Audi R8 review

Category: Sports car

Section: Introduction

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
Audi R8 2021 front
Add to shortlist
  • Audi R8 2021 front
  • Audi R8 2021 rear cornering
  • Audi R8 2021 interior dashboard
  • Audi R8 2021 interior detail
  • Audi R8 2021 interior infotainment
  • Audi R8 2021 rear tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 front left tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 front tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Audi R8 2021 rear light detail
  • Audi R8 2021 front right static
  • Audi R8 2021 engine detail
  • Audi R8 2021 steering wheel detail
  • Audi R8 2021 driver display detail
  • Audi R8 2021 interior detail
  • Audi R8 2021 front
  • Audi R8 2021 rear cornering
  • Audi R8 2021 interior dashboard
  • Audi R8 2021 interior detail
  • Audi R8 2021 interior infotainment
  • Audi R8 2021 rear tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 front left tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 front tracking
  • Audi R8 2021 alloy wheel detail
  • Audi R8 2021 rear light detail
  • Audi R8 2021 front right static
  • Audi R8 2021 engine detail
  • Audi R8 2021 steering wheel detail
  • Audi R8 2021 driver display detail
  • Audi R8 2021 interior detail
RRP £118,145What Car? Target Price from£116,417
Share review

Introduction

What Car? says...

A spaceship landing in the brand's line-up. That’s how the Audi R8 was described – by Audi – when it arrived well over a decade ago.

Back then, we were used to Audi’s considered approach to its everyday models and also its flurries into motorsport, most notably with the legendary Audi Quattro rally car. But a supercar? That was new. That was news. And, a decade or so on, the R8 has garnered the respect of its rivals.

The latest version represents formidable competition to the McLaren 570S, the Mercedes-AMG GT and the Porsche 911. It serves as a halo model for Audi Sports’ performance line-up, but it’s also been joined by the Audi E-tron GT high-performance electric car.

That’s interesting because the Audi R8’s naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine is, perhaps, the very antithesis of the electric car. Looked at in basic terms, it’s a positively antiquated piece of engineering, and yet... it’s one of the best engines on sale today. 

We’d go so far as to say that its only true rival in the Top Trumps of current motors is the wonderful naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre flat six in the Porsche 911 GT3. Why? Well, you can read all the reasons later in this review, but reason number one is: it sounds awesome. It can make anyone with a nuanced love of cars weak at the knees. 

It comes in a variety of power outputs, although none of them serve up any less than well north of 500bhp. All versions come with an S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, but there’s a choice of rear-wheel drive or quattro four-wheel drive. 

Is all that enough to make it the pick of a talented bunch of seriously respected supercars? Read this review to find out. And whichever car you settle on, visit the free What Car? New Car Buying service to see how much we can save you on scores of makes and models, including the Audi R8.

At a glance

Number of trims3 see more
Available fuel types Which fuel is best for you? petrol
MPG range across all versions21.7 - 22.2
Avaliable doors options2
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max)£8,573 / £11,785
Company car tax at 40% (min/max)£17,145 / £23,569

How much is it?

Our pick

BEST PETROL

OurPicks

Audi R8 5.2 FSI [540] V10 2dr S Tronic RWD

Read full version review

What Car? Target Price: 116,417

RRP £118,145 Save at least £1,728

Get the best price

Also consider

Porsche 911 Targa

2019 - present

One of the very best open-top sports cars you can buy

Mercedes-AMG GT

2017 - present

Looks and sounds fantastic, but not the best-handling sports c...

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster

2017 - present

Looks and sounds fantastic, but not the best-handling converti...

Aston Martin Vantage

2018 - present

Aston Martin’s best sports car to date, even if a Porsche 911...