Driven: 2016 Audi R8 V10 Review
Here is the first drive review of the 2016 Audi R8 V10 during a test day earlier in the year.
What is the 2016 Audi R8 V10 all About?
It seems like a lot of time has past since Audi released its massively successful mid-engined R8 V8 supercar back in 2006. Now in 2016 we have a much more mature and a lot more powerful Audi R8 V10.
The car is powered by a 5.2 litre V10 engine that creates a whopping 540 PS and 540 Nm of torque. This goes through the genius 7-speed dual clutch S tronic gear box to all 4 wheels. This means that the supercar can get from 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds and will do a top speed of 198 mph.
How Does it Drive?
The V10 is a fully-fledged, card-carrying supercar. From a standing start the car will go from 0 – 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 198 mph. With performance stats like this I thought the Audi would be very intimidating to drive, however I couldn’t have been more wrong. After just a short period in the car I felt happy with handling the full force of the V10; and apart from the theatrical ear-damaging pops and blips from the huge tailpipes, the Audi was reasonably less dramatic than expected and well behaved on the dry roads. The 4 wheel drive Quattro system provides more than ample amounts of mechanical grip which keeps the power nicely distributed when pushing the car towards its physical limits.
Second to the sheer power of the R8, the most impressive component that makes the R8 so special is the 7-speed S tronic gearbox. Using both an inner and outer clutch, the R8 is able to preselect the next gear before you even touch the shift paddles. The gearshift is one of the fastest I have ever experienced and feels impossibly instant. The S tronic gearbox really unlocks the potential of the R8 V10 allowing you to nail every upshift and perfectly rev-match on the down shift, it is unbelievably brilliant! I can certainly see why this is Audi’s flagship car. The car will flatter any novice driver; it instantly changes you from being hopeless to hero. As well as keeping the novices out of trouble the Audi also provides an excellent challenge for the experienced driver, the engine power, handling dynamics and braking ability are so perfectly tuned that the driver can always push considerably harder learning to master how to get the most from the car.
Let’s run through the figures… It’s a Lamborghini-derived 5.2 litre V10 naturally aspirated 540 PS engine, with a 7-speed dual clutch S tronic paddle shift gearbox. Being a Quattro it benefits from Audi’s 4 wheel drive system with a mechanical limited slip diff at the rear and a viscous coupling differential at the front. The Quattro system will never put any more than 30% torque to the front wheels, which gives the car a fantastic rear wheel drive feel. The combination of all of the above creates a car that can go from 0 to 150 mph then back to 0 in under 26 seconds. That is colossal performance!
Audi have produced a supercar that looks truly enthusiastic, with a sleek and fresh design. The R8 is more subtle than most in the market by design, but still attracts a lot of attention, and for all the right reasons; it isn’t bright orange, it doesn’t have stripes on it, and its doors don’t open vertically. It looks professional; it looks primed and it looks respectfully aggressive. The Audi still certainly has a road presence; people react positively being in the company of the R8 V10, they point, take pictures and desperately peer in looking to see who is driving the supercar. The car has the complete package, the looks, the performance, and the presence.
Audi consider the R8 V10 to be the lightweight, track-focused, ultimate representation of Audi performance, however the car still comes with various choices of Alacantara and leather, a Bang and Olufsen sound system, climate control, rear parking cameras, and mobile phone integration. It is astonishing that a car this fast, is able to meet the expectations of a modern high-end luxury car as well. It is a perfect balance.
Being honest, you can practically feel the paint on the roads through the track targeted suspension, there are only two seats inside; and enough storage space under the bonnet for about 3 and a half shopping bags, but who cares! The R8 is a properly fast, everyday useable supercar and it will still work just as well in the wet weather because of that impressive 4 wheel drive system. I’m sold; I would love to own this car! Somehow Audi managed to give the R8 V10 an addictive element, so even when you have been shaken about driving around the side roads, and you’ve pulled your eye balls out their sockets using those sharp, biting brakes, you still want to get back into the R8 V10 and do mile after mile. Audi have created a very special well thought out, well implemented supercar for the modern driver, the competition should rightfully be scared of this car. With most manufacturers moving towards smaller engine configurations and using forced induction, this V10 Audi could be one of the last of its type, there may be a time we look back at the 2016 R8 V10 as a perfect, forever treasured supercar.
2016 Audi R8 V10 Review
- Price: £119,500
- Engine: 5.2-Litre v10
- Power: 540 PS
- Torque: 540Nm
- Transmission: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Auto, Four-Wheel Drive
- 0-62mph: 3.5 Seconds
- Top speed: 198 mph
- Weight: 1,487 kg
- Economy combined: 22mpg
- CO2: 229 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley