Want a supercar with the Audi premium badge? The R8 Coupe could be the car for you. Decide for yourself with our review.
Monstrous V10 engine
Not very practical
High running costs
The second generation Audi R8 V10 Coupe is a lightning fast sports car with a sumptuous cabin designed to match its dazzling looks and exquisite performance.
Dubbed the ‘everyday supercar’, the R8 Coupe combines relative practicality with a ferocious yet naturally aspirated engine which it shares with it’s more expensive soft-top alternative - the Audi R8 Spyder - as well as the fascinating Lamborghini Huracan.
The R8 Coupe’s capabilities can somewhat be judged by the company it keeps. Since its introduction in 2015, Audi’s fastest car has joined an elite supercar club that includes like of the Mclaren 570S, Porsche 911 Turbo and the Mercedes-AMG GT.
Audi’s esteemed quattro all-wheel drive system provides the R8 Coupe with four-wheel drive capabilities which keeps the nippy car safe and composed thanks to its grippy traction in all-weather conditions.
Step inside and the Audi R8 Coupe is one of the best luxury sports cars around. The dashboard is extremely well built from high-quality materials and the Fine Nappa leather upholstery that engulfs the heated seats are especially indulgent. You’ll also have the pleasure of wrapping your fingers around a plush 3-spoke, multi-functioning steering wheel.
Despite the R8 Coupe lacking a central MMI infotainment screen, you can’t exactly call it a technophobe. Standard R8 models accommodate Audi’s innovative 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit system which sits in the direct line of the driver’s vision behind the steering wheel. A lot of the R8 Coupe’s safety features incorporate cutting-edge tech to ensure the safety of all on-board as well as pedestrians.
Practicality may not be the R8 Coupe’s strong suit, but the accomplished two-seater does what it says on the tin - which is just about all you could fit in the miniscule front boot.
If you’re expecting decent fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, keep walking. Supercars are not renowned for their stamina, and although it's definitely not one of the most economical cars around, Audi’s innovative Cylinder-On-Demand (COD) system can deactivate one of the two cylinder banks to ensure things aren’t as bad as they could be.
All in all, the Audi R8 Coupe is an exhilarating driving experience that’s comfortable enough to use everyday and on long journeys. Sure enough, it might not match the exclusivity of some it’s premium rivals, but it sure as hell will be able to keep up with them!
Audi R8 Coupe
The entry-level R8 Coupe V10 RWD is unique in that it delivers performance through a rear-wheel drive powertrain like most of the R8’s rivals. It’s considerably cheaper than the next trim and offers a whole host of features to get excited about. You’ll get 19” aluminum forged wheels, a pair of R8 sport seats in Alcantara leather and an exterior styling pack in high gloss black that will leave you fellow road users in awe. Other notable features include Audi’s first-rate MMI infotainment system, a multi-performance leather steering and a responsive reversing camera.
Audi R8 Coupe V10 Performance
With the finest engine output in the Audi range, the R8 Coupe V10 Performance quattro has the stylish features to back up it’s supercar performance. Exterior-wise, you’ll get 20” forged aluminium wheels in matt titanium and a titanium exterior styling pack which includes the side blades, exterior mirrors, and flashy ceramic brakes with silver brake calipers. Pop inside and you’ll spot the performance steering wheel has 2 operating satellites buttons for Audi Drive Select and the engine start-stop function. A fixed carbon spoiler also dons the rear, while sporty R8 bucket seats offer a more supportive position for all aboard.
Audi R8 Coupe V10 Performance Carbon Black
The bees-knees of the R8 Coupe trim line belongs to the V10 Performance Carbon Black spec. Bold and inspired, the sleek supercar exhibits an extended high-gloss black styling pack which includes everything from the iconic Audi rings to the 20” ‘5-twin-spoke’ dynamic alloy wheels. You’ll also get a range of exterior elements in high-gloss carbon including the side blade, front spoiler, rear diffuser and engine bay cover. The ceramic brakes with red calipers are a nice contrasting feature, while Audi’s Magnetic Ride with CFRP anti-roll bar allows the driver to alter the driving dynamics to suit their preferred driving style.
The second generation R8 Coupe is a captivating low-slung sports car that will have your neighbours peering out their windows every time you switch on the ignition.
Available in up to 8 different colours, the stunning R8 Coupe has the sharp attire to match it’s audacious engine. This is personified by a singleframe radiator grille that dominates both the front and the rear ends.
The side of the Audi R8 Coupe boasts signature side blades in Mythos black, while the rear is home to a retractable spoiler, high-gloss black diffuser and an eye-catching twin exhaust.
Opt for performance trim and you’ll receive all the above styling features in matt titanium. Splash out for the Carbon Black trim and you’ll be in a sports car wonderland. The carbon fibre engine compartment trim and carbon sigma side blades reinforce the R8 Coupe’s track heritage.
Dynamic. Compelling. Invigorating. Just a few superlatives that characterise the R8 Coupe’s impeccable V10 engine.
Engine and Performance
As we mentioned earlier, the R8 Coupe shares it’s powerhouse 5.2-litre V10 engine with the highly regarded Lamborghini Huracan. Since the new car’s recent facelift in 2019, the R8 now comes with a choice of two upgraded power outputs: the 562bhp standard or the 612bhp Performance alternative.
Both versions come with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and unlike most supercars on sale, the Audi R8 Coupe uses a naturally aspirated engine rather than a turbocharged output. This ensures that the R8 responds instantly and flies through the rev range accompanied by a melodic roar.
The ‘entry-level’ 5.2 FSI V10 quattro 2dr S Tronic trim is exceptionally quick. With an official 0-62mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 201mph, the R8 Coupe has a serious amount of mojo when you stretch its legs.
If your adrenaline-junkie thrills are still unsatisfied, we guarantee that the 5.2 FSI V10 quattro 2dr S Tronic Performance trim will have enough bite to get you aroused. It manages 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, which is probably less time than it takes you to say the full derivative name! The frighteningly quick spec also achieves a top speed of 205mph.
Thanks to Audi’s grippy quattro four-wheel drive system, the R8 Coupe feels adept and composed in all weather conditions. This gives you the confidence and assurance to enjoy the R8 in all it’s accelerated glory.
Audi’s intuitive Drive Select feature allows you to choose between a range of handling settings through the R8 Coupe’s quattro all-wheel drive system. This gives you the flexibility to change between the R8’s four driving modes - Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Individual - depending on the nature of your journey.
The Audi R8 Coupe’s standard Sport suspension feels remarkably stable for such a low-slung, wide sports car. It glides over normal-sized potholes gracefully and feels supple enough over speed bumps.
Opt for the stiffer sprung Performance model and you’ll have adaptive dampers as an option, but we reckon you’ll be content with the comfy standard suspension.
Indulge in the range-topping Carbon Black trim and you get the luxury of Audi’s Magnetic Ride with CFRP anti-roll bar. This allows you to alter the driving dynamics of your R8 to suit your preferred driving style and combat different terrains.
Audi R8 Coupe Interior
Yet again, Audi have gone above and beyond to ensure their customers receive the first-class treatment they deserve aboard the R8 Coupe. Although, it does lack a certain wow-factor when faced-off against the similarly powered Lamborghini Huracan.
As you’d expect, the Audi R8 Coupe is sparkling with premium materials that have been designed in an ergonomically friendly fashion.
The glossy dashboard is brimming with soft-touch plastics and dominated by three gleaming deluxe climate control dials. If you break the bank for the Carbon Black trim, your door and dashboard inlays and the centre console will have a seductive gloss carbon twill that is dead certain to impress your passengers.
The standard Audi R8 heated sport seats are quite firm, but you’ll be glad to hear they come with prominent side bolsters for improved lateral support, as well as 4-way lumbar adjustment. There’s plenty of electric seat adjustment to ensure you find your desired driving position, and once you’ve found it, there’s a memory function to make sure you never lose it!
The R8’s multi-function steering wheel is the brain behind the R8’s almighty brawn. It controls the majority of the car’s features including the whole MMI infotainment and sat-nav system.
Audi’s MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch navigation system is integrated into the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display which is positioned behind the steering wheel in the eye line of the driver. Audi's optional Tech Pack is a must have for gadgeteers if you can spare a extra grand and a half.
The screen’s graphics are slick and the system is extremely user-friendly. As well as the steering wheel, the infotainment can also be controlled via a glossy rotary dial located on the centre console between the two seats.
The Audi R8 Coupe is sort of like a one-bedroom flat in central London - astronomically expensive and not very spacious.
4,429 mm L x 1,940 mm W x 1,236 mm H
The Audi R8 comes with a boot capacity of 112 litres which is just about enough room for one small suitcase or one bag for life. Both the Porsche 911 Turbo and the McLaren 570S come with larger loading bays.
Similar to the Mclaren 570S, the Audi R8’s boot is located under the bonnet, between the front wheels.
Given the Audi R8’s low-slung stance and sloping roofline, there’s actually a decent amount of head and legroom for two to get comfortable on a long journey.
There’s also plenty of electrical seating adjustment that you can go to town on without having to worry about crushing the person sitting directly behind you.
Although the Audi R8 Coupe has never been Euro NCAP tested, there’s more than enough safety equipment to brand it a reliable racer.
When you compare the Audi R8 Coupe with luxury alternatives like the Lamborghini Huracan and Mclaren 570S, it looks relatively good value. Unfortunately, for all it’s high praise, the ravenous V10 engine won’t make the Audi R8 cheap to run or insure.
The Audi R8 Coupe V10 quattro is slightly more fuel efficient than the performance version - but not by much. The V10 quattro returns 21.9 mpg, while the Performance achieves 21.6 mpg in real-time driving.
The R8 Coupe’s CO2 emissions are pretty run of the mill for a high-powered supercar. The V10 quattro emits a mighty 293g/km, while the performance spec is just shy of the three-tonne mark at 298g/km.
For a premium car, you’ll be paying a premium price. The R8 Coupe sits at the top of the pile in insurance group 50. You most certainly have to pay for your thrills if you want one of the best super cars on the planet.
|Cheapest Trim||Lowest Insurance Group||RRP|
Reports on Audi reliability can be quite mixed, with the manufacturer placing 34th out of 40 manufacturers on the Reliability Index.
Owners of the R8 Coupe have not reported any major problems with the car, but there have been complaints over the price of replacement parts. The clutch should last around 20,000 miles before you’ll have to fork out another £3,500 for a new one.
The Audi R8 Coupe comes with the usual three-year/60,000-mile Audi warranty and three years’ roadside assistance. Unfortunately Audi's fellow German rivals BMW and Mercedes also provide a better warranty - offering three years with no mileage limit.
Audi has two servicing schedules. The ‘flexible’ service regime is best for high mileage drivers and will mean you only need to service every 18,000 miles.
The ‘fixed’ service schedule is for people who stick mostly to town and city driving and requires an annual checkup/once every 9,000 miles.