Audi R8 Is the True Everyday Supercar (2024)

Crystal blue paint gleaming like Paul Newman’s peepers, a V-10 brewing up 610 horses ofLe Mans thunder, the 2017 Audi R8 made the most of its first New York appearance withThe Drive.

I’d already driven the R8 V10 Plus to180 mph at Daytona Speedway, and tested its all-seeing laser high beams on nighttime laps of the Algarve circuit in Portugal. The epic-adventure stuff might have seemed exhausted, until I realized that even a commute in Brooklyn feels epic in this $199,925 Audi.

Somewhere between loading groceries into the R8 at the Fairway Market, and a fall hiking weekend in the Catskills, it hit me: Every supercar maker – McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini – has been headlining press conferences with unusual boasts that have nothing to do with horsepower. Instead, automakers insist that these rare $250,000 baubles were expressly designed as daily drivers. Naturally, that’s all relative to how impractical, intimidating, uncomfortable or unreliable their exotic wares used to be. Yet compared with every one of those supercar rivals, it's the R8 that comes closest to being a practical Toyota Camry. Some people say that as an insult. I say it’s a compliment.

The Audi is content playing Clark Kent en route to the Daily Planet, should you choose. But pop into its booth for a quick change of settings, and this Nietzschean Superman will leap to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. That's quicker than a McLaren 570S, Ferrari 488 or a Lamborghini Huracan. Motor Trend, in its history, has never tested a faster naturally-aspirated production car. The Audi’s grenade-blasting V-10, freed from turbocharged shackles in both sound and an 8,500-rpm redline, easily overwhelms the wimpy-voiced hybrid V6 in the new Acura NSX, the one new supercar that can challenge the Audi’s daily-driving bona fides. (The Acura takes the supercar fuel-economy trophy). And please, don’t bring up the Porsche 911, because no one else will. The Porsche is a brilliant car, a historic car, and its own blend of performance and livability was a clear inspiration for Audi. But a Porsche 911 is not a supercar, even if a 911 Turbo acts like one.

If you don’t believe me, ask the people in Woodstock, New York. These folks could have ogled their choice of 911s in the tourist-clogged town, but flocked around the Audi as though Tony Stark was driving and Dylan riding shotgun. It’s the same story wherever you go in the R8: Prepare talking points, because you’re going to need them. Top speed, 205 mph. Base price, a touch over $192,000 for this V10 Plus, or $163,000 for the 560-horsepower V10 model. And, for striver’s sake, a coming starter version — we figure around $130,000 — will replace the canceled R8 V8. The R8 junior would likely be powered by the 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V6 that’s also bound for the new Porsche Panamera.

The car isn't perfect. Audi designers might have gone bolder with this more-angular R8, but at least they didn’t screw up a good thing. The (far-pricier) Ferrari brings even sharper handling and morela dolce vitato the driving experience; the all-wheel-drive Audi's road manners are icier, its steering more distant. But the second-generation Audi, with its improved handling and toughened chassis and suspension, is no slouch in looks or performance. Running reconnaissance along the Ashokan Reservoir in upstate New York, bolted to pavement and storming through selections of its dual-clutch 7-speed automated gearbox, the Audi feels pretty damn legit.

Now, spend an hour or three in the Audi’s competitors, then jump back into the R8. Your body and brain will thank you. The Audi’s gorgeously wrought cabin—Mission Control by way of Ingolstadt—is on luxury par with anything from Italy. Comfort and ergonomics are another win. Sightlines are superior, along with room for hips, knees and elbows. The Audi offers the smoothest ride of the adaptive-suspension bunch, and that includes the vaunted McLarens. My girlfriend and I found enough space for two big weekend bags in the frunk, and enough room behind the seats for a purse, backpack and more.

That still leaves the Audi’s biggest edge: infotainment and intuitive technology. Compared with most rivals, it’s like a Jeopardy champion taking on the Kardashians, except that the Audi wins on looks as well. Bang & Olufsen audio fills the relatively small cabin with surprisingly large, weighty sound. There’s a slight learning curve for the Audi’s latest MMI system and Virtual co*ckpit, which integrate every vehicle function in a single, efficient high-resolution driver’s display. Once you’ve got the knack, the Audi system slays everything in its path, including Porsche’s newly useful infotainment units. Wall-to-wall Google Maps displays are one example. Presets, phones and connectivity functions are a breeze. Spin quickly through hundreds of available satellite radio stations, instead of dialing your way to carpal tunnel the Audi senses what you’re after and skips past a few dozen stations with every flick of the wrist. (As the R8's sister car, the Lamborghini Huracan can thank Audi for its own quantum leap via hand-me-down Virtual co*ckpit electronics).

Today's time-pressed supercar owners don't always have time or patience to deal with a finicky machine that's always in the shop and racking up repair bills. Chalk up another Audi edge in documented reliability and ease-of-service. Drop the R8 at any local Audi dealer, instead of packing it off to the Mediterranean showroom for an exotically priced oil change. Mentally, driving an R8 feels little different from driving an Audi TT or A8: I never worried that this hyper-exclusive sports car might leave me stranded, never scraped the front end over a speed bump or driveway.

It’s also worth mentioning all the baggage the Audi doesn’t carry. Like an Aston Martin, the Audi is a classy, grown-up exotic that seems to defuse jealousy and knee-jerk assumptions. It’s pricier than a 911 and draws attention like a Lamborghini, but doesn’t scream “mid-life crisis” or “entitled A-hole.” Instead, the Audi seems to engender good vibes wherever it goes. In a final weekend demonstration, we pull into the Hudson River town of New Paltz and discover End Cut.

a finely tuned French-Italian bistro on a cozy side street. As our famished table horks down wild mushroom cakes, pan-roasted salmon and a textbook pork chop, chef and NYC expat Jordan Schor pops out to inquire, not about the port wine demiglace, but whether we’re attached to the R8 parked out front.

“Hell, I’ll give you dessert just to look at that thing,” says Schor, a car fan who said he once served as personal chef and chauffeur to an aging mobster who owned a cement factory – what else? – and a vintage Rolls-Royce.

I do him one better, and Schor temporarily abandons his post to jump into the driver’s seat. Dressed in his chef’s whites, a damp towel slung over one shoulder, Schor naturally enthuses over the R8’s shapely bod and burbling V-10. But he might be reading my mind with what comes next:

“This car is absolutely insane. But sometimes you sit in a Ferrari or Porsche and it’s uncomfortable. This is a car I could drive everyday,” he says, caressing the Audi's steering wheel.

N’est-ce pas,Chef Schor? Back inside End Cut, I learn that the R8’s equally abrupt exit had ricocheted around the dining room, loud enough to make diners drop their forks. Within minutes, we’re digging our own into a lovely Tarte Tatin, France’s classic upside-down apple tart. The R8 has carried our bags and stirred our souls. Now it’s filling our stomachs with free dessert. How practical is that?

Audi R8 Is the True Everyday Supercar (2024)


Audi R8 Is the True Everyday Supercar? ›

The Audi R8 V10 is a legendary classic everyday supercar. It hosts the same v10 engine that powers the Lamborghini

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Italian pronunciation: [autoˈmɔːbili lamborˈɡiːni]) is an Italian manufacturer of luxury sports cars and SUVs based in Sant'Agata Bolognese. The company is owned by the Volkswagen Group through its subsidiary Audi. › wiki › Lamborghini
Huracan, without any flashy designs of a supercar.

Is the Audi R8 considered a supercar? ›

The impeccably styled Audi R8 made its US debut in the fall of 2007 as a mid-engine supercar combining performance and everyday drivability.

Is Audi R8 good for daily drive? ›

The Audi R8 is a phenomenal daily driver. With my creature comforts restored, I felt right at home driving a supercar. The suspension was smooth, eating up all the little annoyances that had formed in the concrete highway over the years. When the bumps were bigger, they were much less jarring than what I was used to.

How practical is an Audi R8? ›

The R8 is more useable every day than the more focused Huracán and will cost you less to buy outright. Which Audi R8 is the fastest? If you want the fastest R8 that you can buy, you'll want to go for the Quattro Performance.

Why is Audi R8 special? ›

The 2022 Audi R8 5.2 V10 Performance is a powerhouse of engineering. With a 5.2-liter V10 engine, 7-speed automatic transmission, and a weight reduction from previous models, the Audi R8 V10 can reach 0-60 in a mere 3.4 seconds. This engine also produces an impressive 64,000 rpm and 565 Newton meters of torque.

Is Audi R8 a supercar or hypercar? ›

In its 17 years on sale the R8 has evolved from a rival to a Porsche 911 Carrera, to a full-on supercar, with the second generation of 2014 squaring off with the Porsche 911 Turbo.

Will the Audi R8 be a collector car? ›

With supercar performance paired with the livability of a daily driver, the Audi R8 might just be the collector car to have if you could only have one.

What's the best everyday supercar? ›

Discover the Epitome of Daily Driving Luxury with the Top 10 Exotic Cars
RankCar Model
1Porsche 911 Targ
2Lamborghini Urus
3Lamborghini Huracan
4Rolls-Royce Wraith
6 more rows
Dec 11, 2023

Which supercar is best for daily use? ›

Read on, then, as we reveal the supercars that cause us to issue the most superlatives.
  • Ferrari 296 GTB. ...
  • Lamborghini Revuelto. ...
  • McLaren Artura. ...
  • Lamborghini Huracán Evo. ...
  • McLaren 750S. ...
  • Ferrari SF90 Stradale and SF90 XX Stradale. ...
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06. ...
  • Maserati MC20.
Mar 14, 2024

Is it expensive to maintain Audi R8? ›

So running costs roughly: - Service - £1,000 major, £500 minor with additional £400 servicing needed for the auto gearbox every 4 years. - Insurance - £500-£1,000 (depending on your circ*mstances/history/age etc.) I have just picked up my 4th R8, A 2020 R8 V10 Coupe Performance Carbon Black.

Is an Audi R8 worth buying? ›

What is it like to own an Audi R8? It's great. People are very interested in the car because it's still relatively rare but I guess that would depend on where you live. But the car is very technical looking and I get a lot of engineers that ask about it and I'm very happy to open it up and show them.

How fast can a stock Audi R8 go? ›

It has a top speed of 205 mph (330 kph), which it exceeds in the video. The R8 had little trouble reaching its maximum velocity with the road cleared, and in one attempt, it topped out at 210 mph (338 kph).

What cars are better than the Audi R8? ›

  • First place: McLaren 570S. The incredible 570S is arguably the best McLaren since the legendary F1. ...
  • Second place: Audi R8. For many, the Audi's fabulous 5.2-litre V10 alone will be worth the entry price. ...
  • Third place: Porsche 911.

Is Audi R8 underrated? ›

One of the most underrated supercar, and 1 of 6 in Malaysia, Audi R8 GT.

What does the Audi R8 compete with? ›

Quick Specs. Track- or valet-ready, the 2023 Audi R8 is a palatable supercar for those with the budget. The 2023 Chevy Corvette is an American take on the European exotic at a fraction of the price. The 2023 Jaguar F-Pace lineup pares down its variety, but doesn't lose sight of agility.

What does the R in R8 stand for? ›

R Models - R stands for roadster, as in the Audi R8 performance sports car. These models are designed with more of a race car over-all feel and have the power to prove it.

What is an Audi R8 classified as? ›

The Audi R8 is a mid-engine, 2-seater sports car, which uses Audi's trademark quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. It was introduced by the German car manufacturer Audi AG in 2006. Production ended in the first quarter of 2024.

What classifies a supercar as a supercar? ›

The term is, to some extent, subjective, but most supercars offer somewhere between 500 and 900 horsepower, reach top speeds of 200+ mph, hit 60 mph from 0 in roughly three seconds, and weigh between 2,200 and 3,700 pounds.

Is the Audi R8 V10 Plus a supercar? ›

With the Audi R8 Coupé, experience the powerful combination of exclusive design and a supercar driving experience of the highest level.

What car is considered a supercar? ›

A supercar, also known as an exotic car, is a type of automobile generally described as a street-legal, luxury superlative performance sports car, both in terms of power, speed, and handling. The term 'supercar' is therefore frequently used for low-bodied sportscars with powerful, rear mid-mounted engines.


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