In-depth reviews

Audi R8 review – performance and 0-60 time

Its weight figure is still a tad on the high side, but huge grip nuanced with a delicacy and adjustability make the R8 as sweet to drive as ever

Evo rating
Price
from £128,200
  • Drivetrain, performance, dynamics
  • Not as pretty as the original

With sophisticated four-wheel-drive systems, launch control and rapid-shifting gearboxes, R8s record stunning 0-62mph times – 3.4sec for the base model and 3.1sec for the Performance, each a tenth quicker than its pre-facelift variant. The RWD is the slowest out of the block, but will still hit 62mph in 3.7sec – on par with that of a basic Porsche 911 Carrera S and 0.2sec ahead of the more expensive Aston Vantage.

Audi also quotes top speeds of 201mph and 205mph respectively; these are genuine 200mph supercars. The Spyder versions reach the aforementioned benchmarks just 0.1sec slower and have 1mph slower top speeds. Although the Performance offers higher performance on paper with a significant increase in power, the result isn’t that noticeable on the road. You’re never left wanting for more speed or quicker acceleration in the non-Performance, as the R8 is exceptionally fast in either guise.

The scintillating V10 creates such a vibrant environment in the cabin that ultimate performance is forgotten about. It sounds spectacular even with the standard exhaust, although there is an optional sports exhaust.

Being normally aspirated rather than turbocharged the R8’s V10 engine does need to be worked hard to deliver its best, but that isn’t a criticism by any means. In fact, hearing the exhaust note build to a crescendo as the rev needle swings past 8500rpm just once is enough to make you regret the industry’s shift towards turbocharging.

The R8 might lack the thumping torque output of turbocharged rivals, such as the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Ferrari 488 GTB, but with so much power on tap it never feels anything less than frantically quick in a straight line. The Performance, in particular, is still very capable of terrifying driver and passenger alike with its sheer speed.

Most Popular

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better
Mercedes S-class – front tracking
Mercedes

Mercedes S-class 2021 review – the ‘best car in the world’ just got better

It may be slipping out of fashion, but the institution that is Mercedes’ S-class is only getting stronger
22 Jul 2021
Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira makes world debut – all-new coupe to rival Alpine A110

Lotus's first all-new car for a quarter of a century comes AMG power and sub-£60,000 price tag
13 Jul 2021
New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster
2021 Audi RS3 Sportback – front tracking
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 revealed – AMG’s A45 S rival returns fitter and faster

After months of tech insights, we now finally get to see the all-new Audi RS3 in its finished form
19 Jul 2021