Snapshot: Audi has upped the power to 602bhp on its newest R8 V10 Plus Coupe. 0-100kmph now takes just 3.2seconds and the acceleration ends at an astonishing 330kmph. Our few minutes with this sublime coupe had us thinking how difficult it must have been to improve on perfection, yet Audi has done it again.
The first Audi R8 took the supercar world by surprise. This was a great handling, could be used every day and a really fast supercar indeed with none of their limitations. Than arrived its next iteration that blew away its rivals which were trying to get up on their feet. It’s hard to even consider how Audi could improve upon the breed, but that is exactly what they’ve done with their newest crown. The 2017 R8 V10 Plus is a monumental supercar which will again plaster a big smile on customers and a massive sneer on opponents.
How does it look?
Stunning, splendid, imposing, charming, running out of breathe here. The basic design remains similar with that imposing grille, slick shoulder line and a gorgeous back. Don’t get carried away, the entire car is absolutely new. There are noticeable changes on the outside. Angles, slats, lines and curves all fall in so beautifully that it creates one understated symphony, soft but will leave a prominent impression. What’s missing are the shoulder blades present on the previous car which somewhat became its signature marks. Now they have decreased in size, split and look like panels then sideburns. One relief is that you can still have them colour coordinated as you wish. Apart from that its underpinnings are based on its brother, Lamborghini Huracan, means its lighter and stronger underneath it’s pretty body.
Has the interior changed?
Yes, considerably. It’s amazing to see how well Audi has combined functionality with sober design which proves to be both utilitarian and pleasing to the eye. As expected fit and finish is flawless with top drawer parts and microscopic attention to detail. This new R8 gets Audi’s new ‘Virtual Cockpit’ that is a big screen as instrumentation and because it is vastly configurable should come with its own manual we believe. In fact it does, just surf around on the media system. Speedometer, sport centric tachometer, G-force readout and a lot of other performance parameters all integrated into this one compact but legible cockpit. The seats simply hug you and hold you in diligence. They also keep you comfortable while you cruise around the city.
All that power?
Yes power, and that to a lot of it. The screaming 5.2 litre revs to 8,250rpm at which it pushes 602bhp. Torque peaks at 560Nm produced at 6,500rpm delivered to all four wheels through a 7-speed S-tronic transmission. The sprint from naught to 100kmph takes just 3.2seconds and top speed is a dizzying 330kmph. On this open airstrip we saw 263kmph on the speedometer and felt like R8’s claws were still retracted in. R8 V10 Plus uses a dry sump lubrication system, courtesy extensive race learning, that makes more power due to the extra crankcase vacuum using a dry sump pump. Complicated engineering and words but very effective indeed. Power is smoothly delivered to all fours via the famous and unerring Quattro system. You always feel in control of all that power. The new steering wheel has most of the drive controls on it that means less distraction for the driver. The Drive select button can be pushed to cycle between Comfort and Dynamic mode, or can be left to Auto for the car’s brain to sort out things for you.
How does it ride?
Again it is a surprise really. You expect a supercar to nearly jolt your spine when you run over a gelatine candy, but the ride on the R8 V10 Plus is extremely plaint. The adjustable magnetic suspension can be tuned to what kind of surface or driving you fancy. Comfort mode feels like you are sitting in a premium sedan and the Dynamic mode prepares it for hardcore battle mode. We cannot give you much information on that as running up and down on a smooth runway does not tell much about a car. A detailed test review is due back in Delhi, hopefully our Ed will much more to say. We can tell you about the brakes though, and they are simply out worldly. You have complete confidence and superior braking even if you sit on the brake pedal. The R8 brake phenomenally from even above 200kmph, thanks to 6-piston front and 4-piston rear fixed calliper ceramic brake discs, and stays fairly in line to where you want it to stop exactly.
Should you buy one?
If you can then it is a definite yes. At Rs 2.47crore (ex-showroom Delhi) it costs a fortune, but then no other supercar can ever justify its price tag in front of the excellent R8 V10 Plus Coupe. It goes like a stabbed rat, is comfortable, looks delicious and will return a combined fuel efficiency figure of a generous 8.2kmpl. And you will pull a massive smile on your face every time you hear that V10 screaming bolted onto your spine.