First Drive: Audi’s R8 RWD brings extra energy and sharpness than earlier than

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Audi R8 RWD
Audi R8 RWD
The RWD lacks a big rear wing

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The Audi R8 is sort of definitely a automotive shifting into its twilight levels. The times of the large capability supercar are numbered, with most of the R8’s rivals already shifting to smaller, extra turbocharged-orientated setups for decrease emissions and higher gasoline financial system.

However the plucky V10-powered R8 lives on, for now not less than. Up to date to convey much more energy than earlier than, we’re testing it right here in RWD type with energy being despatched to the rear wheels quite than the extra conventional 4.

Audi R8 RWD
The R8’s efficiency will be simply accessed

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As we’ve already hinted at, the brand new R8 RWD positive aspects extra energy than its predecessor – and that automotive definitely wasn’t missing in punch. It’s also possible to get it in each hard-top coupe and drop-top Spyder layouts, with a light-weight aluminium physique there to attempt to maintain weight down. A variety of carbon fibre bolstered plastics take these weight-saving efforts one step additional, too.

It additionally acts because the ‘entry-level’ R8, albeit one that also has an enormous quantity of efficiency handy. There have been another tweaks made inside, however that is very a lot a light replace. There aren’t too many RWD-specific styling touches, both, although eagle-eyed spotters would possibly see the ‘RWD’ lettering seem contained in the cabin.

Audi R8 RWD
The 5.2-litre V10 is housed below glass

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The R8’s attraction has all the time centred across the wonderful 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10. Now kicking out 562bhp – 30bhp greater than within the older automotive – in addition to 550Nm of torque, it’ll ship the R8 RWD from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and onwards to a high velocity of 204mph. It’s definitely brisk sufficient.

As earlier than, energy is distributed to the wheels via a seven-speed automated gearbox. Understandably, an engine of this dimension is rarely going to have the ability to ship tip-top financial system figures, so Audi’s declare of twenty-two.2mpg is hardly stunning. The R8’s CO2 emissions of 291g/km are just about what we’d anticipate, too.

Audi R8 RWD
The R8 is a pleasure to pilot

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The R8 has all the time been a wonderful multi-tasker and although this RWD model does, in fact, lose out a few of that all-weather means via its two pushed wheels – quite than the quattro’s 4 – that is nonetheless the case for the brand new model. It’s remarkably straightforward to drive, whereas on longer jaunts the R8’s well-sorted suspension ensures the miles breeze by.

That engine continues to shine via, although emissions laws have made it a bit extra muted than earlier than. Even so, its efficiency is excellent with instantaneous response and savage acceleration. The steering feels even sharper on this lighter RWD model and although it may not be the final phrase in suggestions, it’s loads correct sufficient and doesn’t really feel artificially weighted as we’ve skilled in different efficiency Audi fashions.

Audi R8 RWD
Bronze wheels on this automotive stand out

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The R8 continues to be a great-looking automotive – to our eyes not less than – with wonderful proportions and a few actual presence. Our explicit automotive got here in a placing ‘Tango Pink’ color with contrasting bronze-coloured wheels; it’s one of many nicest specs of R8 that we’ve seen.

Although some would possibly like the large wing that you just get on quattro Efficiency fashions, the extra understated seems of the RWD are nonetheless very interesting. It’s in no way a wallflower, thoughts you – that is nonetheless a automotive that turns heads wherever it goes – however the gloss black accents and extra streamlined look make it really feel just a bit bit extra undercover.

Audi R8 RWD
The cabin doesn’t characteristic a central display screen

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When the R8 first arrived its cabin felt like an actual step ahead, with its lack of central display screen and Digital Cockpit setup guaranteeing that the driving force was freed from distractions. And although that also stays the case, the cabin of the R8 is simply beginning to really feel its age considerably. Although it’s good to have bodily controls for the heating and air flow, the entire affair feels a tiny bit off the tempo in comparison with rivals.

The cabin does supply a stunning quantity of area for its two occupants, thoughts you, whereas there’s sufficient room for a weekend’s value of baggage. At 112 litres housed throughout the nostril of the automotive, you’ll discover extra boot area in a compact metropolis automotive, nevertheless it’s helpful to have the choice.

Audi R8 RWD
A small entrance boot is usefully formed

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As we talked about, the R8’s Digital Cockpit setup felt fairly next-level when it first arrived however today it’s beginning to creak a bit. The navigation system isn’t all that detailed whereas shifting across the separate menus is hard. Apple CarPlay is included, however once more, it is a system that thrives on being operated via a touchscreen, so utilizing it by way of a rotary controller is tough. Throughout our time with the automotive, the Apple CarPlay might join a telephone name, however for some cause, the microphone within the automobile wouldn’t choose up our voice.

At simply over £150,000 the R8 RWD definitely isn’t low cost, however what you’re actually paying for is all that engineering and theatre. It’s a little bit of a disgrace that the in-car tech feels a bit off the tempo, although.

The R8 is likely to be coming into its remaining years – and it’s predicted {that a} absolutely electrical successor is on the playing cards – however this RWD model reveals that it is a automotive to be loved whereas it’s nonetheless right here. Although the cabin is likely to be exhibiting indicators of its a few years in existence, it is a completely pleasing and usable supercar that basically can dive into each day duties with none hesitation.

The V10 would possibly’ve been quietened by laws, nevertheless it stays one of many all-time greats. With the push for downsizing and electrification, it’s one thing to rejoice whereas we will.

  • Mannequin: Audi R8 V10 Efficiency RWD
  • Worth: £150,075
  • Engine: 5.2-litre V10
  • Energy: 562bhp
  • Torque: 550Nm
  • 0-60mph: 3.5 seconds
  • High velocity: 204mph
  • Economic system: 22.2mpg
  • Emissions: 291g/km

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