When it comes to the exterior, not a lot has changed since the previous generation of the R8. The inlets above the slightly wider grill, however, are new.
Ever since the speedometer exceeded 300 for the first time in my life, the Audi R8 has had a special place in my heart. Soaring with that speed and stability gave the nickname “the Flatiron” its proper meaning. Back then, the first-generation R8 standard was a mid-engine 420 horsepower V8. Since the 2006 launch, a lot has changed and several different versions have been released, increasing the performance notably.
The latest generation of the R8 has a 5,2-liter V10 engine which is also shared with Lamborghini. Nowadays, it delivers 620 horsepowers with a torque of 580 newtons. The force is supplied by a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission to every wheel. This combination yields a stunning 0-100 in 3,1 seconds and a top speed of 331 km/h.
“R8 is a terribly fast car!”
Setting aside the performance for a while and focusing on what pleases and stimulates the soul, in my case the living and what is doing so harmoniously. Describing a V10 engine that way might sound a little weird but that is what it is. The character offered by this brutally beautiful sounding motor is on another level.
Compared to other engines, this one is easily distinguishable from tens of miles away. I can immediately hear if there is an Audi R8, with a reservation that it could also be a Lamborghini Gallardo or Huracán, driving on a road far away. The engine has a deeper, more raw sound than every other car. The best sound is obviously a matter of personal preference, but I would pick the V10 engine every day of the week.
So how does the car feel at serious speeds? To experience this, Audi invited us to the Ascari track in Spain, north of Marbella. A long, fast and moderately technical course often used by car companies for various releases. As per usual, us journalists are not immediately allowed on the track on our own, especially not with a car like this and 620 horses under the right foot.
We often start with “following the leader” to get an idea of the car and the track. After that, today we get to pick between driving on our own or behind an instructor. I pick the latter because I still feel too unsure of the track, plus the car has too much power to fully experience it on your own. I got to follow a German factory instructor named Clause. We have identical cars and the tempo increases with every lap.
In one part of the track, where there is a straightaway with a quick right turn followed by another straightaway, I notice after a couple of laps that we are going 100% flat out. I keep the pedal to the metal through the right turn and Clause can’t get rid of me, even though that is not his job. The feeling of letting the 620 horses give everything they have and what the tires can take in the turn is euphoric!
The adrenaline rush after the laps has not only affected me. Clause is also noticeably excited about the speed we have been driving at. If it is due to my driving skills, or the ease with which the R8 V10 Performance is maneuvered, I will leave unsaid.
|Audi R8 V10 Performance
Base price: from 1 867 500 SEK