Price range: $277,196 – $366,900
Good: Stunning looks, fantastic handling and Quattro all-wheel drive. Plus, it’s rarer on the road than that other German sports car with all the numbers in its name.
Not so Good: Beware the options: they’re expensive. ‘Jerky’ R-Tronic gearbox at low speeds (we recommend at least trying the manual).
Design and Engineering
Good : It’s quite simple: the R8 has futuristic supercar looks, which are backed up by the latest technology under its skin.
Not so good : Rear visibility isn’t great – however a standard rear-view camera comes to the rescue.
Interior and Styling
Good : We loved the amazing interior – truly original and special. As per usual, Audi have used the highest quality materials and have completed it all with impeccable build quality (we love Audi’s care regarding ‘fit & finish’).
Not so good : A sound deadening interior is usually praised, but with the R8 it would be nice to hear the V8 a little more from the cockpit. The cargo carrying capacity is somewhat lacking (but that’s not why you want it though, is it!?)
Good : 4.2L V8 is naturally-aspirated and feels awesome high up in the rev range – and what a sound it makes! Most buyers go for the R-Tronic six-speed automated gearbox and it’s the right choice on the performance front – super quick gear changes will always be on the menu and it automatically blips the throttle on downshifts.
Not so good: No doubt the V8 is fast – but not mind-boggling-ly so (but then there’s always the V10 range-topper? Tempting, isn’t it?) The fun R-Tronic transmission isn’t always as smooth as we’d like during low-speed city traffic.
Ride and Handling
Good : Looks might be wild but this is a bulletproof car to drive – ride is refined (thanks to adjustable suspension via a button on the dash) and the Quattro all-wheel drive system ensures handling is secure even at high speeds.
Not so good : Not much to say, at all, actually.
Buying and Owning
Good : Unlike some other temperamental ‘supercars’ the R8 is a true day-to-day proposition thanks to the comfy cabin and Audi reliability. Plus, it’s got an extensive safety kit.
Not so good : Ticking too many of the tasty options can see the price rocket by tens of thousands (for example a softer (Nappa) leather upgrade costs over $10k – ouch!) Mind the hefty fuel consumption…