000, and you can expect the e-tron to be much, much higher than that.