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Lookers in the hot seat: Audi R8

In one sentence: The ultimate everyday supercar centred around the driver.

First impressions

Wow, it is quite a stunner. This one pulls up in Daytona grey, cascaded with a pearlescent finish that makes it appear deeper when the sun shines. And lucky for me, it was today, a rare occasion in Glasgow.

If the shine of it driving in doesn’t catch your attention, hearing that R8 roar definitely will. The sound of the engine alone gets the adrenaline going.

One thing is instantly clear when stepping inside the R8, once you crouch down and prepare to sit on the lower section of the car; you are hugged into the luxurious leather interior that almost sculpts your legs and back perfectly. The gadgets are all centred around the driver. It’s as if it was meant to be a one seat race-car and someone just thought it would be nice to have another identical seat, to the left. Looking above, you see the alcantara quilted interior, which adds to the car’s smoothness and makes it look very plush indeed.

Let’s drive

Pedal hits the floor, ever so slightly, going from 0 to 62mph has taken a mere 3.5 seconds, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost all the feeling in my limbs, in a good way. I'm told going at 60mph is using just 6% of the supercar’s overall performance. So I’m thinking the best is yet to come.

The different driving modes are what define the experience in this supercar. You’ve got the comfort setting which softens the suspension and offers a smoother ride and then there’s sport and performance, which does pretty much what it says on the tin.

What came before it?

This 2015 model is the second generation of the R8 supercar. Upgraded in terms of performance and tech but still claiming the name of the ‘everyday supercar’. The styling and overall look hasn’t changed much but the engine has definitely raised the bar. Going from a V8 or V10 engine in its predecessor, the new R8 comes in a V10 as standard or you can choose to upgrade to V10 Plus The first R8 had 560bhp, this has 610bhp which only highlights its increased performance.

Let’s get technical

The maximum torque arrives at 6,500rpm spinning up to 8,500rpm, so it’s when you rev you truly hear the fireworks explode.

What sets the tech apart?

It has to be the main display unit. As the R8 is completely built around the driver, so is the dashboard, that’s including a supercar layout with big tacho and shift dials, an impressive sat nav setup, and all other the technical information you would want to see in your car/cockpit.

What do the experts think?

Well, if you've not been watching the new Top Gear, you've missed possibly the highlight of it so far when Sabine Schmitz, German professional motor racing driver, took the R8 for quite a thrilling test drive. So thrilling that she had to stop at the side of the race track to let new Top Gear presenter, Chris Evans be sick. Going back to the car, Top Gear says:

"Brilliant combo of sense and sensation. One of our favourites, well re-worked"

Read the full Top Gear R8 Review here.


By Preeti Sanghera