The Audi R8 is the German automaker’s first supercar, via their high-performance division: Audi Sport GmbH. The mid-engine, 2-seat sports car uses Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, and is based on the Audi Space Frame, also used in the Lamborghini Gallardo.
The R8 has a choice of 2 engines: the 4.2 FSI V8 engine and the 5.2 FSI V10 engine borrowed from the Gallardo. In the 2012, the HP was 420 and 525 respectively. Forget the single-clutch automatic paddle shifters, the gated 6-speed manual is the transmission of choice for collectors and drivers alike. That horsepower in a 3,362 lb car gives it a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds with the V8, and just over 3 seconds in the V-10.
The car is special for two reasons: First is the design by Frank Lamberty and Julian Hoenig — its a Germanic beauty. The car is inordinately wide, with its 3/4 views showing off its businesslike lines to best effect. Note the lighter car art bottom shows off more details than the darker colors. The interior is also a lovely design, sporting just the right balance of ergonomics and complexity.
But the strongest aspect of the R8 is its handling: It’s very nicely balanced, never feels unsettled or disturbed, even when you enter a turn too fast. There are no surprises unless you do something terribly ill-advised. The Quattro AWD system was originally designed for managing the snow and wet but translates well to high-performance driving on a track. The steering and turn-in are precise, and the Quattro AWD system makes short work of any oversteer, providing wonderful control through corners. Jacky Ickx, the 6-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Man’s race, described the R8 as “the best handling road car today.”
The big-V8 sits right behind you, and (like Ferrari) the sweet spot of the power band is high in the rev range: from about 5,200-8,200 rpm it comes on hard. It wants to rev high, a very different experience than an American Muscle car. The V8 sounds fantastic, and there is plenty of power on tap.
Introduced in 2006, the 2012 was a modest cosmetic refresh, and fixed some issues including air conditioning leak and a rare but serious risk of some structural parts cracking under stress. 2015 saw a new body a new dual-clutch automatic, and the end of the manual.
The 2006-07 MSRP began at the bargain price of $110k; that began rising and by 2012 it was over $130k. Today, new models go for over $200k. (See recent sales here). About 2,000 are made each year, with less than 1,000 coming to the US. Buyers want to look for the sweet spot in the depreciation curve: The 2012 range in price from $70k-100k, with the manuals and the Spyders both garnering more dollars. Same body style up to later models still goes for way over six figures: A 2018 Audi R8 V10 Spyder with just 100 miles with a new price of $218,400 sold for $157,000.
They are incredibly rewarding to drive, especially on the twisties or if you have some room to open her up. But the handling is so precise and the balance so good, the car just begs to be driven on a track.
Source: UDrive Automobiles
Source: Bring A Trailer