In a world where most of its rivals are all turbocharged and/or electrified, the Audi R8 V10 Plus may seem like a dinosaur. Together with Lamborghini, Audi is among the few remaining automakers to sell such a large engine without forced induction, making both the R8 and its platform-sharing Huracan interesting proposals in the sports car segment.
If you haven’t seen how the current-generation of the 5.2 FSI machine stacks up in a top speed run, now is your chance. This is a pre-facelift 2017 R8 V10 Plus that was pushed to the maximum at the Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds on the Shuttle Runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. With 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet (560 Newton-meters) of torque on tap, you can rest assured the mid-engined supercar is plenty fast.
How fast? See for yourself.
Some would argue the Audi R8 V10 Plus was “slow” en route 201.6 mph (324.4 km/h) compared to its turbocharged rivals, but there’s nothing quite like the smooth and linear power delivery of a naturally aspirated engine. We’d add the sound it makes is arguably better compared to an engine benefitting from forced induction.
2.3 miles (3.7 kilometers) to hit that speed might seem like a lot for a fully fledged supercar, but the R8 does it in the purest way possible. People who are buying Ingolstadt’s range-topping sports car are not necessarily interested in its outright top speed as they prioritize some of the car’s other strong points. From the looks and build quality to how the engine works in harmony with the automatic transmission and Quattro, the R8 has a lot going for it.
As a final note, the R8 V10 Plus was discontinued with the supercar’s mid-cycle refreshed when Audi launched the R8 V10 Performance late 2018 with slightly more power and sharper looks. In regards to what the future has in store for the R8, Audi has already confirmed the model will live on despite rumors rushing to announce its demise. The next-gen car will be different as the powertrain will either be a hybrid or pure electric.