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Audi R8 Performance

The 2015 Audi R8 delivers stunning acceleration with either its V8 or V10 engine, test drivers report. They write that the R8 is easy to drive quickly, thanks to its predictable handling limits and ample road grip from the standard all-wheel drive. Reviewers note that the R8 is comfortable to drive on a day-to-day basis as well.

  • "As enthralling as the R8 is to drive at a racetrack, we've always loved how it drives in mundane situations, too. Specifically, it offers decent ride comfort, exceptional outward visibility and comfortable seats, plus barely perceptible gearchanges with S tronic in automatic mode. It's a supercar you could easily drive every day, and that's not true of all contestants in this class." -- Edmunds
  • "All R8 V10 models make the most of their power with a quattro four-wheel drive system that distributes output variably to the front and rear axles by way of a viscous clutch. It's a boon for acceleration and also ensure better fuel-weather performance than many other supercars." -- Left Lane News
  • "This isn't a car that wants to bite you. On the contrary, it wants to make you a better driver than you really are. Sure, the R8 isn't the absolute fastest car on the road, but it just might be the most user-friendly supercar you can buy, particularly given its more-than-tolerable ride quality." -- AutoTrader
  • "Positioned below the R8 Plus, the regular V-10 performs nearly as well but does so in a more civilized manner-and in a more comfortable package." -- Car and Driver (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 R8 comes standard with a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 430 horsepower and 316 pound-feet of torque, and Audi estimates that with this engine, the R8 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds. The R8 is available with a 5.2-liter V10. In its standard setup, the V10 makes 525 horsepower, 391 pound-feet of torque and delivers acceleration to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. The R8 V10 Plus generates 550 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It accelerates to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. Regardless of engine, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is optional. With the base engine and dual-clutch transmission, the 2015 R8 returns an EPA-estimated 14/23 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end of the class.

Whether you choose the standard V8-powered R8 or the top V10 Plus model, test drivers write that acceleration is astounding and there is always more than enough power. Reviewers delight in the sonorous note of both engines. They report that the manual transmission is precise and very rewarding to shift and that the dual clutch is very responsive and shifts quickly.

  • "Under the hood, the standard V8 is more motor than most drivers could ever dream of. It revs past 8,000 rpm with incredible refinement, making gratifying noises all the while. But you don't always need to push it to its limit -- there's plenty of mid-range power, as well. Of course, some folks always want more if it's available, so Audi also offers the 5.2-liter V10, a Lamborghini-inspired beast that's every bit as exotic as you'd expect. Having to choose between these two works of art is a wonderful problem to have." -- AutoTrader
  • "Speaking of power, the R8 V10 adds an appreciable amount, as well as a uniquely racy soundtrack. But even the V8 is one of the best-sounding and most tractable engines we've experienced. Unlike the slow-witted and duly criticized single-clutch R tronic gearbox offered in past years, the dual-clutch S tronic automated manual is admirably quick and easy to use around town." -- Edmunds
  • "We are thrilled to report that you can still get the R8-and this includes every engine and body variation-with a six-speed manual transmission operated via a gated shifter. Internally called the ML600, the box is a marvel of precision and aesthetics." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "The V8 is wonderful, but we are absolutely enamored with the prodigious power, brutal acceleration and raucous sound of the V10 engine in the Audi R8 5.2." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Handling and Braking

The Audi R8 has standard all-wheel drive. Test drivers agree that the R8 is incredibly athletic and also easy to drive quickly, thanks to its all-wheel drive grip and predictable handling limits. Reviewers are also pleased with the strength of the R8's brakes and its comfortable ride.

  • "Either way, the R8 astounds with its combination of razor-sharp reflexes and reassuring all-wheel-drive handling." -- AutoTrader
  • "On twisting roads, the R8's exquisitely refined power, quick reflexes and heroic grip conspire to make this 3,600-pound supercar feel as nimble as a lightweight roadster." -- Edmunds
  • "Nevertheless, all R8 iterations are tossable, precise, and good-natured. Drifts out of corners can be easily induced, but if you enter clumsily, you could end up with noticeable understeer. The carbon-ceramic brakes, optional on the lesser versions, bite sharply and displayed no fading during our prolonged hard driving." -- Car and Driver (2014)
  • "All-wheel drive can leave cars feeling somewhat reluctant to change direction, but the R8 remains game. Yes, there's still the same safe-as-houses veneer of initial understeer if you enter a corner too hot or try to get on the power too soon, but get it right and the R8 rewards with the neutrality of Switzerland." -- Autoblog (2014)
  • "On the street, that race-ready persona translates to precise and thrilling but manageable handling, enhanced by surprisingly civilized ride quality...for a supercar." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
Review Last Updated: 5/15/15

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