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Expert Rating

Audi R8

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Expert Rating

Audi R8

(2015 – present)

    Summary


    Audi surprised the world with the first R8 in 2006. The mid-engined two-seater coupe, created to rival the Porsche 911, was unlike anything Audi had ever made, and instantly topped desirability lists – and it gained more fans two years later when the Audi R8 Spyder (convertible) joined the line-up.

    The second-generation Audi R8 was introduced in 2015 and facelifted in 2019. The biggest change was the dropping of the ‘entry-level’ V8 version, the car now only powered by a V10 petrol engine with either 562 or 612hp. As a result the car moved up a class, according to Autocar going from “sports car” to “super sports car.”

    Testers like the R8 and generally agree that it is a hassle-free supercar, usable every day, which splits opinions. Carbuyer says it’s “reliable and as easy to drive around town as a Volkswagen Golf,” which causes the Sunday Times’s Jeremy Clarkson to claim he’d rather pay a rather pay a lot more for a Lamborghini Huracan, which shares its platform and V10 engine with the Audi. And Carwow says; “It’s well built and easy to drive but can’t match others for exclusivity.”

    Opinions of the interior follow a similar theme; “the R8’s sensible cabin lacks the pizzazz of the Hurracan’s bonkers interior,” adds Carwow. And the modest luggage space is also marked down.

    However, these are mere gripes – testers as a whole like the potent but refined engine, love its sound, and enjoy the car’s predictable handling and road holding, typified by Evo; “Huge grip nuanced with a delicacy and adjustability make the R8 as sweet to drive as ever.”  

    As of May 2022, the Audi R8 holds an Expert Rating of 85% based on 34 UK reviews. That’s the highest ranking of any model in the current Audi range, and five points better than its Italian cousin, the Lamborghini Huracan.

    Audi R8 highlights

    • Visually arresting
    • V10 engine makes lovely noise
    • Easy to live with for a supercar
    • Choice of coupé or roadster models

    Audi R8 lowlights

    • Expensive to buy, not cheap to run
    • Steering a bit soft
    • Limited luggage space
    • Should a supercar be usable every day?

    Key specifications


    Body style: Mid-engined coupé and roadster
    Engines: petrol
    Price: From £129,785 on-road

    Launched: Summer 2015
    Last updated: Spring 2019
    Replacement due: TBA


    Media reviews


    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

    The Car Expert

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    Auto Express

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    Auto Trader

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    Autocar

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    Car

    +

    Carbuyer

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    Carwow

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    Daily Mail

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    Evo

    +

    Heycar

    +

    Motoring Research

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    Motors.co.uk

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    Parkers

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    The Sun

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    The Sunday Times

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    The Telegraph

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    Top Gear

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    What Car?

    +

    Safety rating


    The Audi R8 has not been crash tested by Euro NCAP, and neither was the previous model. Being a low-volume, £100K+ sports car, it’s unlikely to happen.

    Eco rating


    No eco rating

    As of May 2022, the Audi R8 has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

    The R8 is powered by a large V10 petrol engine producing 600hp, plus or minus, so it’s not going to win over any polar bears.

    Awards


    Trophies, prizes and awards that the Audi R8 has received

    2016

    • World Car Awards – World Performance Car

    Similar cars


    If you’re looking at the Audi R8, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    Aston Martin Vantage | Ferrari Portofino | Ferrari Roma | Honda NSX | Lamborghini Huracan | McLaren 570S | Mercedes-AMG GT | Porsche 911

    The Audi R8 is the kind of car you buy because you want an R8, especially since its more powerful engine became the only option and it moved upmarket. But rivals remain – not least the Lamborghini Hurracan, which shares its platform with the Audi but is substantially more expensive. And McLaren’s Sport Series cars offer arguably more desirability.

    Among the more mainstream names the Mercedes-AMG GT is a rival, while the Porsche 911, the car the Audi was conceived to beat, also remains a contender, at least in potent Turbo S form.

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