Despite a affluent motorsports history with acid success in both ambulatory and ability racing, Audi’s consistently remained at arm’s breadth back it came to bearing a accurate sports car. The once-popular Audi TT has best of the appropriate ingredients, but the front-wheel-drive underpinnings pulled primarily from the VW Golf kept it able-bodied beneath the Porsche Boxster, Nissan Z cars, and BMW’s different roadsters and two-seat coupes.
Since the aboriginal 1980s, Audi remained agreeable developing high-performance versions of its exceptional coupes and sedans, absorption on announcement all-wheel drive technology and turbocharged engines, alike if the consistent speed-specials were softer and added road-oriented than the adrenalin-charging weapons from Mercedes-Benz’ AMG or BMW’s M division.
It was alone during the early-2000s back the absoluteness of an Audi supercar began to coalesce, built-in from Audi’s advancing Le Mans ascendancy and the then-recent accretion of Lamborghini by the Volkswagen Auto Group. To amortize the amount of development of the beginning Lamborghini Gallardo and to accompany Audi a little afterpiece in-line with Mercedes and BMW, the plan for the mid-engine Audi R8—the brand’s aboriginal supercar—took appearance with the Le Mans Quattro abstraction in 2003.
See all 55 photos
Audi Le Mans Quattro Abstraction
Visually, the Audi Le Mans Quattro abstraction was about identical to the assembly R8 that accustomed in 2007, admitting the agrarian twin-turbo V-10 agent was tossed for a added production-friendly abundance of Audi’s artlessly aspirated 4.2-liter V-8. Ability was reasonable for a mid-engine sports car of the era, with 414 application and 317 lb-ft of torque beatific to all-four auto through either Audi’s R-Tronic six-speed automated chiral or a gated six-speed chiral transmission. Zero-to-60-mph times for these aboriginal R8s were about the low four-second mark, with a top acceleration about 188 mph.
The Audi R8 Goes V-10
For the 2009 archetypal year, the R8’s Lamborghini roots shone in full-force, back the adapted 5.2-liter V-10 from the Lamborghini LP560-4 was shoehorned into the R8. Fun fact—that Lamborghini V-10 is absolutely an Audi V-10 pulled from the S6 and S8. So, the R8 V10 absolutely uses an Audi V-10 pulled from a Lamborghini, but we digress. The V-10 agent added the R8’s achievement to 518 application and 391 lb-ft of torque, bottomward the zero-to-60 mph dart to 3.9 seconds, and adopting top acceleration to 196 mph.
The Audi R8 Spyder
Drop-top Spyder variants launched for both the V-8 and the V-10 models, with the V-8 abacus an added 14 application over the V-8 coupe, growing the absolute to 428 horsepower, admitting torque remained banausic at 317 lb-ft. The bound copy R8 GT accustomed in 2011, acid 220 pounds from the barrier weight of the approved R8 V10, while accretion the V-10’s achievement to 552 application and 398 lb-ft of torque. As you’d expect, the R8 GT additionally brought with it a ambit of suspension, braking, and aerodynamic upgrades over the approved car to atone for the added ability and to enlarge the all-embracing achievement envelope. Assembly of the GT was bound to 333 units worldwide, with an added 333 assemblage run of the agnate R8 GT Spyder.
The first-generation R8 accustomed a mid-cycle brace for 2012 in the blow of the world, accession in the U.S. in 2013 as a 2014 archetypal year. The brace brought mostly artful updates, admitting a few cogent automated upgrades were additionally brought to the R8, best decidedly a new seven-speed dual-clutch replacing the averse R-Tronic automated chiral transmission. Accepted alluring damping was additionally added for the R8 V10, an alternative advancement for the V-8 models.
The R8 V10 Plus accustomed on our shores in 2014, abacus a new range-topping trim with added ability and achievement in the aforementioned attitude as the earlier R8 GT. The aforementioned 5.2-liter V-10 as begin in the accepted R8 V10 was upgraded to 542 application and 398 lb-ft of torque in the R8 V10 Plus, which additionally got a re-tuned suspension, adapted interior, and massaged aesthetics.
See all 55 photos
Second-Generation Audi R8
After these brief upgrades, the first-gen R8 was replaced by an all-new archetypal in 2015 for the 2016 archetypal year. In befitting with the Lamborghini basic of the above-mentioned generation, the second-gen R8 shares abundant of its structural DNA with the Lamborghini Huracan. This includes the accustomed 5.2-liter artlessly aspirated V-10—the alone agent offered at the moment—initially accessible with either 533 application and 398 lb-ft of torque in the abject R8 auto or 602 application and 413 lb-ft in the R8 V10 Plus coupe. With the barring of the limited-edition R8 RWS (Rear Wheel Series), ability is transferred to all-four auto through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Audi R8 Highlights
Time will acceptable be affectionate to the Audi R8. The aboriginal bearing of the supercar consistently ranks at the top of abounding enthusiast’s lists of best designs of the 2000s, and it’s alone activity to get bigger with time. Although earlier R8s may backpack a bit of a stigma as artlessly a acclimated supercar, accord it time—or aces one up now, while they are at the basal of their abrasion curve.
Once the aboriginal R8s are out of the too-new-to-be-classic but too-old-to-be-cool asleep zone, the R8 will be one of the bigger means to get into article absolutely alien for not abundant added than the amount of access to a loaded mid-size crossover SUV. Aboriginal V-8s are decidedly bargain to purchase, and compared to a Ferrari or Lamborghini of agnate vintage, decidedly beneath big-ticket to accumulate on the road. As far as budget amount goes, anticipate added than a BMW or Audi sedan, and beneath than an Aston Martin—maintenance on a approved Porsche 911 is acceptable a acceptable comparison.
By design, the R8 of any bearing is a added professional, lower-key supercar—if that’s alike a thing. The accepted R8 is priced afterpiece to the Porsche 911 Turbo, accepted Acura NSX, and Aston Martin Vantage than to Lamborghini’s Huracán or McLaren’s 720s, but in our experience, the R8 doesn’t abatement far abbreviate of those added alien models in achievement or theater. In fact, we’d acceptable booty a new R8 over any of the listed alternatives on the backbone of its complete and the abandoned barrage control. We’ve additionally heard whispers that a first-gen Audi R8 V10 with the gated chiral chiral is one of the best “exotic” adventures that can be had for beneath than $100,000, so there’s that.
See all 55 photos
Audi R8 Buying Tips
Audi R8s of any bearing or blueprint are adequately able-bodied and shouldn’t accommodate too abounding disproportionate surprises mechanically. A blubbery agglomeration of aliment annal is consistently a acceptable admittance with any abeyant purchase, as is a pre-purchase analysis at a bounded specialist or dealer. Parts availability for the R8 is high, because alike the oldest R8s still accept branch abutment from Audi—for now. As declared above, apprehend approved aliment bills agnate to what you’d apprehend of a Porsche 911.
If you are in the bazaar for a first-gen R8, we awful advance you seek alone those with either the six-speed chiral chiral or the after dual-clutch examples. Avoid the R-Tronic at all costs; it’s clunky, slow, almost fragile, and for some enthusiasts, charcoal the all-embracing experience. Agent blazon matters, too, as V-8s will acutely be added affordable than the V-10s, but there is a cogent aberration in both acceleration and budget amid the two engines—as able-bodied as a aberration in prestige, which can enhance (or backbite from) collectibility.
Audi R8 Auctions
Despite actual desirability, the Audi R8 isn’t collectible abundant to cantankerous the date at above bargain houses—yet. Accompany a Trailer never disappoints, as the advantageous almanac of awash R8s is abundant to accord an abstraction of what you ability pay for a aboriginal generation. For second-generation R8s—the accepted model—there are abundant on Audi lots that you ability be bigger off accepting one beeline from the source.
Audi R8 Quick Facts
Audi R8 accessories on Automobile
Audi R8 FAQ
You accept questions about the Audi R8. Automobile has answers. Here are the answers to some of the best frequently asked Audi R8 queries:
Is the Audi R8 a supercar?
Absolutely. With any agent or chiral and from either generation, the Audi R8 is quick, fast, and visually beauteous abundant to be advised a supercar.
How fast does an Audi R8 go?
The aboriginal first-gen Audi R8 4.2s topped out at 188 mph, while the latest and greatest Audi R8 V10 Achievement Quattro smacks a boss 206 mph.
How abundant is the new Audi R8?
The abject 2020 Audi R8 will run you $171,150.
What year is the best Audi R8?
Hmm, abundant question. We account it depends on what you appetite from the car. For an agreeable drive, we’d aces the cleanest first-gen V-10 with the gated chiral we could find. However, the accepted R8 is stunningly quick and aurally amazing as any car we’ve driven, so conceivably one of the few R8 RWS would acquisition its way into our dream garage.