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2018 Audi R8: In-Depth Review

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 8/16/2018 DREW DORIAN
2018 Audi R8 in Depth: Speed Meets Luxury: The Audi R8 is an aspirational performance car, but it’s also surprisingly easy to live with and drive thanks to a comfortable cabin and a silky ride.© Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc The Audi R8 is an aspirational performance car, but it’s also surprisingly easy to live with and drive thanks to a comfortable cabin and a silky ride.

Overall Rating: Warranty and Maintenance Coverage© Car and Driver Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

As halo cars go, the Audi R8 is a spectacular one—its howling V-10 engine provides stomach-punch acceleration that lesser cars with the four-ringed badge can only dream about. It’s an aspirational performance car, but it’s surprisingly easy to live with and drive daily thanks to a comfortable cabin, a silky ride, and plenty of standard luxury features. Buyers won’t find it particularly fuel efficient, and driving enthusiasts may grow disappointed with the R8’s handling characteristics once the thrill of ten-cylinder power wears off. Still, the R8 is a deeply desirable and scintillatingly styled supercar that will turn heads forever, especially when that V-10 sings its sweet, sweet siren song.

What’s New for 2018?

Research the Audi R8 on MSN Autos | Find an Audi R8 near you

Audi made some slight revisions to the R8’s engine for 2018 that have resulted in small reductions in power output, but claimed acceleration times are unchanged. Other than that, the R8 receives a host of other updates for 2018, not least of which is the addition of the 602-hp R8 Spyder V10 Plus and a new entry-level rear-wheel-drive V10 RWS model. Audi’s smartphone interface is now standard across the range and allows users to control compatible devices using the car’s MMI infotainment system. Full LED headlights are now optional on V10 models and standard on the V10 Plus; exterior puddle lights are now standard on all R8s. The rest of the changes are cosmetic, including a new Black Optic package that adds 20-inch wheels, exhaust tips, and exterior trim in a glossy black finish. Inside, all V10 R8s come with dark-gray high-gloss trim, while V10 Plus models receive carbon-fiber inlays.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

Our choice from last year—an R8 Spyder V10 with optional 20-inch wheels and summer tires—increases slightly in price to $181,150 for 2018. The new rear-wheel-drive entry-level coupe lowers the hardtop’s base price to $142,235. It’s a decision that will be tough for anyone to make-and one that’s made even more difficult for those of us on average salaries. As a result, we’ll leave that spending decision to you. After all, every R8 comes well equipped with luxuries such as: 

• Automatic climate control
• Nappa leather seats with heat and power adjustments
• A 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital display with navigation

Regardless of how you outfit it, we’d recommend taking advantage of Audi’s European delivery program, which allows buyers to pick up their car in Germany and use it to tour Europe for up to fifteen days before handing it back over for shipment to the United States.

For details about the 2017 Audi R8, see our in-depth review.

Continue Reading:

• 2018 Audi R8 Overview
• Engine and Transmission
• Fuel Economy and Driving Range
• Performance and Driving Impressions
• Interior and Passenger Space
• Audio and Infotainment
• Cargo Space and Storage
• Exterior Design and Dimensions
• Safety and Driver Assistance
• Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
• Video Overview: Interior, Infotainment, Cargo Space

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