As much a track star as it is a comfortable daily driver, the 2018 Audi R8 is one of the most balanced and flexible supercars ever made.
MSRP: From $166,150
Horsepower: 540 to 610 hp
MPG: Up to 14 city / 22 highway
Dimensions: 174” L x 76” W x 49” H
Curb weight: 3,627 to 3,957 lbs
Audi didn’t quite surprise the world when it first launched its R8 supercar almost a decade ago. Fans of the four-ring brand saw it coming in the R8 Prototype that raced at Le Mans back in 2000. But don’t let the highest-performance road car to ever come out of Ingolstadt, Germany, seem like a letdown. It sure isn’t.
The 2018 Audi R8 remains a spectacular performance car with a phenomenal pedigree. A fantastic V-10 engine supplies power the rear wheels or all wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Perfect? No. The R8—available as a coupe in V10 and V10 Plus configurations and as a V10 Spyder is hard to see out of even by sports car standards, and its massive degree of technology comes with a price tag as much as a nice home in many places.
Overall, it earns an 8.2 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year, the Audi R8 sees few changes after debuting in its second generation just last year. A new Black Optic appearance package with 20-inch wheels and dark interior and exterior accents is available, LED headlights with the brand’s distinctive laser design are now standard on the V10 Plus, and a new Audi Sport badge has been affixed to all models’ front fascias.
The R8 lineup remains available exclusively with V-10 power: 540 horsepower for the base coupe and the Spyder and 610 hp for the subtly named V10 Plus, which also features racing seats and carbon-ceramic brakes.
Rear-wheel-drive models were added for 2018, but those will be rare sights on the road. We haven't yet driven those versions and will report back once we do.
The R8 is more than just a performance car. It’s remarkably livable as a daily driver, subpar visibility aside. The V10 models feature magnetic dampers underneath that provide a ride that’s either stiff as a board or remarkably compliant, depending on what drive mode is selected.
They’re also beautifully finished inside with extensive use of upscale trim and Audi’s “Virtual Cockpit”, which discards conventional analog gauges in favor of a gorgeous screen right in front of the driver.