As Audi’s top model, the R8 sports car boasts a howling 602-hp V-10 engine just behind its snug two-seat cabin. It shares a lot with the Lamborghini Huracán, but the R8 is less flamboyantly styled. It’s also less engaging to drive, but buyers seeking a supercar that they can drive daily may find Audi’s refinement appealing. The interior is sparsely equipped, with all infotainment functions handled via the digital gauge cluster, but it’s still a comfortable and upscale environment worthy of the R8’s steep starting price. More cargo space would be appreciated, but that’s not why you buy a car like this. You buy an R8—or its rivals, the Porsche 911, and McLaren 570S—for the fun that comes from driving it.
What’s New for 2022?
The base coupe and Spyder convertible receive a 30-horse boost for 2022. The V-10 now makes 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet. Both body styles can now be had with a Sports Exhaust package and a Dynamic package. The former is self-explanatory. The latter includes ceramic brakes, unique 20-inch wheels, and upgraded racing seats with nappa leather upholstery.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The R8’s V-10 engine is offered in two strengths, both potent enough to shake your eardrums with their otherworldly exhalations. The R8’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic isn’t the smoothest gearbox. It occasionally downshifts too abruptly, causing neck-snapping acceleration followed by an immediate upshift. The base R8 comes standard with an adaptive suspension, while Performance models are fitted with a more aggressive fixed-damper setup. Both soak up bumps admirably and provide a comfortable ride that you could tolerate without fatigue on long trips. The R8’s supple nature comes with a drawback, however: In full-attack mode, it doesn’t handle corners as confidently as its rivals, feeling more unsettled than you’d expect a supercar to be. The standard steering setup is direct and relays information from the road to the driver’s hands with sufficient feel.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
An economical choice it is not. Rear-drive models do 14 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway. The all-wheel-drive cars fair even worse: 13 and 20, respectively. Given this poor showing, all buyers must pay a $1700 gas-guzzler tax as part of the sale price. So be it. For more information about the R8’s fuel economy.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Minimalism never felt so luxurious. By having the instrument cluster double as the infotainment screen, Audi provides a refreshingly simple layout and lets the beautifully sculpted sport seats and high-resolution digital gauge display take center stage in the R8’s cockpit. Audi allows for quite a bit of customization when it comes to interior colors and textures: Black, gray, brown, and red leather are offered in either a flat or quilted pattern with matching or contrast stitching. Overall, it’s a beautifully executed cockpit with easy-to-reach controls, including the ignition button located on the steering wheel. No one buys a supercar for its practicality, and the R8 doesn’t buck the segment trend by offering real cargo capacity. In our testing, it provided space for just one carry-on suitcase. Pack light.