5 Differences Between the 2015 & 2017 Audi R8

The 2017 is slightly wider and longer and weighs 50 kg less, but that’s tough to see.

Here’s a quick guide to the main differences between the 2015 and 2017 Audi R8.

1 – Exhaust

Round is so 2015.

2 – All-new Steering Wheel

Modelled after a racecar, all main functions can be controlled using your thumbs.

3 – Interior

It’s all-new, and much less cluttered. The addition of the electronic parking brake helped.

And see what’s missing? The dash screen has been deleted.

4 – Instrument Cluster

Gone are the dials and dash screen, and in its place is one 12.3″ screen in the instrument cluster than can be configured in multiple ways.

It’s called Audi virtual cockpit, learn more in here.

5 – Engine has an X

Probably the easiest way to tell – there’s now an X-shaped-bracket atop the engine.

Also, its token note is now fuller, and fuel economy is improved by 13%.

Bonus – Canadian Lasers

If it has laser headlights, it’s a Canadian 2017, because we’re the only country to get this tech.

More about the lasers here.

Either model year is fine with me.

I tracked both, that story here.

Blog tag = 2017 Audi R8



Audi’s All-new Virtual Cockpit

Audi virtual cockpit is a 12.3″ high-res digital instrument cluster that completely replaces the dash screen.

It debuted on the 2016 Audi TT, and is coming next to the 2017 Q7, A4 and R8.

Doesn’t an interior look so much better without a black hole in the dash?

The system is controlled using either the steering wheel controls, or the completely redesigned MMI interface selector wheel.

Instead of 4 function buttons there’s now 2, and the rotary dial acts like a joystick – nudge left, right, like that.

Plus its top is touch-enabled. Use your finger to zoom in or out, or if scrolling a list, write a “K” to narrow in on all results that start with K.

I’ve tested Audi’s virtual cockpit twice.

First was on the active display at the Canadian International Auto Show back in February 2015. I was filming a segment for MotoringTV.

I arrived 10 minutes early before the crew, and in that time, learned the entire system.

That’s not to say I’m a wizard with electronic interfaces, but that the system is intuitive.

It encompasses my favourite type of design – functional and fashionable.

Because dipping your eyes from the road, to the instrument cluster, is a much shorter distance than to a dash screen.

How good does navigation look eh.

The second test was while driving the all-new 2017 Audi R8 at Mosport.

It wasn’t the best test though.

My saucer-eyes were glued to the track, can only confirm the speedometer is bright and visible.

I predict this setup will be copied by other automakers.

It’s logical, safer, and makes for a more aesthetically-pleasing interior. Plus there’s probably production cost savings by installing just one screen instead of two.

Blog tag = 2017 Audi R8




Drive by Laser. No Really… LASERS

Not being dramatic. These laser headlights literally exist.

See – sticker proof.

It’s an all-new technology from Audi, making them 1st automaker to offer laser lights in production cars.

It will debut on the 2017 Audi R8.

How it Works:

There are 2 lasers installed into the headlight for use when the high-beams are engaged.

These 2 lasers replace the 37 LEDs found in the 2015 models.

The lasers emit a blue colour which is converted into a pure, white light that mimics daylight. And because a laser light is both brighter and more concentrated, it reduces driver fatigue and makes it easier to recognize contrast.

Best of all though, a laser high‑beam achieves twice the lighting range of an LED one.

It can be fine-tuned better than an LED. So the 2017 R8’s camera‑based sensor system will detect an oncoming vehicle, then actively adjust the light pattern to exclude it from the high-beam’s glare.

In the photo below, top is the light at the end of a track day, in the bright sun with my iPhone. Below is the press photo. Pretty eh.

Important – ONLY Canadian models
will offer this tech

The headlights on the 2017 American model will be the same LCDs as the outgoing one.

So US buyers – the cost of importing our model might be worth it, if only so you can say, “hi hi, my car has lasers.”