The first Audi R8 Coupe supercar came completely out of the blue, shocking everyone and taking the world by storm by finally knocking the fabled Porsche 911 off its pedestal. The R8 certainly earned a place up there with the world’s supercar elite. This was undoubtedly an outstanding car, but the industry being as it is, it could hardly stand still and rest on its laurels as the competition extensively revised or re-launched their models. The R8 had to follow suit, but rest assured you will not be disappointed with the results. The jerky, somewhat old fashioned R-Tronic automatic transmission had always been a let down on this fantastic car, so it’s been done away with and replaced with a stupendously quick S-Tronic transmission setup. The inclusion of a powerful new flagship V10 Plus model and various detail changes complete this upgraded model. The new Audi R8 has all the ingredients in place to be a truly super supercar.
Audi R8 Coupe Style and Design
The look of the Audi R8 Coupe has barely changed from the original. But the fact is, it really works so why change it? The distinctive profile and styling are synonymous with Audi’s auto brilliance. With plenty of beautiful detailing, it certainly looks like something you’ve just spent £100,000 on – rightly so. Features include things like the spoiler, which automatically pops up when you hit 62mph; the massive side blade air intakes, The all LED light configuration which now features a distinctive daytime running strip that double as indicators. It even comes with a new range of paint finishes. Overall, the Audi R8 is still an unconventional beauty of a motor that certainly makes a hell of a statement. 92% of the construction is made of lightweight aluminium, which is a good thing especially for the drop top convertible model which has to carry an extra 100kg in the form of a beautiful hood. Conversely, this raises and drops in 19 seconds at speeds of up to 30mph. Interior quality is always something that the Audi brand excel at and this R8 is no exception to this rule. The Audi R8 feels like a proper luxury racer with fantastic build quality, plenty of space and visibility and that characteristically clean Audi feel. The instruments behind the lovely leather flat bottomed steering wheel converge on a digital information screen which also has a cool lap time function for those who want to take their R8 on a track day.
Boot space-wise, there is 100ltrs… ok let’s face it – no one in history has ever bought a car of this calibre with any real expectation on the luggage space. You can fit a squashy holdall in, but if you need more space there is apparently space enough for a couple of golf bags (seemingly that’s Audi’s standard unit of space measurement) behind the seats.
Audi R8 Coupe Test Drive
The R8 is still, as ever, a brilliant car. The Audi R8 is set up for greatness with a fairly light weight, agile Quattro chassis and a choice of 3 phenomenal mid-mounted engines. The best thing about the Audi R8 is that it’s clearly been developed by proper car enthusiasts. It’s so brilliantly driver focused and doesn’t cheapen it by over teching with decedent luxury features like inbuilt game consoles, TV’s or even a start button – preferring the old school sensation of turning a key. The Audi Quattro 4WD setup is also blissfully RWD biased. Even the entry level R8 is a well and truly fearsome machine with a 430ps 4.2ltr V8 which launches to 62mph in 4.6 seconds up to 187mph. The next level up is the 525ps 5.2ltr V10 which rockets to 62 in 4.1 seconds up to 194mph. That’s all with a manual gearbox. The key change with this Audi R8 is the inclusion of the fantastic new S-Tronic auto transmission in place of the rubbish old R-Tronic cog swapper from before.
Good riddance. This S-Tronic setup is the automatic transmission that the R8 always should’ve had. It completely overshadows the manual option and is so fast and smooth through the 7 ratios that it shaves off 0.3 of a second off the 0-62 times. It also boasts a great launch control which permits it the best possible explosion of speed and traction off the line. At the top of the line-up we have the brand new V10 Plus flagship model which boasts the same 5.2ltr V10 as a Lamborghini Gallardo which shovels and adds to the performance figures to 550ps and 540Nm of torque so it gets 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds. Now this might not sound like a lot more, but as well as the performance alteration, it also feels a better drive since it’s lost 50kg of weight and the suspension is sharper and firmer meaning it can launch into corners better. The lower order V10 compensates for this with Magnetic Ride adaptive damping – a system that allows you to select between a comfort orientated mode and the taught sporty setting – this could even be said to be a better balance than with the V10 Plus due to that added flexibility. The steering of this R8 is great, giving perfect feedback and the feeling and roar as you put your foot down on the accelerator… well does it even need to be said?
Verdict on the Audi R8 Coupe
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the Audi R8? The original R8 was Audi rising to the challenge of building a credible Porsche-defying supercar. It’s fair to say that they absolutely smashed it! The 2nd generation 2015 Audi R8 improvements perfect the existing package and with the new V10 Plus, have put the German brand in contention with the crème de la crème of the supercar big league such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren. The normal V10 and V8 models have been vastly improved too with the amazing S-Tronic transmission, meaning that even if you can’t stretch to the V10 Plus, you’re still guaranteed an utterly spectacular car that makes a 6 figure statement. The Audi R8 has fast become a modern classic. 10/10 – it’s simply enough to make you go weak at the knees.
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