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Audi R8 (2015–)

Last updated 22 March 2019

Astonishingly quick yet easy to use as a daily driver. Comfortable and refined cabin. One of the few remaining V10 supercars.
Expensive to buy and maintain. Not much room for luggage. Your neighbours will soon grow weary of V10 themed wake-up calls...
Updated 9 October 2018

O il leakage may occur at the gearbox breather when the vehicle is being driven on a racetrack and extreme driving manoeuvres are being undertaken. As a result, smoke may be produced and a vehicle fire...

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At home on track or the supermarket run, the Audi R8 gentrifies the supercar experience by adding welcome helpings of everyday comfort and usability. The naturally aspirated V10 is the highlight of the show though, with its intoxicating vocals and high-revving nature providing a wonderful throwback to the heavyweight supercars of the 1990s. 

The mid-mounted V10 is actually a carryover from the original R8. However, with the lighter aluminium chassis, that cuts 15 per cent from the kerb weight, Audi's second-gen supercar feels much more capable on track. The V10 provides more power and slightly more agreeable running costs too, up to 21.9mpg, thanks to the use of cylinder on demand tech that switches off five cylinders when they're not needed at low speeds.

On the downside, entry-level V8 models and the manual gearbox that made the original R8 such a supercar bargain are gone. This means you'll need to part with the region of £128,000 to get a new one. 

On track the R8 is an accomplished and accommodating supercar, with its grippy four-wheel drive system and crisp throttle responses providing a great introduction to the world of high octane driving. Admittedly, the McLaren 570 provides a finer, faster, more technical experience, but doesn't match the R8's brutish V10 charms. 

We’re more than a little disappointed that Audi hasn't utilised any of the hybrid know-how that has given it numerous motor sport victories, but the V10 is theatrical and brilliant. It starts up with a chorus of crackles and pops plus it thunders along at sub-30mph with surprising grace. You neighbours might not enjoy the daily V10 wake-up calls, but the R8 will appease flamboyant drivers who want their entire street to hear of their departure. 

In 2018 the R8 received some light mid-life updates, with the 5.2-litre V10 FSI engine getting 570PS, which is a 30PS increase over the launch model. The range-topping V10 performance model also got a boost of 10PS, at 620PS. The suspension and steering was also revised, to provide more finesse in the handling department. 

It might not be at the forefront of the supercar pack, but the Audi R8 is a universal starting point for those looking to enter the world of high performance exotica. Noisy, good looking and powered by one of the best engines in the business, the R8 is one of our favourite high performance all-rounders. 


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