Audi R8 V10 Plus generation model has already ceased, and with the full knowledge that a new version is just around the corner, it was time to see if the ‘old R8’ still offered something worth considering. The engine is epic. The way it screams through to 8500rpm and the fact the engine is just behind the driver’s seat makes for an experience that is hard to find elsewhere. The noise, particularly in Sport mode, is phenomenal.
The gearbox clips through the cogs with a level of intelligence that betters some of its peers, and at speed the paddleshifters come into their own. Fingertips are all that’s required for a rev-matched downshift or perfectly sharp upshift, but I do wish I’d had the chance to drive the six-speed manual with its well-known gated shift pattern.
There’s immense traction on offer for high-speed driving, and the car always feels stable and predictable – never twitchy, never fidgety. At low speeds – on the way to our closed road location, for example, or driving in traffic on the way to work – the car is perfectly comfortable and amenable, too. It doesn’t matter there’s no adaptive suspension on the V10 Plus, because the lighter steel-sprung setup never offers up discomfort – just a firm-edged level of assuredness.
The brakes – carbon ceramics as standard on the V10 Plus – are likewise excellent, with good feel through the pedal and plenty of meat.
As such, the media system’s controls and finishes all feel a bit too old for mine. I couldn’t buy this generation R8 knowing what the brand has done with the latest TT, and knowing what to expect from the second-generation model that was revealed earlier this year.
Published: Tuesday, May 19, 2015