Audi’s R8 model has been gracing the roads for over 10 years now. When first launched, it was a flip up for the books – Audi making their declare for supercar standing with fairly a bang. The original featured a V8 engine producing 414hp, guide transmission and could sprint to 60 in a then-impressive four.6 seconds.
Wind the clock forward a number of years and the way things have modified. V8’s are off the menu, as is the guide transmission. Power output has jumped massively, with efficiency fashions now pumping out 612hp, whisking the automotive to 60mph in a breath-taking 3.1 seconds.
Question is, does it nonetheless carry the R8 Magic?
24 hours earlier than choosing up the keys to Audi’s newest supercar, myself and MSF’s founder, Gracie Opulanza, have been invited to Hampton Courtroom Palace by Audi for the Sentebale concert. Relating to events, Audi knows easy methods to host and Sentebale was no totally different. Chauffeured door to door, we have been then treated to an impressive night of meals, drink and entertainment.
Sentebale itself is a charity based by the Duke of Sussex and Prince Seeiso in 2006, which aims to look after and help weak youngsters in Lesotho, Botswana and Malawi. The event at Hampton courtroom was a fund raiser; headlined by Rita Ora and with each the founding Royal members in attendance, it was a memorable night. To seek out out extra concerning the superb work Sentebale undertake, or make a donation.
Earlier than we return to the R8, I’d identical to to thank Audi UK for inviting myself and Gracie to this unbelievable event.
Press automobiles resemble one thing of a lottery – although you already know the model of the automotive to be delivered, the spec when it comes to choices and engine are usually unknown till shortly earlier than the automotive is delivered. On this occasion nevertheless, I hit the lottery jackpot, with the R8 in question a V10 Efficiency Coupe model.
On prime of this, it carried Audi’s prime tier ‘Carbon Black’ trim pack, which incorporates numerous carbon fibre physique panels, 20” wheels, carbon fibre roll bars, ‘magnetic ride’ suspension, monstrous Carbon Ceramic brakes and far more. The petrol head inside me was kicking and screaming – was this really going to be mine for the subsequent 5 days?!
Time in any supercar is valuable, so it all the time pays to have a plan of motion whilst testing them out.
Thankfully for me, I had simply the event in the calendar already transporting my different half to Cheltenham to go to her mother and father for Father’s day. 150 miles every means, lovely Cotswold roads staying at Crestow House Cotswold is legendary for a number of the greatest scenery around, what extra might I wish for?
The R8’s Beating Heart
R8’s have all the time left an enduring impression with me, however not primarily for a physical or visual cause. It’s the unmistakable word of the V10, which penetrates your complete body and produces a buzz like no different engine. Fortunately then, this era of R8 carries ahead all the engine fundamentals of previous, with a number of minor tweaks right here and there permitting the Audi engineers to spice up the engines output from 602 to 612hp, along with a torque improve from 560 to 580Nm.
The engine nestles just behind the cabin, displayed to the world beneath the fantastic glass hood. With the Carbon Black pack, a carbon fibre engine cowl also comes as normal, with LED’s beneath the bay making certain the R8’s heart is permanently on display. Ostentatious? Sure, however when you’ve an engine as impressive as this one, it might be impolite to not present it off, proper?
As the engine remains basically the same, the increase in energy hasn’t come about via a change in displacement that also stands at 5.2L, making this one of the largest engines obtainable in a street automotive at the moment. Such an enormous engine comes with its own issues although, notably in right now’s world the place such a decent focus is positioned on emissions and the environmental effect.
It’s these emissions laws which have been delivered to attention on this latest R8, with quite a few journalists reporting a delicate change within the V10’s bark.
Is that this resulting from new emissions gear being fitted to the engine? Quite probably, nothing’s been confirmed, but from my time with the automotive it’s arduous to disagree with those who’ve observed a distinction. It’s exhausting to put your finger on precisely what’s missing, but a few of the V10’s character has been dampened. Luckily although, whilst it might have lost some of its edge, it’s nonetheless a very magical word and some of the superb sounds you’ll hear.
Numerous modifications have been made to the interior of the R8, though these are principally in approach of updating the styling fairly than a elementary overhaul. The air-con controls, consumer interface, dash and cubby holes are all in acquainted spots, whilst the gear-stick is unchanged. Being a performance model, the most important change from my earlier R8 experience was around the steering wheel, where a further, chequered flag bearing button has been added.
This activates a efficiency mode beyond that of the dynamic mode in the Audi drive select system. Meant as a track-focused, full on driving mode, it makes modifications to the traction control program and sets the engine and gearbox up of their sharpest type. Audi’s virtual cockpit modifications the speedo and rev gauge graphics to mirror this more aggressive setting too, with a hue of pink used all through.
While on the virtual cockpit, it’s value noting that that is maybe my favourite incarnation of it so far. Because the R8 has no central LCD show to fall back on, all the automobiles infotainment runs via the only show sat behind the steering wheel.
When driving the automotive, that is absolutely excellent, as it makes all the knowledge it shows so accessible and straightforward to view to the driving force.
To my shock, the R8 additionally helps Apple automotive play, which meant Waze, Spotify and other apps have been all visible behind the wheel – speak about related!
The cabin itself is typical supercar-small, with leg room and head room a bit scarce. The R8 on check was hindered slightly by the very fact it had been spec’d with ISOFIX youngster seat anchors, necessitating a change from the would-be normal bucket seats to the ‘normal’ R8 Sports activities seat. The sports seats supply more adjustment, but as a basically extra cumbersome seat I’m certain the bucket seat can be a clever selection for these of above common peak.
Storage in the Coupe model is cheap, with a nicely sized shelf behind the seats a welcome addition on prime of the frontward ‘boot’. The cabin quality and material choice could be very much typical Audi, by which I mean of a really top quality but in addition instantly acquainted to anybody who’s pushed an Audi of current start. When it comes to inside fit and end, user-friendliness, sophistication and connectivity, the German giants are troublesome to beat.
On The Street & Styling
So it’s a well-known Audi on the within, but what about on the street? Properly, change it to comfort mode and it’s no extra intimidating to drive than an Audi A3. The B&O sound system is completely excellent, street noise is cheap and gasoline financial system hovers across the low 20’s on a long term – not dangerous for an enormous V10. With Audi’s magnetic journey suspension the bumps and undulation are handled nicely too, all pretty civilised then…
However lets be trustworthy, that’s not likely why you’d purchase an R8 is it? Dynamic mode is the place this automotive really needs to reside. With the exhausts opened up, the gear modifications sharpened and engine unleashed, the animal inside is properly and really let unfastened. Right here, the engines output is actually breath-taking, with the three.1 second claimed Zero-60 time simply believable and the efficiency attained with such ease, it really does boggle the thoughts.
Drawing comparisons to my previous R8 expertise (a previous era V10 Spyder of non-performance selection), the uplift in engine performance is staggering. The V10 Spyder was undoubtedly a quick automotive, but this era of Performance utterly blows you away. I spent the whole 5 days taking friends and family out in the automotive, with every single one among them lost for breath after their first experience of full-throttle R8 energy.
It’s very onerous to subjectively assess the dealing with expertise of the R8, partly because the few days I had with it have been hampered by dangerous climate and partly because it’s simply so ludicrously quick, the efficiency is nearly unattainable to take advantage of on the general public street. The chassis feels extremely succesful, confidence inspiring and exploitable, however the UK roads simply wrestle to handle/cater for a car offering this much efficiency.
Outdoors of its performance offerings, the R8 carries actual street presence. Wherever it was driven, heads would flip and admiring seems to be given.
Audi have turned up the aggression and drama with this era – aero-surfaces, a big rear diffuser, vents and scoops dominate the outside of the automotive.
As part of the Carbon Black trim package deal, numerous exterior panels have been left un-painted, exposing the carbon fibres used in their development. The aspect blades, entrance splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser are all key parts completed on this method, including in a bit of distinction which seemed incredible alongside the Kemora grey paint. As metallic paints go, this is likely one of the more intriguing color decisions. In uninteresting mild, its unquestionably grey, but with extra mild a real blue hue involves life. Troublesome to elucidate in words, it’s the kind of paint end that needs to be seen by way of the human eye and looks implausible within the flesh.
This newest era of R8 feels very very similar to an evolution quite than revolution. The essential recipe remains unchanged – Quattro all-wheel drive, a howling V10 engine and sometimes fabulous Audi cabin are all present, producing one other exceptional car.
It’s as straightforward and acquainted to drive as previous generations, continues to turn heads and even returned affordable gasoline financial system during motorway driving. Performance has continued the upward development, with figures now properly and really within the mind-boggling class. As you’ll be able to in all probability guess then, it’s very exhausting to seek out fault with this latest R8.
The slight tune change from the V10 is probably the only minor downside, however with emissions laws ever-tightening, it’s arduous accountable Audi for this. In truth, I consider their efforts must be celebrated, for in a landscape of supercars where increasingly producers are turning in the direction of smaller, turbo charged engines, isn’t it unbelievable that a corporation as massive as Audi continues to be sticking to its weapons and manufacturing these superb engines?
It’s exhausting to say how much longer naturally aspirated V10 engines can be a viable choice to Audi, however for all the while they’re obtainable, they’re a factor of beauty and greatest celebrated.
Bravo Audi, and thanks for producing another fantastic addition to the R8 family.
We’d wish to thank Audi UK for arranging our loan R8. Worth as tested: £169,880 OTR.