The Audi R8 V10 Plus takes the model from sports car to supercar, but is it actually capable of taking on Ferraris and McLarens? Rory Reid investigates.
The old Audi R8 was good enough for Iron Man‘s Tony Stark, but it was never a proper supercar. It was, however, an instant success and proved Audi can do more than just fast, somewhat lifeless cars.
Now the R8 is back and, make no mistake, it’s absolutely not a sports car. Far from it. There’s no V8 here to offer sensible horsepower, instead there’s a choice of two V10s – and both have the sort of horsepower rival supercars should worry about.
The standard 5.2-litre V10 is a force to be reckoned with, but it’s the R8 V10 Plus that really puts the Audi on the map. With 601bhp, 413lb/ft of torque, 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and 0-124mph in 9.9 seconds, it’s brutally quick.
The naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 means there’s no waiting around for a turbo, complimenting the R8’s extremely grippy all-wheel drive quattro system that can distribute torque where it needs to go in an instant. No wonder, then, unofficial 0-62mph times are coming in lower.
But as Ben Griffin and Rory Reid found out when racking up the miles in the R8 V10 Plus, there’s more to the new R8 than performance. Not only is it incredibly easy to drive, the suspension soaks up bumps nicely and the automatic gearbox keeps the revs low. It’s unusually quiet when you want it to be, making it a car you could actually use as a daily driver.
Speaking of noise, pull up to the lights or stop and the V10 actually goes to sleep, saving you fuel and protecting the lungs of those around you. You will still spend a lot of time at the pumps though, because it’s unlikely you will ever drive slowly enough to see the claimed 22.8mpg.
The biggest downside of becoming a supercar is the £140,000 supercar price tag, although the R8 V10 Plus seems good value given the performance available. Ignore the haters, this is no TT with a few extra bells and whistles. Audi has created an absolute monster of a machine.
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