While the Audi R8 is one of the best everyday supercars, it owes its very nature to a car that came long before it — the original Honda NSX (Acura NSX in North America). Now, both the R8 and the new NSX are among the very best everyday supercars on the market. But they go about being such cars in very different ways. So which one is best? In this new video from Car Gurus, Dan Prosser finds out.
The original NSX was about as simple as mid-engine supercars get, with a naturally-aspirated V6, a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. Now, the NSX is a very different machine. It still uses a mid-mounted 3.5 liter V6 but it’s now assisted by a pair turbos and a three electric motors. One of which helps the engine power the rear wheels and the other two power the front wheels, giving it all-wheel drive. That combination nets the NSX 580 hp and 476 lb-ft of torque.
By comparison, the Audi R8 is the simple, “purists” car. It uses a 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine, with no other assistance other than its own grunt. That free-breathing V10 makes 610 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. It does also have all-wheel drive, though, thanks to its rear-biased Quattro system.
Both cars are seriously fast and handle fantastically, but which one is best; the old-school-style mid-engine supercar or the uber-high-tech new-school supercar?
While both cars are excellent, it’s the Audi R8 that takes the victory here. Not only is it shockingly fast and surprisingly livable everyday but it’s also more practical, more exciting and even a bit cheaper. Sure, the R8 isn’t the last word in purity or communication but it’s more thrilling to drive than the uber-synthetic NSX. So as far as everyday supercars go, the Audi R8 nails the right combination of everyday livability and driving fun.