The Audi R8 is a supercar from a dying breed. As makers add turbochargers to their cars to meet ever-stricter emissions targets, the naturally aspirated engine is falling out of favour. In some ways, the R8 is a fantastic last hurrah. But, while the 5.2-litre V10 is a focal point of the car, there’s much more to the R8 than simply a big engine.
It’s as useable as an Audi TT on a daily basis, if you can live with the running costs, and its ease of use would put some superminis to shame. The Quattro four-wheel drive that’s standard on most models means it has plenty of traction and grip, but unlike many fast Audis, it’s enjoyable to drive on track, too. It’s nimble and agile, while the V10 packs a punch that’s accompanied by a thrilling V10 soundtrack, especially if you go for the R8 V10 Plus.
It’s hard to overestimate the impact of the first Audi R8 when it arrived in 2006. Everyone knew that Audi could make some pretty fine executive saloons, but they were blown away when the R8 showed that it couldn’t just mix it with genuine supercars, like the Porsche 911; it could beat them at their own game.
Today’s R8 is the second generation of the car; and, although it doesn’t look much different to the original model, it’s an even better car.Outside, the car’s looks have been sharpened up nicely, while the cabin includes Audi’s terrific Virtual Cockpit in place of traditional dials. But, what will excite drivers and supercar enthusiasts the most is that, whereas the first R8 came with V8 and V10 engines, this R8 comes only with a V10 engine (a more powerful one, no less) and a standard seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox.
*Information may vary depending on the selected vehicle. All information was taken from manufacturer’s website.