Existing as a halo vehicle for the carmaker is the 2011 Audi R8; this 2-passenger vehicle stems from the Lamborghini Gallardo design and sports a low-slung body. The R8 is sold with a V-8 engine or a V-10, married to the Quattro All Wheel Drive system. The car offers high-speed, on-the-road performance too. Still, it is tame when it comes to handling, and when compared to other supercars the price of the R8 is definitely nice.
The V-10 addition to the R8 ensures the car remains competitive in its second generation. For its third generation, a convertible configuration is expected; the Spyder convertible will host the V-10 under the hood and it will sport all the unique features of the R8 coupes too. The Spyder will eventually be sold with a V-8 option as well.
Drivers will come to favor the R8. Cargo space is limited but the car buyer can opt for a storage package including backseat netting for toting luggage. The R8 is not a street-legal racecar; it’s more like a grand touring option with great fuel economy…. Expand full summary
Bodystyles: Coupe, Convertible
Engines: 4.2L V-8, 5.2L V-10
Transmissions: 6-speed single-clutch automatic, 6-speed manual
Models: R8, R8 5.2, R8 Spyder 5.2
After launching the new V-10 engine last year, the R8 model gets another update with the new convertible model, called the R8 Spyder 5.2. Mechanically, it’s identical to the R8 5.2 with its V-10 engine and Audi’s signature quattro all-wheel drive. Cutting off the roof and adding a power folding top and the requisite chassis reinforcements adds about 200 pounds to the R8′s curb weight.
The 2011 Audi R8 is an eminently styled coupe with strong Coke bottle curves and near-perfect proportions. The V-10 and Spyder models receive unique wheels, grille, headlights and side scoops.
Leather-wrapped power seats are standard, as is climate control, navigation, Bluetooth, a multi-function steering wheel and a premium stereo. An optional convenience package adds a rear view camera, hill hold and heated, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 2011 Audi R8 is already a potent street and track machine with its 4.2-liter V-8 developing 420 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, but the truly power-mad will opt for the 525 horsepower 5.2L V-10 with its 391 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to either a 6-speed single-clutch automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
Both passengers get front, side thorax, side curtain and knee airbags. Electronic traction control and stability control are standard, as is Audi’s Crash Sensor, which unlocks the doors and turns off the engine and fuel pump.
EPA Fuel Economy
R8 Manual: 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway
R8 Automatic: 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway
R8 5.2 Manual: 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway
R8 5.2 Automatic: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
R8 Spyder Manual: 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway
R8 Spyder Automatic: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway