Overview & Reviews
The Audi R8 came about as a production version of the Le Mans Quattro concept car. The name itself references Audi's R8 racecar that won several 24 Hours of Le Mans races and encompasses the brand's 70-plus years of racing history. Performance from the R8 road car starts with a stiff and lightweight all-aluminum space frame chassis. Much of it is similar to the space frame used for the Lamborghini Gallardo. The R8 is advanced in other areas as well, with a direct-injected V8 or V10 engine with dry-sump lubrication, two-mode active dampers and, of course, all-wheel drive.
Despite being Audi's highest-performing production vehicle ever, the R8 is surprisingly comfortable enough for daily use. The R8 also boasts a roomy and high-quality interior, though it is getting a bit dated as time goes on. As far as exotic sports cars go, the R8 is one of the most livable and one that is easy to recommend.
Current Audi R8
The Audi R8 is a two-seat midengine exotic sports car available in multiple trim levels: V8 coupe and convertible (Spyder), V10 coupe and convertible, and V10 Plus coupe.
The R8 V8 features a 4.2-liter V8 making 430 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. The R8 V10 gets a 5.2-liter V10 with 525 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. The top-dog R8 V10 Plus coupe packs an even more powerful 5.0-liter V10 good for 550 hp and 398 lb-ft. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission with a gated metal shifter is standard, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual (S tronic) with paddle shifters is optional. All are very quick, with 0-60 times ranging from just 3.4 to 4.5 seconds.
As with most vehicles that have the engine mounted behind the driver, the R8 possesses an abbreviated nose that is adorned with the current corporate Audi grille and LED headlights. The exotic look of the R8 coupe is further enhanced by "sideblades" (which can be either color-keyed or contrasting), that highlight the mid-mounted engine, and a glass engine cover that shows off the beautiful V8 or V10 power plant.
Standard equipment on the Audi R8 V8 includes 19-inch alloy wheels, an adaptive suspension, full LED lighting, automatic climate control, heated power seats, leather and faux suede upholstery, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. An optional package features front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and interior storage nets. The R8 V10 includes all that, as well as different suspension tuning, premium leather upholstery, a navigation system and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. The R8 V10 Plus includes all the V10 coupe equipment plus a higher-output engine, carbon-ceramic brakes and carbon-fiber trim. To trim weight, it has a smaller fuel tank and deletes the adaptive suspension and power seats.
In reviews, we've found the R8 sublimely balanced in terms of handling. It is one of those rare vehicles with enough straight-line traction and cornering grip to match its high-performance engines. It's also a relatively practical sports car, mercifully free of those questionable design elements that make some other supercars impossibly taxing in real-world use. It doesn't have goofy scissor doors, for instance, and 6-footers will fit comfortably. The Audi R8 even rides astonishingly well, thanks to its two-mode adaptive dampers. Meanwhile, the interior is typical Audi, with top-grade materials and solid construction, but the MMI electronics interface is now a generation behind and mounted somewhat awkwardly under the display screen. If there is a downside, it would be the tiny trunk and limited interior cargo spaces that make the R8 a dubious choice for road trips.
Used Audi R8 Models
The R8 debuted for the 2008 model year with the 420-hp, 4.2-liter V8 engine only. Transmission choices were a traditional six-speed manual with a very cool gated metal shifter or Audi's six-speed R tronic single-clutch automated manual that was unrefined and caused lots of jerking about in mundane urban driving. The 525-hp 5.2-liter V10 arrived for 2010, while the following year saw the convertible "Spyder" debut and the V8 gain 10 hp. For 2012, the limited-edition R8 GT coupe was produced and it featured a 560-hp V10, a lighter curb weight and a stiffer suspension. Only 90 R8 GTs were made for the United States. There was no R8 for the 2013 model year.
These 2010 and later versions of the R8 4.2 and 5.2 are similar to today's models apart from differing in their head- and taillight designs and having the single-clutch automated manual versus the current car's smoother dual-clutch unit.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 18.00
Love my R8 - 2011 Audi R8
By Walter Conn - November 23 - 1:28 pm
I bought it used, and feel I definitely got a good bang for the buck. It's a gorgeous car that turns heads, even though I couldn't care less about that. It's of course a super car, and the performance, handling and braking are fantastic. What's different is that in the regular settings, this car is far more driveable than many high performance cars. It's very comfortable, and could easily be a daily driver, whereas many of the others in this category beat your kidneys and back up. I love the car and plan on keeping it for many years. I've had almost zero mechanical issues in two years, and just really enjoy it.
Finally the S Tronic - 2014 Audi R8
By reality5 - January 27 - 10:44 pm
This is the 4th R8 I have owned & it is by far the best . Dumped my 012 V10 R-Tronic black optic edition for a 2014 V8 w/ S -Tronic . I love this car , smooth , powerful & sounds great . Comfortable for longer drives it is like they say.. an every day sports car . Gets a lot of attention when I park it , people love the car .
So close to perfect . . . - 2011 Audi R8
By mpyles1 - July 14 - 7:01 am
I took delivery of my first R8 in Jan 2008 and of my second (V10) in July 2010. Both are amazing machines, giving an average driver such as me a sense of control over the car and safety in aggressive driving that I have never experienced in other cars. If you want to beat every car you'll ever meet at a stoplight off the line, this is the not the car for you. Several Porsches, a few V12 Italians, and even one Cadillac and one Corvette can do it, even with the V10. But none do it with this combination of speed, control, safety, looks and noise -- undoubtably the best-executed set of inevitable design tradeoffs automotive engineers have ever pulled off.
R8 4.2 - 2011 Audi R8
By vinestain - February 23 - 11:08 am
I shopped the R8 v the Porsche GT3 and while hardcore fans will think i made the wrong choice, the GT3 was jst too extreme to be enjoyed otherwise than the track. The R8 is so enjoyable as a daily drive that trns heads. Let's be honest, nobody gives a darn abot a porsche. One drawback to the porsches classical styling and the sbtle changes over the last 50 years is that nobody cares. The R8? Snaps necks everywhere yo go. This car is so mch more beatifl in person and it backs that up with amazing performance. I considered the V10 bt becase of the car press' comments that the 4.2 is nderpowered...it is not. Perfectly balanced car
Audi R8 First 3 Months Review - 2010 Audi R8
By MPS - June 25 - 12:46 pm
This car is simply amazing in every regard except fuel economy, but I guess that is to be expected with this caliber of vehicle. Styling and Performance are incredible. Gets looks and attention everywhere it goes. This takes some getting use to.
A Jewel of a Car - 2009 Audi R8
By ayrton - February 10 - 4:45 pm
Silver/Carbon Blade/Black interior, every option offered. The R8 is designed, engineered, and built beautifully. The engine is very smooth and revs like a 4-cylinder with the power of a V-8. Handling is great with mid-engine & low polar moment. The car is so confidence-inspiring that you want to go 10/10th's through every curve and turn. V-10 power might be welcomed but the car is very well- balanced and quick with the V-8. You do need to keep the revs up past 4000 to extract max power & fun. The seats are the best I've felt in an exotic, as comfortable as my A8L. Lots of comfort for two but not much space for things. Footwell space is also minimal, especially on the passenger side.
What a great car! - 2009 Audi R8
By GRR8 R8 - November 22 - 8:45 am
The Audi R8 is the best car I have ever owned. Its styling turns heads at every intersection. Its performance puts it in the Supercar category. Audi treats its R8 customers like royalty. It is a car that has luxurious interior. The fit and finish is impeccable. It is a wonderful daily driver and it can go from the street to the track with no changes needed. The R-Tronic transmission in auto mode is terrible. The R-Tronic transmission in manual mode using the paddle shifters is the best transmission I have ever driven. As a daily driver it gets ~19 mpg. On the track...it does not matter. Nothing passed it on my one track day. This is a car to own.
MY R8 - 2009 Audi R8
By HTX - January 14 - 5:13 pm
2009 Audi R8 silver/black interiors with carbon sideblades. After a year of wait I received my fully loaded R8 almost for Christmas. I chose manual transmission as it is a real sports car. The car works flawlessly, it is beautiful and attracts a lot of attention, the driving experience is unparalleled. I use it as my daily driver, I plan to put 10,000 miles per year to it you get used to the task of driving it in the city traffic and the constant looks and comments from almost everyone. The engine roars with menace after 4,000 rpm, the sound is breathtaking. Today, I would not choose any other car over this one, maybe in 3 years when the roadster is available.
The Best Of The Best - 2009 Audi R8
By Tom M. - January 11 - 8:31 pm
Audi has really outdone themselves.! My wife and I are Audi lovers having first experienced the Q7. I must say it has more dependability than my BMW 645i. This car for it's first stab at luxury and performance has done admirably well. It's a joy to drive at all speeds.I drove both transmissions and chose the R-Tronic. It is touchy at slow speeds but you have a shifter plus paddles plus a sport position. All make it versatile and worth a one year wait. I find it's virtually impossible to pull into a gas station for a quick fillup without engaging in a long discussion of it's merits. Gotta love it !!!
Just a terrific car! - 2009 Audi R8
By Brian S - November 25 - 4:48 pm
After all the waiting I finally have my 09 R8. It exceeds all my expectations. It sounds right, handles fabulous and turns heads everywhere it goes. My only initial misgiving was the R-Tronic which had be given mixed reviews. Having driven boththe 6 speed and now my R-Tronic I can say that it comes down to personal preference. I actually enjoy processing the R-Tronic and find it very capable of satisfying me. No regrets here from this owner. Love the roomy interior, fantastic seats, and look and finish of the carbon fibre trim inside and out ( Blades too! ) Have friends with Italian exotics and would not trade this for any of them. This car is really special and my favorite of all!