Audi R8 Test Drive – German Makers Attack On The Supercar Market

On the design front the R8 is a piece of art. It makes heads turn when driving in the urban environment. It was inspired from the Le Mans concept car, which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Audi R8 at Geneva Motor Show

Photo: Wikipedia

R8 Is Hand Made

Audi builds the R8 by hand as this machine evokes passion and it claims that it wants it to be special. As this is so time consuming only 15 models are built per day at the Audi factory in Neckarsulm. Once cocooned in the cabin it is easy to see that the Audi technicians have spent hours on making the R8 a high quality car.

Space Is At A Premium On The Audi R8

The R8 is a supercar, not a family car, so space and luggage room is always going to be at a premium. It also takes a bit of practice when getting in and out of the Audi as the seats are so low and the roofline only stretches to 1,252mm in height.

Once seated in the cockpit, the car is roomy and airy and does not feel as claustrophobic as some sports cars can. As mentioned luggage space is not high on the agenda for Audi when the maker made this car. Although there is 100-litres of space in the nose of the car while there is also a little space behind the seats – enough to store a couple of soft bags in.

Audi Equips R8 With Lots Of Safety Kit

Audi has kitted out the R8 with four airbags, xenon headlights and ESP all as standard. There’s also the option to add carbon ceramic brakes, Audi claims these should offer fade free braking for the life of the car, and that’s a comforting thought. The test car was also equipped with front and rear parking aids and there was also an anti-theft device on this model.

On Test

The mid-engined R8 is an outstanding driver’s car and it has exceptional weight distribution and power comes from a 4.2-litre V8 engine. That engine produces 414bhp, which can launch the car from zero to 60mph in 4.6 seconds and the top speed is 187mph.

The Quattro system offering permanent four-wheel drive gives the R8 lots of grip while the steering is direct and perfectly weighted. Enthusiast’s will love the six speed gated gearbox; it looks and sounds impressive. Every gear change slides into place with a satisfactory click. To improve the handling even more, the Magnetic Ride system can be added– it improves body control even further, without damaging ride comfort.

The Audi R8 is a classy and sporty car and if the stereo has nothing on it then there is the V8 soundtrack to keep the driver happy. With a price of just under £90,000 the R8 on test was not cheap but with a top speed of 187mph, owners can’t have too many complaints. The R8 has an official combined cycle of 19mpg and it emits 349g/km of C02 emissions.