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In-depth reviews

Audi R8 review – performance and 0-60 time

The R8 doesn't feel as ballistic as it once did against modern turbocharged rivals, but its V10 engine is a masterpiece

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

With sophisticated launch control and rapid-shifting gearboxes, all R8s can record rapid 0-62mph times – 3.7sec for the RWD, 3.4sec for the RWD GT and 3.1sec for the Quattro.

Audi also quotes a top speed of 201mph for the RWD with the Quattro topping out at 205mph; the RWD GT falls just shy of 200mph due to its draggier high downforce aero setup. The Spyder versions of the RWD and Quattro reach 62mph just 0.1sec slower than their coupe counterparts, with 1mph slower top speeds. Although the Quattro offers higher performance than the rear-drive model 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 RWD, but if you do want the extra power of the Quattro, you can opt for one of the 15 RWD GTs coming to the UK fitted with the uprated 611bhp V10.

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The scintillating engine 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 296 GTB, but with so much power on tap it never feels anything less than frantically quick in a straight line. The Performance and RWD GT models in particular are still very capable of terrifying driver and passenger alike with their sheer speed.

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