By now, we’ve already read and watched several reviews of the new second-generation Audi R8. However, this review from Australian publication, Motor Mag, points out some characteristics of the R8 that are a bit interesting.
For now, let’s start with the stuff we already know. The second-gen Audi R8 is built on a heavily modified version of the previous platform and has been both lightened and stiffened. The suspension has been updated to magnetic adjustable shocks and it’s been given some new clever differentials for the all-wheel drive system. The Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive can now send 100 percent of the power to either axle, or any other percentage combination, for ultimate traction. The new R8 has also been given enough electronic aids to help keep it on course that it could rival the Starship Enterprise.
Using a 5.2 liter V10, a carryover from the previous model albeit with some fiddling, creates a very healthy 610 hp in Plus trim. That power is created at a stratospheric 8,250 rpm, where the V10 sings a vicious yet beautiful song. That wonderful V10 makes you miss naturally-aspirated motors. Having not driven this new model, but having driven the old model, I can attest to the glorious noise that the V10 makes. It’s the joyous sound of an engine working, metal bits moving around and gasses exploding. It sounds and feels alive. No whooshing turbos here. That fantastic V10 is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, dubbed S-Tronic and fires through gears like a marksman’s rifle shot — fast, smooth and accurate.
In terms of handling, which is where Audi wants us to focus, the new Audi R8 has received loads of praise. However, it’s mainly been driven during short test drives and only on the track. Motor Mag was able told drive it on both the track and local roads. While we already knew that the R8 is a highly capable machine that has accurate steering and excellent chassis balance, we didn’t really know what it felt like to drive. Feel is far more important than numbers and the feel of a car will make or break it, regardless of how fast it is or how well it performs on a track. Well, good new is, according to Motor Mag, the Audi R8 feels great.
Along with its fantastic dynamics and accurate steering, it’s genuinely a fun car to drive. The chassis is willing to play, if only slightly, and the sound of the engine makes each and every drive exciting. Exciting is probably the best word for the driving experience of the new Audi R8. The look of the car, the feel of it, the noise and the performance all culminate to create an experience far more visceral than its fancy screens and technology would suggest. It’s almost weird how such a high-tech car with more electronics than early space shuttles can feel analog. It’s almost like playing an old vinyl record through a high end Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.
According to the review, the new R8 feels planted and poised at all speed. Giving you the confidence to push it harder and harder. And if things do get a bit out of control, the brakes are supposedly excellent and fade free, allowing you to save yourself from…well, yourself. The Audi R8 is such a capable machine that it takes idiocy to get it out of shape on the road. It’s the best of both worlds then.
I say that because it not only comes with the confidence inspiring dynamics of a more sensible sports car, like a Porsche Cayman, but it also has the visceral excellent and drama of a supercar. In a way, Audi has built the perfect supercar, as it’s half monk half hitman. You gotta love that.