Performance – Enough discussion on the exteriors and interiors, let’s get to the meat of the matter now. The powerplant sitting at the rear of the car is a beastly 610 HP at 8250 RPM and 560 Nm at 6500 RPM naturally aspirated, 5.2-litre, V10 engine which comes matched to a 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox. Press the red button on the steering wheel and the motor comes to life with a loud rumble. The engine settles with a meaty exhaust note and once you start driving with light throttle inputs, the mill constantly gives out a burble. Give it the beans and the music from the V10 powertrain is a source of immense pleasure.
The V10 engine is power-packed with the gearbox complementing it well
Talking about driveability, there is a linear surge of power right from 1000 RPM to the 8000 RPM redline. This being an NA engine, turbo lag is out of the question, the aggressiveness with which the power is delivered is mindblowing. 0-100 km/hr comes up in just 3.2 seconds and the entire rev band feels punchy. The Audi R8 has a top speed of 330 km/hr. The 7-speed tranny is quick shifting and downshifts gears rapidly when you pin the throttle in kick down mode. There are different driving modes via Audi Drive Select like Comfort, Individual, Dynamic and Auto and I think Comfort mode is good for most driving situations. The Dynamic mode is useful on the track as well as when you want to push the car on the twisties. Talking about fuel efficiency of a supercar is a crime so no comments here. However, I’m sure you’re curious and so, the R8 churns out 3-4 km/l under usual driving conditions with some pedal-to-metal moments while sedate and consistent driving on the highways will deliver 6 km/l too.
Driving Dynamics – The stiff suspension and the super low profile tyres means the ride quality is extremely stiff. You need to go really, really slow on even small bumps if you want to save your back. However, the stiff setup makes the R8 feel extremely composed and taut on straights as well as corners. The way in which the R8 enters corners and comes out shining makes you fall in love with the car. The steering is very direct and the car maintains its line well, thanks to quattro too. The huge carbon fibre ceramic disc brakes do a very fine job and speeds are shed as quickly as they are gained. The grippy tyres let you have proper fun with the car.
Safety and After Sales Service – Audi has a pretty good sales and after-sales network in India so servicing the R8 won’t be an issue. In terms of safety features, you get a lot of tech like traction control, ESP, ASR, Electronic Differential Lock, collapsible steering column, ABS with EBD along with multiple airbags including dual front airbags, side airbags, seat-mounted and side head level airbags.