Audi R8 V10 Plus Review: A Superhero
There is nothing as a Superhero in the real world as it’s a fictional character endowed with super powers for defeating the evil. Popular characters like Superman and Spiderman are often seen on the silver screen doing heroic deeds but then they are a challenge to realism unlike Iron Man, who seems more realistic than these masked caped crusaders as Tony Stark is more human in spite of being a superhero.
What’s the relevance of the above? Generic Supercars like Ferrari and Lamborghini are impressive on track but not on everyday roads. Clearly, the Audi R8 is not the fastest car in the world nor does it boast of a heritage and culture like the Italians. Instead, it knows how to make donuts on the tarmac and paint abstract art on the road with its Quattro styled claws.
It enjoys the flamboyance of being a high performance sports car and also makes sure its muscle pack of V10 make you reach triple digit speeds at just 3.5 seconds, all this with a dose of practicality. With so much of performance belted underneath, the R8 V10 Plus stands a fair chance of being called a Superhero too? We find out if it’s one for real.
The Audi R8 personifies aggression of a Samurai in its design with its razor sharp profile. It was updated from the earlier iteration with more defined character lines throughout the design. It is one hell of a head turner no matter where you park it or drive it, attracting everyone like honeybees around a flower.
The single frame grille houses a constant mesh of five slats which are interlinked with a continuous plane behind it, making the front nose look better. The all LED headlights are new with DRLs running across them. Just under the headlights are king size air intake pockets, whose sheer size can mistakably swallow an Alto 800 without a burp. The lower front spoiler is shaped out of carbon fibre. The front sloping long hood design also makes sure that the design is by no way an obstruction to wind flow.
How do you make a car look fast? The R8 was tweaked and further tuned to cheat resistance against wind flow as the design was optimized at Audi’s wind tunnel test centres. It has undergone 1000 hours of testing at these facilities to achieve a super low coefficient of drag of 0.35, lesser fuel consumption and higher final speed. It also helped to further improve its ride and handling dynamics. The low front spoiler, extended rear spoiler and the lined under body too increase the contact pressure.
Except for the rising wave of a roofline, the silhouette has a low planted feel. Carbon fibre finds its way on the exterior mirrors with integrated LED turn indicators. The forged aluminium wheels with a high gloss black finish leave an amazing impression paired with ceramic brake callipers. Even the Elvis sideburn inspired carbon finished sideblades with large air intakes look amazing.
The glass pane on the rear is completely useless in case you wish to manoeuvre the car in reverse but then it holds a detailed view of the V10 unit, which is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Wonder if it was possible to fit a cam there to keep seeing it as the engine is revved hard.
That rear of an R8 will make you chase it wherever it goes and the reason for that is its brand new GT styled round exhaust openings, which look no less than a lethal shotgun. Also, to make it more interesting, the rear spoiler can be made to extend at a simple touch of a button placed just behind the gearshift stick. The tail lamps are new and so are the sequential turn indicators. Take a look under the solid single panel rear bumper and you will notice tail fins underneath which is basically to work on the down force and channelize air flow for an improved aerodynamics.
Have a liking for Gran Turismo or even Need for Speed then you shall love the inside of this supercar especially the flat bottom steering wheel. A similar arrangement is seen on the Polo and Jetta but the R8 was an inspiration behind them. The bolstered steering wheel gets similar controls like any other Audi with an additional carbon on the central ring.
The analogue instrumental panel is an absolute joy to watch as the needles keep dancing across corners as the throttle is pressed and released. Both the speedo and the tacho get a red surround with R8 and V10 written on both sides. The multi information display shows the essentials of car information.
To lighten the weight, Audi has made extensive use of carbon across the interiors like the steering column, driver centric console, door trims etc. There are three colours used on the trims which include dark black, silver and aluminium, all together highlight the performance side of the R8. It doesn’t have a modern gizmo inside and the reason for that is Audi doesn’t want you to be carried away and just concentrate on driving pleasure. Also, there was no room left for such redundant additions.
The central cave on the dashboard gets stitched leatherette featuring a central screen. It might not feel as flashy and glossy but its old school styling strikes a chord. Its Tron meets arcade game buttons under the screen feel good to operate. Just underneath the cave is a small intermittent recess, which was occasionally used to stow my mobile phone. There is no Audisque MMI unit with touchpad, instead everything has knobs and buttons.
If you value comfort more than anything else then the R8 is definitely not a car for you because its small cave of a cabin, tight spacing of interiors paired with athletically contoured bucket seats with increased lateral support aren’t for luxury but for belting the occupants properly to deal with the brutal performance of this car. It gets twin cup holders on the central console while the door trims house only the bare essentials.
The luggage section on the front and the parcel tray in the rear behind front seats can house selectively dimensioned luggage. You can personalise it by opting for the exclusive Audi R8 Luggage Set which comprises of 3 suitcases, 1 briefcase, 1 clothes bag and 2 toiletry bags with R8 etched on them.
It is one screamer of a car with enough potential to tear apart heart from a body as the power and torque figures are too lethal to be fiddled with. Just a mild throttle in the sport mode makes your head stick to the headrest while the arms straighten up holding the flat bottom steering wheel trying to manoeuvre this naturally aspirated monster.
Audi updated the R-Tronic for a more adventurous S-Tronic dual clutch assembly which has made things faster. The V10 Plus comes with ceramic brakes as standard along with extensive use of carbon fibre throughout the body. They have also reduced the weight by 50 kgs. Even the suspensions and the ride setting have been tweaked to make sure the agility is even better than before. Wonder anyone would doubt if the R8 V10 Plus can go really fast.
In case you do, just a minor push on the throttle and growling angry exhaust note rushing out of the V10 engine mounted on the mid section of the R8 is sufficient to boost your confidence. The machine finished metallic gear stick has simple shifts at display with auto, manual, neutral and rear but then this stick acts like Thor’s hammer belting out a wide range of horses to own a complete city.
Thanks to a certain Lamborghini Gallardo, another work of art, the V10 Plus in the R8 makes 542 bhp at 8000 rpm and 540 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. It is no longer the single clutch which was a bit lazy as the always on fire dual-clutch transmission can only make your inhaling and exhaling feel a lag. The dual set is constantly engaged and thus once it shifts from one gear to another, it takes only a hundredth of a second to do so.
Audi has also chucked multiple drive modes to remove the unnecessary hassle and instead it comes in two modes. The regular mode, wherein the fun element is high and so is the driver involvement. The other mode is the Sport Mode. Yes, there are no comfort auto modes unlike other Audi cars because the R8 will not let you curl up in comfort. It will make you sit upright, hands firm on the wheel and eyes wide open to gasp in everything that happens in those fraction of seconds.
The race track spec Sport mode can be activated by a mere touch of a button behind the chunky gear shift stick. Firstly, the already nice exhaust note transforms into Oh-its-So-Awesome note with a more characteristic growl, then the transmission pattern changes for more direct shift behaviour for that quick shift in high rev style of driving and lastly it is the acceleration curve which changes for a more spirited style of driving.
The hard tarmac styled stiffened suspensions might not be much of a comfort on rough roads but it guarantees joy on an open stretch and also in corners. The hydraulic steering wheel is extremely precise paired with Quattro claws. The rear wheels have more power precisely 85% while the front get 15 %. The Quattro system is also quick to identify the need of more power. It helps truly in maintaining its dynamic stance and impressive agility even on the tightest of turns.
|Price (Rs.)||2.33 Cr|
|Power in Bhp/RPM||542 / 8000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||540 / 6500|
|Gears||7-Speed S Tronic|
|Wheel base mm||2650|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1695|
|Fuel tank capacity L||90|
|Front Tyres||235 / 35 R19|
|Rear Tyres||295 / 30 R19|
|Features||Audi R8 V10 Plus Coupe|
|Cast Aluminium Alloy Wheels||Yes|
|Exterior Mirrors, electrically adjustable, heated and folding with anti glare||Yes|
|LED Tail lights||Yes|
|Engine Compartment Lighting||Yes|
|Door Sill trims with aluminium Inlays and R8 Logo||Yes|
|Interior Mirror with anti glare||Yes|
|Driver Information System||Yes|
|Parking Aid Plus||Yes|
|4-Way Lumbar Support with Sports Styled Seats||Yes|
|Bang and Olufsen Sound System||Yes|
|Anti-Theft Wheel Bolts||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Price (Rs.)||2.33 Cr||2.17 Cr||1.42 Cr|
|Power in Bhp/RPM||542 / 8000||560 / 6500||560 / 6000|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||540 / 6500||700 / 2200||680 / 1500|
|Gears||7-Speed S Tronic||7-Speed Automatic||7-Speed Automatic|
|Wheel base mm||2650||2450||2964|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||1695||1605||1945|
|Fuel tank capacity L||90||68||80|
|Front Tyres||235 / 35 R19||245 / 35 R20||265 / 40 R19|
|Rear Tyres||295 / 30 R19||295 / 30 R20||295 / 35 R19|