Fully redesigned last year, this mid-engine and all-wheel-drive super sports car shares its engine and underlying structure with the Lamborghini Huracan. Though it looks decidedly less dramatic by comparison, its performance is anything but.
While the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission is happy to engage launch control and fling the R8 ahead at exhilarating speeds, it's just as happy loping around town at low speeds. The interior contains a large digital display gauge cluster, while the adaptive dampers on the coupe and the Spyder ensure a calm, daily-drivable ride. The Spyder's folding soft top takes 19 seconds to open or shut, and it can do either at vehicle speeds up to 31 mph.
Clearly the genius of the R8, past the born-for-Hollywood design of the original, is how it pairs incredible performance with real-world drivability.
The 2018 Audi R8 is available as a coupe or convertible (the Spyder). Aside from the folding roof, the coupe and convertible are largely the same in terms of standard equipment. A performance-oriented Plus trim is available for the coupe. It offers more horsepower and a lower weight but sacrifices some comfort for the sake of speed.
The R8's engine is a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 (540 hp, 398 lb-ft of torque) paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (Quattro). Standard feature highlights include 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, adaptive suspension dampers, keyless ignition and entry, leather upholstery, a digital gauge cluster display (Audi's Virtual Cockpit), Audi's MMI infotainment interface, a navigation system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. The Spyder adds a folding soft top and a glass wind blocker.
Options for the R8 are pretty much limited to different wheels and additional interior trim and upholstery choices, though carbon-ceramic brakes, laser-enhanced LED headlights and a variable ratio steering system are also available.
The R8 Plus ups the V10 engine's output to 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque and gains the carbon-ceramic brakes and laser headlights as standard equipment. It also sports a more stiffly tuned suspension that lacks the adjustable dampers. In the name of saving weight, it has a slightly smaller gas tank, a five-speaker sound system and racing-style seats that lack backrest-angle adjustment.