05 Jan 2017 Audi R8 V10+
The Ultimate Winter Supercar
The Audi R8 is one of the most undervalued and underappreciated super cars of our time. I think that is mostly because the first generation R8 wasn’t as good a sports car as we all hoped. However, the new generation R8 is a very, very capable sports car.
Thanks to some connections I have, I was able to go to the Audi R8 presentation in Portugal back in 2015. I didn’t expect super much of the car, since I had driven the previous R8 several times, in multiple versions. I never hated or disliked the R8. In fact, it was always fun driving that car and always felt special. However, it never felt like a very capable, serious sports car, so I had my doubts that the new Aud R8 will be much better. Once I got in this new Audi R8 V10 Plus, however, my doubts vanished within a mile of driving.
Immediately you feel very connected to the road, thanks to the fantastic suspension and great, very direct, electric steering. There isn’t lots of steering feel per se, but somehow it works very well. I believe it’s thanks to the very fast steering ratio. From the very first meters, you just get the feeling that this car wants to turn.
The noise is insane!
And then there is this noise. This fantastic V10 noise that Audi thankfully was able to keep alive. The R8 V10 Plus comes equipped with the sports exhaust, which is a must get in my opinion. It makes the whole experience so much more spectacular with all these crackles and pops out of the exhaust. Also, the volume inside the car is much louder. You actually hear the V10. Without sports exhaust, the car feels much tamer. More like a GT car, than a race car. To me, a bit boring.
I was also very lucky to be able to drive the car on the race track. And not just any racetrack. We got to drive the cars on the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão, which is one of the most challenging tracks in the world. However, by the time I got to the race track, it was already night, and learning a racetrack as challenging as this one at night, really isn’t easy. Even if your car is equipped with Audi’s new Laser Light.
Nevertheless, I made the best out of it and had quite some fun pushing the car to its limits. I was once again impressed by how good the brakes are, and how well it turns. The car has very little understeer, which was one of the biggest issues with the first R8. No matter if I went through some faster or slower turns, the car handled surprisingly well. Much better than I had expected.
The best Cabin I have ever seen!
The cabin of the 2017 Audi R8 is probably the best or one of the best car interiors on the market at this time. The switchgear feels very expensive, well engineered and thought out. The whole interface with the new virtual cockpit and the design of everything is just absolute top-notch. I can’t think of any car I would rather sit inside.
I think Audi has set a new benchmark in interior quality and design.
I was also quite surprised by the fuel consumption of the R8, while this might not matter to most of you. The car burned on average around 18l/100km, which is quite less than a lot of modern turbocharged performance cars that I’ve driven recently. It just showed to me again, that naturally aspirated high-performance engines make much more sense in terms of fuel economy than turbocharged ones.
I should also mention that I had the chance to drive the regular Audi R8 V10, which only has 540 HP, no standard sports exhaust, and no ceramic brakes. That car was very underwhelming to drive, and to me at least, a bit boring. To me, it wasn’t brutal enough and just didn’t have enough sound for a 5.2-liter V10 engine. If you end up with the base V10 because the V10 Plus is too expensive or too fast for you, you should definitely opt-in for the optional sports exhaust.
The Audi R8 V10 starts at 166.000 EUR in Germany and $162,900 (excl. tax) in the US. The V10 Plus models start at 190.000 EUR in Germany and $189,900 (excl. tax) in the US. To me, the extra money is definitely worth investing in the Plus model. It is just better at what it is supposed to be – a supercar.
Autobahn High Speed in the AUDI R8 V10+
I got to over 205 mph!
Driving this car on the Autobahn is incredible! It accelerates so unbelievably quick to 300 km/h (187 mph), and makes so much noise doing so. It’s a real adrenalin rush every single time. Thanks to the clever Quattro AWD, you also feel extremely safe driving at these speeds, even if the surface is a bit wet. The car also feels very stable, and very responsive at high speeds. It’s a pure joy to drive fast, and not scary at all. Even on winter tires.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Audi R8 V10 (Plus). It is a lot better than I had expected and probably the best year around supercar for me. Even better than the mighty Porsche Turbo, just because of the extra adrenaline rush you get with that V10 noise. What a car!
Article by Kai Groschupf
Audi R8 V10 Plus – TECHNICAL DATA
- 5.2 liter V10 Naturally Aspirated
- 610 HP / 560 NM
- Top Speed of 330 km/h (205 mph)
- 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds
- 0-60 mph in <3 seconds