Audi R8 review

Category: Sports car

Section: Costs & verdict

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Audi R8 2019 RHD dashboard infotainment
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RRP £117,325What Car? Target Price from£114,464
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Compared with supercars such as the Lamborghini Huracan and McLaren 570S the R8 looks good value. However, it still costs considerably more than many other rivals, including most versions of the Porsche 911. With its fire-breathing V10 engine, it's obviously not going to be cheap to run, either, and insurance, servicing costs, fuel consumption and road tax will all be extremely pricey. The R8 depreciates slowly, though, which will help if you’re planning on selling on in a few years’ time, and is also good news if you’re planning to buy your R8 on finance – its hefty residual value will keep monthly instalments competitive.

Our favourite model, the V10 RWD, costs considerably less than its quattro-equipped range-mate, and yet still comes with plenty of standard equipment. Highlights include 19in alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, heated leather and Alcantara sports seats, climate control, a multi-function steering wheel, sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and keyless entry/start.

Quattro models bring more power and four-wheel drive, but also an Audi phone box with wireless charging, sport seats in Fine Nappa Leather and ‘sideblades’ in Mythos black paint. Meanwhile, Performance models benefit from even more power and get all the goodies: 20in alloy wheel design, high beam assist, carbon fibre accents outside, carbon-ceramic brakes, bucket seats in a finer leather and a different sports steering wheel. 

While the Performance’s price doesn’t look outrageous, given its equipment and performance, we’d stick to the standard RWD model, which is even better value and is arguably more rewarding to drive.

The R8 doesn’t come with as much safety and security kit more down-to-earth Audis – you get four airbags, as does an alarm and immobiliser, and that’s about your lot. A tracker is available as an official dealer-fit accessory – worth considering for the extra security it provides.

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Audi R8 2019 RHD dashboard infotainment

Overview

The R8 does everything a proper supercar should – and then some. It's rampantly quick in a straight line, especially the Performance version, and features one of the best engines of any supercar car on sale. And the cherry on top is that the cheapest R8 is also the best; the entry-level, rear-wheel drive RWD is the sweetest riding and sharpest handling R8 currently on sale. It’s even surprisingly well equipped. Of course, for those looking for the absolute last tenth of finesse and purity from their supercar driving experience, it must be said that a McLaren 570S eclipses it, while a 911 is both more involving to drive and more practical, but when it comes to blending daily usability with supercar levels of theatre, the R8 is arguably in a class of its own.

  • Mighty V10 engine pace and noise
  • High quality and comfortable nterior
  • Quiet at a cruise
  • Expensive to buy and run
  • Not as practical as a 911
  • Fractionally less sweet to drive than the best rivals

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