2018 Audi R8 Competition Package Engage Gusto Destroy Subtlety
Audi says this version is the most performance-oriented R8 yet.Numerous Audi Sport performance parts come factory-installed.Don’t expect to see very many of them as production will be slim. Audi didn’t make this version of the R8 any prettier, I’m afraid, but they did make it hotter. It’s lighter, more track-focused and, if you are one of those “performance before all other things” kind of gearhead, then the 2018 Audi R8 V10 plus Coupe Competition is the version you want.
Audi’s cars, it’s sad to say, start out as almost beautiful, but, slowly, over the generations, they get uglier and uglier. When the R8 hit, it wasn’t exactly a Ferrari challenger, but it was pretty darn good, and had tons of on-road Presence. It looked the business. It looked different from the other high end sports cars out there. Every angle seemed to add up.
But now . . . sigh . . . we get this. Fussy. Over thought out. Too many rude angles and creases. It’s not bad, it’s not ugly, but the R8 is heading down a design road it shouldn’t.
All that said, this thing can really haul the mail.
Long Words, Low WeightOfficially, it’s called the 2018 Audi R8 V10 plus Coupe Competition package. Yes, that is a mouthful, but Germans have a penchant for long words (Rechtsschutzversicherungsgesellschaften, for example) (that means “insurance companies providing legal protection”)(no, really). So let us just refer to this bad boy as the “Competition Package” shall we?
The Competition Package, first, shaves some unneeded pounds here and there.
For example, titanium backing plates for the carbon ceramic brake pads cut 2.2 lbs., which helps unsprung weight. The wheels are similar to the R8 GT4 race car, and even though they’re a whopping 20 inches in diameter, carve off another 26.4 lbs. Tally it up, and the Competition Package shaves around 40 lbs. versus the “normal” R8.
2018 Audi R8 V10 plus Coupe Competition Package. Photo: Audi of America, Inc.
This thing can really haul the mail.
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Celebrity TreatmentAudi then had a go at the aero workings for the Competition Package. The latest aero kit (full carbon fiber, of course) not only looks aggressive, but offers noticeable increases in downforce. At around 150 km/h (that’s 93.2 mph for you ‘Muricans out there), the downforce is doubled compared to an R8 V10 plus Coupe (see, long names!). At that speed, you’re garnering to 52 kg (114.6 lbs.) of downforce.
Which is like having Ariana Grande along for the ride, but without the screeching vocals and auto-tuning sins.
When the Competition Package hits its vMax – 315 km/h or 196 mph – the new aero package is producing 100 kg (220.5 lbs.) more downforce than before, for a total of 250 kg (551.2 lbs). Which is like having Shaquille O’Neal and me stuffed into the passenger seat! All this increased downforce and aero tuning, sadly, has the disadvantage of raising drag coefficient from a previous Cd of 0.36, now up to 0.42.
The carbon fiber aero kit includes the fixed rear wing, side sills, front spoiler and front flics, and the rear diffuser.
It's like having Ariana Grande along for the ride, but without the screeching vocals and auto-tuning sins.
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Perfect TenAudi will only be making ten versions of the Competition Package, with all 10 units being identical and “pre-configured” with the same features. The exterior is painted Suzuka Gray (sort of an off-white). The chairs are black racing shell seats with red contrast stitching. Leather is everywhere, with a full leather package including the upper and lower dash, doors, and side panels.
Tunes are provided by a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 13 speakers and 550 watts of amplifier power. All ten versions will come with the aformentioned performance brake pads and titanium backing plates.
Pricing & AvailabilityThis R8 Competition Package is scheduled to arrive next month. And it will run you . . . $237,350! Or, you know, what granny and gramps spent on their retirement home in Palm Springs.
Worth it? That’s really up to you, although, despite the look, I do have a fondness for the R8.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. His forthcoming new book The Future In Front of Me, The Past Behind Me will be available soon. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz
2018 Audi R8 Competition Package Gallery
Photos & Source: Audi of America, Inc.
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