Published on April 14th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi R8 V10 Driven, Abused and Simply Enjoyed On The Circuit
This new Audi supercar shares the same architecture as the Lamborghini Huracan (who happens to also be part of the VW Group if you did not know this) with more of a mix of materials including carbon-fiber.
This new R8 is also slightly wider and longer than the Huracan. Not only will this mean a more spacious cabin, but the ride comfort is better also.
The Huracan has been designed as the more hardcore driving supercar, with this Audi positioned as the everyday supercar targeted directly at buyers of the Porsche 911 Turbo.
However this new R8 has an output just above the 601 horsepower of the Lamborghini.
We are in Germany at the new Audi motorsports faciltiy to test drive the V10, 610bhp R8 + that is capable of a 0-100km/h dash in just 3.2 seconds……which is hypercar numbers. Production of this 2016 R8 range is done at Audi’s new Böllinger Höfe plant in Neckarsulm, Germany.
Behind the Wheel
The interior has been given the once over in this latest R8, with a completely restyled instrument cluster like what we found in the new TT, TTS and Q7 where with the speedometer and the rev counter is all part of a digitised display that with a flick of a switch on the steering wheel can change its format and instruments presented to the driver. For this R8 there is additional information when in ‘sports’ mode is the torque and horsepower meter showing on the right hand side of the cluster for added enjoyment for the driver and passenger.
A three-spoke alcantara wrapped steering wheel with new functional buttons and more supportive seats are included. As with all Audi’s an extensive use of aluminium body panels has kept the weight down and the mix of carbon fibre gives this R8 a real exclusive personality.
Start the V10 (starter button sits on the right of the steering wheel) and it burbles to live with an initial 2-second roar and quickly settles to a mild hum. The exhaust gives a fruity rasp at the higher end of the rev range, answering critics who might comment that the smooth V10 engine didn’t sound charismatic enough for a sports car.
‘Dynamic Select’ allows you to pick the drive mode you prefer or need depending on the road ahead. On track it is best to keep it in dynamic and the suspension and steering stiffens up to return a real race car feel to the driver.
Combined with the ESP stability control system it gives this R8 an uncanny level of security should you really press on hard around corners and even on the rain soaked track we had a real sense of traction from the quatrro system working with the magnetic suspension.
Turn the ESP off and this R8 will happily display its fun side. If you can overcome the initial unease, this R8 is extremely capable and a whole lot of fun.
In the past, sporting Audi’s all came with attitude as Audi has been in the motorsports arena even before the 1st world war. Audi engineers have the race DNA needed to build a capable performance vehicle. With this R8, all that the engineers have learnt from LMS Cup and Endurance racing is used for the gentleman driver in a new R8.
Value For Money
Taken in context, the Audi R8’s price tag of beyond RM1.25 million including local taxes (which was the price of the previous R8 in Malaysia) isn’t as shocking as it may at first appear. Many of its rivals knock on the door of this figure and few feel as well built or offer the versatility and dual purpose capability of this Audi racer. The Mercedes GT is priced lower, but Porsches 911 Turbo is more expensive, so the decision to purchase this all new R8 when it arrives will depend on how much hype can be created for this hypercar.
Aston, Bentley, Maserati and Ferrari will be priced higher and will probably have more street side attention, but this R8 will take anyone of them in close quarters fighting on a circuit. In our opinion only the Mercedes AMG GT seems to be a real rival and worry for Audi in Malaysia.
Could I Live With One Everyday?
As long as there is a Honda, Toyota or Perodua for the needed trips to the night market, wet market and supermarket, I think I could easily live with one.
In fact, this R8 could easily be used for all the various market tasks mentioned with ease as it has a roomier cabin, decent luggage space and it is less obvious in the flesh when compared to most of its rivals.
Audi R8+ V10 TFSI Specifications:
Engine: 10-cylinder Direct Injection Turbo
Transmission: 7-Speed S-Tronic
Max power: 610bhp
Max torque: 560Nm
Top Speed: 330km/h
Price: Estimated RM1.3 Million