What Car? says…
A spaceship landing in the brand’s line-up. This is how Audi described the Audi R8 when it arrived more than a decade ago.
Back then, we were used to Audi’s considered approach to its everyday models and also to its bursts into motorsports, most notably with the legendary Audi Quattro rally car. But a supercar? That was new. That was news. And, a decade later, the R8 has earned the respect of its rivals.
The latest iteration represents formidable competition to the Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911. It serves as a halo model for Audi Sports’ performance lineup, but it’s also been joined by the Audi E-tron GT electric high-performance car.
That’s interesting because the Audi R8’s naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 petrol engine is perhaps the antithesis of the electric car. Seen in basic terms, it’s a positively old-fashioned piece of engineering, and yet… it’s one of the best engines on the market today.
Dare we say that its only real rival in the Top Trumps of the best sports cars is the marvelous naturally aspirated 4.0-liter straight-six in the Porsche 911 GT3. Why? Well, you can read all the reasons later in this review, but the number one reason is: it sounds amazing. can do
It comes in two different power outputs and both are over 500bhp. Both versions come with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but you can choose between rear-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive.
Is all that enough to make it the choice of a talented group of well-respected supercars? Read this review to find out. And whatever car you choose, visit the What Car? New car shopping service to see how much we can save you on dozens of makes and models, including the Audi R8.
Few supercars are driven on a daily basis, but the 2023 Audi R8 seems designed for the task. It offers a reasonably smooth ride along with its blistering acceleration. The R8 shares its underpinnings and powertrain, a mighty V-10 and seven-speed automatic transmission, with the wild Lamborghini Huracán. However, the Audi is less harsh than the Lambo, less intense on a twisty road or on a race track.
Instead, what the R8 offers is a level of refinement that’s more in line with the rest of Audi’s lineup. Its comfortable two-seat cabin is lined with high-end materials and features a minimalist design that forgoes the usual center-mounted infotainment screen in favor of a digital gauge display that serves both purposes. The interior is comfortable for both driver and passenger, and the R8 would be an excellent touring car if it weren’t for a paltry cargo area that only fits a carry-on. If this particular cross-section of performance and luxury appeals to you, now is the time to act, as this is the last year for Audi’s V-10-powered masterpiece.
What’s New for 2023?
This year marks the end of production of the current generation R8. Audi is shipping the supercar with a limited-edition GT model, offered exclusively with rear-wheel drive and a 602-hp version of the car’s V-10 engine. The GT also sports a revised seven-speed automatic transmission, which Audi says offers quicker shifts, and a drift-inducing Torque Rear drive mode to make the R8 easier to handle.
Then again, this doesn’t look like a car that begs to be dumped with its rear tires smoking. Inside, the GT sports rich black and red upholstery, carbon fiber interior trim, and a number plate marking its place in production. Aside from the GT, the rest of the lineup, consisting of a coupe and a convertible, remains unchanged.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The R8’s V-10 engine is offered in two power ratings, both powerful enough to rattle your eardrums with their otherworldly exhalations. The R8’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic isn’t the smoothest gearbox. It occasionally downshifts too abruptly, causing a blistering acceleration followed by an immediate upshift. The base R8 comes standard with an adaptive suspension, while Performance models are equipped with a more aggressive fixed damper setup.
Both absorb bumps admirably and provide a comfortable ride that you can tolerate without fatigue on long trips. However, the flexible nature of the R8 has a downside: in full attack mode, it doesn’t corner as confidently as its rivals, leaving it feeling more restless than you’d expect from a supercar. The standard steering setup is direct, conveying information from the road to the driver’s hands with just enough feel.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
A budget option is not. Rear-wheel drive models get 14 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive cars fare even worse: 13 and 18, respectively. Given this poor performance, all buyers must pay a gas excise tax as part of the sale price. So be it. For more information on the fuel economy of the R8, visit the EPA website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Minimalism never felt so luxurious. By having the instrument cluster double as an infotainment display, Audi provides a refreshingly simple design and allows the beautifully sculpted sports seats and high-resolution digital gauge display to take center stage in the R8’s cabin. Audi allows for a bit of customization when it comes to interior colors and textures: Black, grey, brown and red leather are offered in a flat or quilted pattern with matching or contrast stitching.
Overall, it’s a beautifully executed cabin with easy-to-reach controls, including the power button located on the steering wheel. No one buys a supercar for its practicality, and the R8 doesn’t buck the segment trend by offering real cargo capacity. In our tests, it provided space for a single carry-on bag. Light pack.
How fast is a RS8?
Audi sets the new acceleration time from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) at 3.9 seconds, from 97 to 200 km/h (60 to 124 mph) at 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 316 km/h (196mph). ).
Is the R8 better than Huracan?
The R8 has a fast top speed of 206mph and can go from 0 to 60mph in just 2.9 seconds. The Huracan, unsurprisingly, offers similar performance, with a top speed of 202 mph and a matched 0-60 mph time.
Whats better Audi or BMW?
BMW often outperforms Audi in handling, with its cars designed to deliver the “ultimate driving experience.” Audi cars are slightly less agile than BMWs because their overall stiffer suspension systems maximize a smooth and comfortable ride. For reliability, BMW consistently ranks higher.
Is Audi as good as Mercedes?
Since Audi is all about all-wheel drive, and Mercedes only offers all-wheel drive on a few of its models, Audi is an obvious choice when it comes to performance and reliability. Speaking of which, Audi also beat Mercedes in the Consumer Reports road test for being a much more reliable brand than Mercedes.
Which Audi car is best?
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