Audi R8 review


What is?

The most everyday of everyday supercars. Because it’s an Audi, because the cabin will house people in the 95th percentile, because it’s ergonomic, because it’s reliable and well-built, and it comes from a company that makes about 1.8 million other reliable and well-built cars every year .

What is the highlight?

Definitely the V10 that screams at 8,700 rpm. Unusual juxtaposition. Audi, just dean of the Waitrose class, being one of the last bastions of the atmospheric ones. When everyone else downsizes and turbocharges (at the expense of noise and response), the R8 persists with a free-breathing 5.2-liter V10. It won’t always be like this. Audi has already confirmed to TG that the successor to the R8 will be fully electric. So make the most of this magnificent engine while you can.

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Now with more power. As you can see by the slightly more pointed nose, the R8 has been given a facelift. This is its midlife redesign, a slight boost to help it stay competitive and survive another four years or so on sale. It’s still a two-model range, but the Plus moniker has given way to the ‘Performance’ badge. The top-of-the-range car (Performance Quattro) sees its power increase from 604 to 614 hp, while the entry-level model (Performance RWD) increases from 533 to 562 hp.

What are the main updates lately?

Externally, you’re seeing new, sharper bumpers at both ends, larger exhaust pipes, and those three slots in the nose that are reminiscent of the 1984 Sport Quattro Group B rally car. They’re also on the A1 supermini. Elsewhere, the plan has been to slightly refine the driving experience by stiffening the suspension, installing a new carbon front stabilizer bar (40% lighter than the old steel one) and recalibrating the steering, particularly the dynamic ratio steering. optional variable. . .

Prices start at just over £128,000, which is of course a large sum of money. And yet, for a supercar, especially with an engine as special as this one, it’s a steal. You’ll need tens of thousands more for a new McLaren or Porsche equivalent and the rear-wheel drive primo car (Lamborghini’s Huracán Evo RWD) is on the wrong side of £160,000. So the R8 is not only exceptionally fun to drive for an Audi: it’s also surprisingly affordable.

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What’s the verdict?

The most everyday of everyday supercars. With an atmospheric scream V10. Well

Audi’s persistence in sticking to a high-capacity naturally aspirated V10 increasingly gives it a real point of differentiation when nearly all of its rivals are driven by twin-turbo V8s (or a flat six, obviously). The engine has only been very slightly modified for the facelift, the extra handful of power is barely noticeable, but it’s still an impressive engine.

And it is the centerpiece of what remains a very complete supercar. The visual changes gave the front end a sharpness that was copied by the mechanical changes underneath. It’s still not as direct and precise as a McLaren Sports Series or Porsche GT3, but there’s more bite in the corners and much improved steering feel (we won’t erase you again if you insist on having the variable-ratio dynamic steering).

It’s easy to overlook the R8 among newer, fresher, more dynamic rivals with more exotic badges, but rather than feel outdated, its engine and wide range of capabilities make it that much more special. A supercar that fully deserves its place at the top.

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