What Car? Car of the Year awards 2010 - Performance car winner

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  • 16 categories of awards
  • All the winning models featured here
  • What Car? Car of the Year 2010 revealed
The winner
Audi R8 V10
List price £101,744
Target price £101,744

Audi might not have the performance car heritage of Lotus or Porsche, but it’s clearly a quick learner: you won’t find a more thrilling yet usable machine than the Audi R8 V10.

At its heart lies a 5.2-litre V10 engine that can fire you towards the horizon with barely believable savagery. However, unlike some rivals, the R8 isn’t intimidating to drive fast because it always feels like it’s on your side.

Turn into a corner at virtually any speed and it sticks to your chosen line like it’s been superglued there, before calling upon its four-wheel-drive traction to hurl you down the next straight. There’s virtually no body roll and the steering is sharp and precise.

The R8 is great fun on challenging roads, making average drivers feel special and special drivers feel that they’re getting the most out of it. Yet it also offers a comfortable ride and is easy to drive smoothly in heavy traffic.Refinement is another strength.

Like a symphony
There’s little wind- or road noise and the only engine noises are the sort you’ll want to hear, starting with a barrel-chested roar and finishing with a sound more tuneful than some symphony orchestras when you give the engine plenty.

Some of the fixtures and fittings inside the cabin are borrowed from other Audis, but it all comes together beautifully. The soft-touch dash wraps around the driver, while supportive seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an open-gated gearbox all add to the exotic feel.

There’s a surprising degree of practicality, too. The R8 is easy to see out of and has space for two, plus room for golf bags behind the seats and a suitcase under the bonnet. All of this means that Audi has created the best performance car in the world.

What Car? Car of the Year awards 2010 - Crossover contenders


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