Five things you won’t know about the Audi R8 until you own one


One reason why motoring writers can offer a better opinion is that we get the chance to live with a car for more than just the usual dealership test drive route.

After ‘owning’ the R8 for five days, I know that it shares one little problem common to the Porsche 911 – the buckle on the passenger safety belt rattles against the bulkhead when not in use.

I can also tell you that the virtual dashboard isn’t as intuitive to use as it might be, and in strong sunlight, there’s a terrible reflection on the windscreen above the instrument binnacle.

While the R8 has an acoustic exhaust system that allows the Audi to be driven relatively quietly through a town (you don’t want to be a knob and show off, do you?), it’s impossible to start the car discreetly, as the pipes scream.

The front luggage area is tiny, oh and the suspension is way to firm, even on ‘comfort’ setting.

So you see, no car is perfect. Even when it looks this good and costs so much…

The Audi R8’s digital display is the future of dashboard design


This latest R8 may not look much different to the last one but underneath that aluminium skin, it’s a totally different car. Based on the Lamborghini Huracan, you can own one with either a 5.2-litre V10 or V10 Plus lump in the boot.

The first produces 540bhp – our monster Plus is 610bhp and totally awesome in the 3.2 second dash to 60mph. This new R8 is 110 lbs lighter too – making it faster and more agile than before. Just be careful when you press down the front boot lid – the metal is so light it bends in!

But what’s extra special about the latest R8 is the virtual cockpit. No, it still has a steering wheel and pedals but there’s no infotainment display screen in the centre of the dash. Instead, it’s right in front of the driver where the speedo used to be.

The whole binnacle area is entirely digital. The speedo readout is still there but you have a choice a countless set ups to suit your taste. If you like, the entire screen can be one big sat nav display.

It’s clever and you can bet a lot of other manufacturers will soon be following the same design too…

The Audi R8 V10 Plus is a monster of a car…


What’s the difference between driving last week’s Rolls-Royce and this week’s Audi R8? Well, apart from the £130,000 price difference, the great British motoring public seem a lot less hassled by the Audi.

Maybe it’s the fact the R8 isn’t quite so ‘posh’ but other drivers just get out of the way of the Audi – while the Ghost seemed to wind people up enormously and create all kinds of road rage madness.

So the R8 is quite the monster of a car. Low, wide and extraordinarily fast, it’s every inch a supercar – even if the styling isn’t quite so eye-catching as a McLaren or the Audi’s sister lambo.

It’s not quite a Porsche 911 in terms of daily practicality – the boot is tiny and the dashboard is less intuitive – but it’s still one hell of a car…