A-Z Supercars: Audi R8 V10

Could an Audi really be as thrilling to drive as a Ferrari or Lambo? You betcha

Audi has some fine performance cars in its illustrious history – and a performance legend in the shape of the rally-bred Quattro. But until recently it had never really dabbled in the supercar arena. That began to change when it launched the original, V8-engined R8 in 2006. The R8 took extraneous behaviour – all the little fidgets, squirms, structure-born shudders and sundry expressions of strain and imbalance – clean out of the driving experience. What was left was pure and direct. So stiff was the structure you were strapped into and so geometrically correct the actions of its chassis that the sense of oneness was almost overwhelming. 

But it still wasn’t quite the real deal. 
The breakthrough came when the engineers took the R8 and installed a glorious V10 engine. Not since the Honda NSX had there been a supercar that was quite so useable and easy to live with.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Visually there wasn’t much to get excited about, though the side-scoops were kicked out to grab more air and give more shape to the flanks, while the intakes front and rear had gappier spars and there were new crinkly 19in alloys. No, it was the 518bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine that moved the R8 up the credibility rankings, taking its performance into pukka supercar territory. Of course, it also added a more intriguing, exotic soundtrack, erupting into life with a lightly silenced, nasally whoop.

To go with the more muscular engine there was a sharper, more dialled-in chassis. And when Audi replaced the fixed top with a fabric roof – no folding hard-tops here – to produce the Spyder, the usual soft-top compromises (extra weight, a loss of rigidity and handling precision) largely failed to materialise, leaving just the usual open-air delights and clearer aural access to the thrilling exertions of a mighty engine.

Find used Audi R8's for sale on the Classic and Performance Car site here.

SPECIFICATION

Years made 2010- Engine V10, 5204cc Max power 518bhp @ 8000rpm Torque 391lb ft @ 6500rpm 0-60mph 3.8sec  Max speed 196mph Price £108,040 new (coupe),£70-95,000 used

Most Popular

Aston Martin DB4: review, history and specs
Aston Martin

Aston Martin DB4: review, history and specs

1959 was a watershed year for Aston Martin. As the DBR1 swept all before it on the track, the first customers were taking deliveries of the all-new DB…
11 Oct 2020
SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car
News

SSC Tuatara hypercar hits 331mph, making it the world’s fastest production car

Over a decade after SSC last entered the record books, its Tuatara has claimed the title of world’s fastest production car
19 Oct 2020
Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble
Cupra

Hot Cupra Formentor spied testing – with a five-cylinder warble

Is Cupra about to get hold of Audi’s brilliant five-cylinder petrol engine?
19 Oct 2020
Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot
Alpine

Alpine to become high-performance Renault offshoot

Heated-up Renaults but no A110 replacement for Alpine as it follows in Cupra and Abarth footsteps
21 Oct 2020