When Audi threw a 50th anniversary bash at Manhattan’s posh Classic Car Club during the New York International Auto Show, it trotted out some of it’s greatest hits from the past five decades. The showstopper was a cherry red 1980 Ur-Quattro, the first four-wheel-drive rally beast that helped cement Audi’s place in the history books at a number of races and hillclimbs, proudly bearing some chipped paint from dinging gravel. Plenty of revelers gushed over the Quattro—and pleaded with Audi representatives for a chance behind the storied wheel—but drawing equal praise and admiration was a special edition R8 tucked in a bay across the floor: the 2020 R8 Decennium.
If your working Latin knowledge has escaped you, decennium means decade, which is how long Audi’s been churning out those wonderful R8s. The powerplant in the R8 is Volkswagen Group’s prodigious 5.2-liter V-10, a naturally aspirated force to be reckoned with. That engine has evolved via displacement and direct injection from the 5.0-liter V-10 that was the beating heart of the 2004 Lamborghini Gallardo into the R8’s 602-horsepower whopper, with 413 lb-ft of torque on tap. (The same engine gets tuned up to 631-horsepower and 443 lb-ft in the Lambo Huracan Evo.)
The 2020 R8 Decennium gets treated to the same exterior refinements as all other R8 brethren, including an optional carbon fiber front anti-roll bar, 30 more ponies on the entry model and new paint options. The nomenclature for the top of the range adjusts from V10 Plus to V10 Performance, and the Decennium uses the latter as a jump-off point. For an additional $19,095, the package includes a number of appearance tweaks that emphasize the R8’s already-bold stylings.
All 222 offered coupes will be painted Mythos Black, with matte bronze 20-inch wheels, and a bronze-hued manifold under the glass engine cover. The badges will be blacked out, along with all the underbody trim, and carbon fiber abounds, in the spoiler, side blades and mirror houses. Only the last 50 units from the production run will be shipped to the U.S. and puddle lamps will project the production number onto the ground. The total cost for a piece of Audi history? $215,000.