Audi R8 review

Category: Sports car

Section: Costs & verdict

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Audi R8 2021 interior infotainment
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RRP £118,145What Car? Target Price from£116,417
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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 Audi R8 looks good value, especially the RWD. However, it still costs considerably more than many other rivals, including some versions of the Porsche 911.

With its maniacal V10 engine, it's obviously not going to be cheap to run, with insurance, servicing costs, fuel consumption and road tax all coming in at 'extremely pricey'. The R8 depreciates slowly, though, which will help if you’re planning to sell it on in a few years, and that's also good news if you’re planning to buy your R8 on finance – its hefty residual values keep the monthly instalments competitive.

Our favourite model, the RWD, costs more than the entry-level 911 but you make a lot of that back in the equipment it comes with. The highlights include: 19in alloy wheels, keyless entry, heated seats, metallic or pearlescent paint, climate control, nappa leather with Alcantara sports seats and power-folding door mirrors.

The Quattro brings full nappa Leather, the ‘sideblades’ behind the doors in Mythos black paint and extended leather throughout the interior. Meanwhile, the Performance benefits from 20in alloy wheel design, carbon fibre trims, ceramic brakes, bucket seats and a sports exhaust with black tailpipes. Finally, the Carbon Black version adds a lot more black carbon fibre inside and out.

The R8 doesn’t come with as much safety and security kit you find on more down-to-earth Audis, but then neither do most sports cars. You get four airbags, 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 2021 interior infotainment

Overview

The Audi R8 does everything a proper supercar should and then some. It's rampantly quick in a straight line, especially the Performance model, and features one of the best engines of any supercar on sale. The cherry on top is that the cheapest version is also the best – the rear-wheel drive RWD is the best-riding and sweetest-handling R8. It’s even surprisingly well-equipped, which is another reason why we prefer it to the Porsche 911. Of course, if you're looking for the absolute last word in finesse and purity, there are dynamically superior cars, like the McLaren 570S, which is fine as long as you have pots more cash to spend. If not, then bag yourself an R8 RWD.

  • Mighty V10 engine's pace and noise
  • Well made and easy to live with interior
  • Superb ride and high-speed refinement
  • Still an expensive car to buy and run
  • Less practical than a 911
  • Fractionally less focused handling compared with more expensive rivals

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