Audi R8 V10 - car review

The Audi R8 now has a V10 engine. Be afraid. Steve Walker reports.

Audi’s ambition would appear to know no bounds. The manufacturer is seeing just how far its brand can stretch with the R8 V10 supercar and this 518bhp monster shows no sign of running out of slack. The 0-60mph sprint takes less than 4 seconds but with quattro all-wheel drive and a luxurious cabin, the R8’s everyday usability remains intact.

Some people are never satisfied. Audi’s engineers gave us a 414bhp V8-engined supercar that looked like something hijacked from the set of a science fiction movie and people almost immediately started badgering them to fit a bigger engine. The UK’s resident car nuts had spotted the similarities between the Audi R8 and the Gallardo from Lamborghini.

They knew that Lamborghini was part of the VW Group like Audi and they assumed that the two mid-engined supercars would share parts. One part they clearly didn’t share was the Lamborghini’s thunderous V10 engine and, car enthusiasts being car enthusiasts, that was the one part they felt they’d really like it to have. Eventually, Audi gave in.

Audi and Lamborghini have always been rather vague about the links between the �80,000 V8 R8 and the �140,000 V10 Gallardo and who can blame them? They have a very profitable brand hierarchy to protect. Audi has employed the V10 engine before, in the S8 luxury saloon and, most notably, in the lunatic RS6 with a pair of turbochargers chucked in for good measure. This is the first time, however, that it’s been used in a car designed for the express purpose of going very quickly.

The Audi R8’s V10 engine is a 5,204cc unit with 518bhp at 8,000rpm and 530Nm or torque at 6,500rpm. In the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, the engine produces 552bhp and 540Nm but R8 V10 buyers are unlikely to feel short changed. The 0-62mph sprint takes just 3.9s, confirming the model’s status as a genuine supercar and the top speed, where conditions and the driver’s sense of self preservation allow, is 196mph.

Audi offers a choice of gearboxes, a six-speed manual or the R tronic twin clutch system with its steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The R8 V10 is actually faster with the R tronic’s advanced software swapping its cogs and in that form, will barrel through 124mph in 12 seconds flat.

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Facts At A Glance �CAR: Audi R8 SpyderPRICE: �112,500 – on the roadINSURANCE GROUP: 20PERFORMANCE: 0-62 4.1s Top Speed: 195mphFUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 19mpg

Facts At A Glance �CAR: Audi R8 GTPRICE: �142,585 – on the roadINSURANCE GROUP: 20PERFORMANCE: 0-62 3.9sTop Speed: 196mphFUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 20.6mpg

Facts At A GlanceCAR: Audi R8 V10PRICE: �103,265– on the roadINSURANCE GROUP: 20CO2 EMISSIONS: 349g/km [est]PERFORMANCE: 0-62 3.9s Top speed: 196mphFUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 20.6mpgSTANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP, twin front and side airbags, anti lock brakes, traction control, ISOFIX childseat fixingWILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/width/height 4431/1904/1249mm

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