Motoring expert Chris Walsh test drives the new Audi R8 V10 Plus…
Did you catch any of the highlights of the Geneva Motor Show last month? If not, then I would advise that you do, as it’s arguably the world’s premier motoring showcase. And, in a year’s time, any of those cars that were quietly spinning on raised plinths at the much-celebrated show may well be quietly purring on your drive. So if you are thinking about buying a new car, go and recap and research the show. I won’t be doing that just now, as I have something else to do today; I have one of the brightest stars from last year’s event quietly purring on my drive, and I intend to go and drive it.
Almost a year has passed since the paying public first clapped eyes on Audi’s 2nd generation, 205mph supercar and, despite my initial concerns that it looked a bit like a fat TT, I can thankfully correct this statement. In the flesh, its flat, wide and muscular build leaves me in no doubt as to the individual impression the Audi design team wanted to achieve, and I’ve warmed to it.
(Images: Tristan Ware)
At this point of the review, I try to explain why the new R8 is better than anything else on the road and back that up with a host of technical gubbins. But frankly, I’m not sure this is required, because there is something more significant about the R8 that supersedes all, and it is this: the new R8 V10 is still naturally aspirated. How about that for a reason to laugh at all your V8 turbo-charged friends?!
In the R8, Audi has downsized properly. The V12 is dead (or dying) so they have sought to own the stage by fitting a cracking V10 engine instead. It’s so effective. This is one of many reasons why the R8 should be at the top of your bucket list.
‘Every element of the original R8 has been redeveloped and fine-tuned.’
The same 5.2-litre (naturally aspirated!) V10 not only powers you to 62mph from rest more rapidly than any series production Audi in history, but due to such close co-operation with recent endurance racing, the new Audi R8 V10 plus is also the fi rst to officially push beyond 200mph.
To do this, every element of the original R8 has been redeveloped and fine-tuned. It’s now more taut, more striking and more focused, with more combined materials. The chassis features more aluminium (lightweight) mixed with more carbon fibre (very-lightweight) to ease it past that essential double ton. On the inside, the Audi virtual cockpit shines bright next to another new Audi cockpit idea. Nicknamed ‘the satellites’, this area of the steering wheel is where the most important controls are bunched together in clusters for essential ergonomics and huge appeal.
At a glance…
MODEL: Audi R8 V10 Plus
PRICED (AS DRIVEN): £132,715 (£153,650)
POWERPLANT: 5.2-Litre V10
TRANSMISSION: 7-Speed S Tronic
POWER: 602 bhp
TORQUE: 560 Nm
0-62 MPH: 3.2 seconds
TOP SPEED: 205mph
COMBINED MPG: 23.0
CO2 EMISSION: 287g/km