After a successful eight-year production run, Audi’s supercar charges into its second generation with an all-new design that promises more technology, more performance, and more refinement.
Once again, the R8 shares its genetics with a Lamborghini – in this case, the Huracan. Like the Lambo, it features an aluminum space frame, but it’s been enhanced with a carbon fibre transmission tunnel and rear bulkhead to make it 40 percent stronger and 15 percent lighter than before. Standard magnetic suspension offers a comfortable ride, while new variable steering ensures corners are carved with precision.
Although the R8 loses its jaw-dropping curves for flat planes and sharp angles, it’s instantly recognizable as Audi’s flagship sports car. The big side blades are now split in two – they come finished in silver on the V10, and carbon fibre on the V10 plus – while all LED headlamps are available with laser high beams. The latter is a feature our neighbours to the south don’t get, and an exclusive alongside the BMW i8.
Though the cabin’s shape is familiar, there’s plenty of new technology to be found. The R8 uses the same visually stunning 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster display from the TT that displays navigation and infotainment functionality. In addition, the R8 also gets the latest MMI touch interface, and a USB port for smartphone integration.
The R8 arrives to market ready to go toe-to-toe with the world’s top performance cars. The R8 V10 and V10 Plus use a 5.2-litre V10 engine, and both feature a seven-speed automated manual transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive as standard. Crucially, the 5.2 goes without forced aspiration, though cylinder deactivation and port and direct fuel injection do come standard. Also standard: a spine-tingling redline of 8,500 rpm.
In the case of the V10, power is rated at 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 3.6 seconds. The plus bumps that figure up to 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque, shaving its 0-100 down to 3.3 seconds. A less powerful variant is expected to join in the near future, as is the roadster variant.
The R8’s standard equipment list reads much like that of a luxury sedan – heated leather sports seats upholstered in fine Nappa leather, automatic climate control, ambient lighting, automatic high beams, and a parking camera system. It’s a fine place to pass the miles, and as per Audi’s reputation, build quality is unparalleled.
The V10 plus also adds additional carbon fibre exterior trim, a fixed rear spoiler, 20-inch matte titanium wheels, firmed-up suspension, unique multifunction steering wheel, and seriously impressive carbon-ceramic brakes to counter the additional performance.
Pricing for the R8 V10 starts at $184,000, while the mightier V10 Plus sells for $213,900.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed