As Audi’s halo performance car, the Audi R8 is one of our favorite cars on the road. It has everything a supercar needs. It looks stunning, has a crazy interior, it’s mid-engine, has a wonderfully exotic V10 engine and makes shrieking noises. It’s spectacular in almost every way. It isn’t perfect, as it could use better steering feel and can be a bit too complicated. But when you get it right, there are few cars as exciting. As Chris Harris explains in this new video for Top Gear.
First, Harris talks us through just how complicated the new Audi R8 is. Admittedly, even we have a hard time following how much configuration is actually possible in an R8 and that’s not a good thing. It means that, depending on how the car is set up, owners may never actually experience what the R8 is truly capable of because they’ll never have it set up properly. Harris points at all the different things that can be configured, from the engine to the steering to the gearbox, every aspect of the car can be changed or modified with the push of several different buttons. It’s so complicated it takes nearly 20 minutes to configure the car the way you want when you first get in.
However, once you have everything setup properly, the Audi R8 is flipping brilliant. As we’ve mentioned before, as have many others, Harris says the engine is the star of this car. It’s not the stunning looks or the impressive Virtual Cockpit, it’s the monster 5.2 liter V10 screaming behind your head.
With all of the Audi R8’s competitors moving to turbochargers, Ingolstadt’s supercar is the only one with a free-breathing engine and it’s so much better for it. Throttle response is immediate and the noise is addictive. It burbles and growls at low revs and shrieks at high revs. It’s a proper supercar noise.
Plus, when you really push it, say on a track, it comes alive. It’s neutral and balanced and can slide quite naturally, all while making you feel like a hero. Not many supercars can do that, as many of them can be overpowered and frightening to drive. And the ones that use their clever systems and electronics to aid in your driving typically end up feeling artificial and lifeless. However, the R8 manages to feel like a proper supercar while still using its all-wheel drive and clever tech to keep you feeling like a pro.
He does have some complaints, though, like the variable-ratio Dynamic Steering. We agree, as, with all variable steering, it can be annoying and confusing at times, as it changes the ratio based on various variables. So you never actually know exactly what sort of steering ratio you’re going to get when you turn the wheel. Aside from that, though, Harris seemed impressed with Audi’s second-gen R8 V10 Plus. We agree with almost everything Harris says, including that it looks great in yellow. Watch the video here.