Audi puts R8 V10 quattro out to pasture - but not without a surprise

Audi is setting one of its icons out to sail on its last journey, with the R8 V10 quattro being discontinued – and a special edition marking that with a bang. Only thirty of the limited edition R8 V10 quattro will be produced, pairing features cherry-picked from its more expensive performance sibling with some striking style.

Carried over is the naturally-aspirated V10 engine, of course, and the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. 562 horsepower is on tap, and 406 lb-ft of torque; the result is 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds, and a top speed of 201 mph in coupe form.

The convertible Spyder is only slightly slower, doing 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and having a top speed of 200 mph. Either way, all-wheel drive is standard, and you get Audi magnetic ride with adjustable damper firmness and Audi dynamic steering with speed- and drive mode-dependent ratio.

For the limited edition cars, however, there are some changes. The R8 performance donates its carbon fiber front sway bar, valuable for its weight saving potential. That cuts 4.4 pounds from the car. There's also a sport exhaust system, again previously only offered on the R8 performance, which delivers a more boisterous tailpipe note. That can be adjusted – and tamed for good-neighbor purposes – via a control on the steering wheel.

Outside, 20-inch milled wheels with a silver finish are standard, a first for US-spec R8 cars. As for paint and interior finish, Audi already has a list of the combinations it will make. Fifteen of the R8 Coupes will come in Mugello Blue with pastel silver interior; a further five will be Avus Silver with black interior and red stitching; finally five will be in Sonoma Green with black interior and gray stitching.

As for the Spyder, that will be even more rare. Only five will be produced, all in Mugello Blue with the pastel silver interior. Mats with cabin color-matched piping and stitching will be included on all cars, along with the alt-optic mirror caps outside, red-painted brake calipers, and the lower trim, engine compartment, and side blades finished in carbon fiber.

Audi checks off the cabin interior package, with high-gloss carbon fiber surrounds for the virtual cockpit and air vents, paired with high-gloss inlays. The Coupe gets diamond-stitched Alcantara for the headliner.

Those wanting in on one of these last thirty cars will need to act fast, though. Sales will kick off over the summer, priced from $186,000 for the Coupe and $195,900 for the Convertible.

If you've always wanted an R8, though, fear not. Audi says that the R8 V10 performance quattro – which squeezes more power and torque out of the 5.2-liter engine – will be sticking around for at least the 2021 model year. Just make sure you have the roughly $200k required to put your name down for one.