Back in 2006, the world was a different place. Ferrari made headlines with the amazing Ferrari Enzo, the Porsche Carrera GT wasn’t all that popular, the Bugatti Veyron started making world records, the Ford GT redefined the American supercar, and Lamborghini came out with one of the most Lamborghini models out of all Lamborghini’s ever, the Murcielago.
The R8 is a car no one saw coming as Audi was always the “quiet kid” when it came to supercars. When Audi first showed the R8 to the public, people were in awe of how good the car looked. Fast forward almost 20 years later, a lot of things have changed, but the R8, not so much. So, is Audi R8 a good car?
The Audi R8 is one of the best supercars that ever came out for multiple reasons. For starters, the R8 is likely the most accessible supercar of all time because it is easy to drive, you can see out of it, there is a lot of space in it, and it does not cost obscene amounts of money. Secondly, the R8 is one of the last supercars these days that features a proper high-displacement engine.
It is hard to downplay the R8 as it truly is an iconic car, and now in 2022, it represents the past and the future because Audi said that they are going to bring the R8 into the electrified era.
Audi R8 – The powertrain
The first Audi R8 model came back in 2006 and it featured two different engines. A 4.2L naturally aspirated V8 is found in many other Audi RS cars and the flagship 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 is derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo. The V8 models make about 420/430hp while 1st gen V10s make 525hp.
The second generation of the R8 came in 2015 and it sacked the V8 in favor of just the mighty V10 which came in two variants. The “entry-level” R8 V10 with 540hp and the full-on R8 V10 Plus with 610hp. The latest Audi R8 features the same iconic 5.2L, but the most powerful R8 makes 620hp in the R8 Performance model.
Early 1st generation R8s used both a gated shift manual and an automatic transmission while newer models come with a dual-clutch automatic. The R8 is also predominantly an AWD Quatro car, but Audi did make a few limited runs of R8s without the front axle which were 100% RWD.
The Audi R8 powertrain is going to go down in history as one of the best ones that have ever existed, and the fact that Audi still offers a 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 makes it even more iconic.
Audi R8 – Design and chassis
The R8s engine is amazing, but so is the design. We have already mentioned that the 1st R8 that came out had a design no other car from that time could touch. The 1st generation of the R8 still looks stunning and it is going to look stunning until the end of time. Newer R8s did lose a bit of the flare but are still great-looking cars. The interior of the 1st gen is dated, but newer R8 interiors are still amazing.
When it comes to the suspension and chassis tuning, it’s fair to say that the R8 is a supercar, but it is not as stiff nor punishing as something like a Lamborghini Huracan. The car is well balanced and it predictably does everything, but many deem the driving experience to be a bit too dull for a supercar.
Audi R8 – Reliability and common issues
The Audi R8 is also a relatively reliable car, but only if you maintain it well enough. These cars are high maintenance because of that big engine, and if you fail to maintain them, they will break down at some point.
The most common R8 issues are associated with the car’s electronics such as the MMI system, the equipment such as the soft fabric roof in Spyder models, or the front trunk latch that tends to get stuck. Other notable issues also include suspension shock absorber failures and the fact that the R8 consumes a lot of oil. Finally, older V8 R8s had problematic engines due to carbon deposits and issues with the bearings.
Audi R8 – Value and practicality
As far as value is concerned, 1st gen R8s are only going up in value at the moment, especially manual ones. Newer R8s are also fairly well priced considering what they offer. Practicality-wise, the R8 is as poor as all supercars get, but it does offer more seating space and trunk space than some other cars in this segment.
It is actually a livable supercar which is a rare sight indeed. It compares well to the Porsche 911 in this instance, even though the 911 is not a high-displacement supercar with a mid-mounted engine.
Is the Audi R8 worth it?
Yes, all generations of the Audi R8 are worth it because they look great, they sound great, they offer some of the best engines ever, and they are backed by Audi which means that stuff actually works. It is easy to recommend the R8, really easy.
No matter how you look at it, the R8 is worth the asking price. Older manual R8s are some of the best investment cars you can buy right now because a manual V10 R8 with not too many miles is already starting to become a really collectible car.
Why did Audi make the R8?
Audi was and still is a brand heavily involved in motorsports which is not something Audi markets as much as some other brands do. Audi came out with the R8 because they knew they could make a really good supercar, and one that could combine what a supercar is with what Audi does best, and that is design and comfort.
The R8 made headlines immediately after it came out and was also featured in the blockbuster movie Iron Man where it got stuck in many people’s minds for decades to come.
Is the Audi R8 going to be discontinued?
We can say for certain that the R8 is not going to be discontinued, but its heart and soul will. This means that Audi is soon going to ditch the V10 in favor of an all-electric powertrain which will make the R8 feel more like an ultra-fast Dyson hoover than an exciting supercar it once was.
These are the times we are living in, and it does make sense to transition to a completely electric platform, but if there is even the slightest possibility for the R8 to still come with a V10, we need to take it.