Light. Fast. Aggressive. Those three words sum up the new-generation Audi R8, a spectacular supercar that only improves on the success and popularity of its predecessor.
For this upgrade, Audi took the body of the first-generation R8, based on the Lamborghini Huracan, and modified it a bit (though you can still see the resemblance). The frame is built mainly from aluminum, but Audi has put in some carbon fiber b-pillars and rear firewall. This makes the new R8 over 100 pounds lighter than the first.
And that’s not all. The V10 Plus model comes with a front grille made from gloss anthracite. The headlights are full LED, with laser high beams (though unfortunately, due to federal regulations, those of us in the US may never get our hands on the those). It’s light, sporty, with aggressive angles, and easily more akin to the fastest of supercars than to your everyday Audi or BMW sedan.
The inside is luxurious, and nothing less than you would expect from a supercar of this price, with leather racing shells seats and cockpit. It’s also fascinatingly hi-tech, with a 12.3” TFT display built right into the dash with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. Virtual Cockpit puts everything (odometer, speed, gas) in one sparkling place on the dash. Pulling up the navigation system allows you to use Audi connect, with Google Earth maps and 3d imagery for getting to your location as quickly as possible. There is even a Wifi hotspot, with 4G LTE, letting passengers surf en-route. The R8 also boasts a Bang and Olufsen sound system, bringing premium Danish quality with 550 watts of power to 13 different speakers, trimmed with LED accents.
That’s all great, but under the hood and on the road is where this thing really shines. Audi ditched the V-8 from the original model R8. Instead, the 2nd-Gen R8 gives you the choice of two different V10 engine trims. The base model is a 5.2l FSI dual-injection V10, which puts out 540hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. That’s dang fast.
But that’s nothing compared to the V10 Plus. This thing puts out 610hp – and 413 lb-ft of torque. Now we’re talking. It also comes with ceramic brakes for tight corners and stopping on a dime.
0-60 takes 3.2 seconds, and track speed tops out at 205 mph.
Price? Well, it may not cost you as much as a Lambo or DB9 . . . but it’s not cheap, either. The 2017 R8 starts at $162,900, with trims coming in a much higher than that.
Still…the R8 is a fantastic supercar in its own right, while just subtle and tame enough for everyday driving. If you want something that you can take around town and still unleash on the track, the Audi R8 is a top-choice.