Top Gear drives the Audi R8 Facelift

Since the Audi R8 first debuted back in 2008, it’s come to be known as an “Everyday Supercar”, as it’s a mid-engine supercar that’s as docile and easy to drive around town as a Volkswagen Golf. Yet, when you’re hammering it on a track or windy road, it’s effortlessly capable, incredibly fast and very fun. So it’s a supercar without the usual supercar compromises, even if that robs it of some of the usual supercar character. Has that been lost with Audi’s new facelift for the R8? Doesn’t seem so.

Top Gear recently drove the newly facelifted Audi R8 and claims it to still be the everyday supercar that’s known to be. In fact, it may even be the best of its kind. Cars like the McLaren 570S and Porsche 911 Turbo are also cars of the same variety: powerful supercars with blistering performance but enough comfort and livability to drive them everyday. However, the Audi R8 might be better at doing so than both of them.

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For starters, it’s still surprisingly comfortable, even though Audi has stiffened the suspension for the facelift. With the adaptive dampers, it’s even more so. Still, TG seems to think the standard passive dampers are the way to go, as they feel more natural.

But it also gets a fantastic cabin, that’s comfortable, relatively spacious, well laid out and tech-laden. In fact, TG says that the Audi R8 has the best interior in its class, better even than the Porsche 911. Its materials are superb, its tech is awesome and it actually has surprising interior space, with more than enough head, leg and shoulder room and a nice parcel shelf behind the seats.

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What makes the Audi R8 shine, though, is its engine. The 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 screams just past 8,250 rpm and makes the most glorious noise doing it. Power has been increased for the facelift as well, now making 562 bhp in standard trim and 614 bhp in Performance trim (formerly known as “Plus”). So it’s still lunatic fast.

Overall, Top Gear gave the new Audi R8 Facelift a 9/10, which is a superb score. Sure, the McLaren is a bit sharper and more exciting to drive but the R8 is easier to drive and more comfortable, making it more usable every day. And while the 911 Turbo is about as easy to live with, it isn’t as exciting as the R8. So it strikes a great balance between being thrilling and being calm. And that makes it the best everyday supercar on the market. Still.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.