Audi R8 V10 plus
We test drove an Audi R8 V10 Plus about two years ago and it won our hearts for the truly accomplished, yet user friendly supercar that it was. Step forward the new Audi R8 V10 Plus; it’s 15% lighter and 40% stiffer than the old car, even more powerful, with better external aerodynamics, and a well overdue complete interior overhaul.
Better by design
Whilst by no means a radical redesign on the outside the new R8’s lines have been smoothed out somewhat ultimately in the interest of aerodynamics. The R8 V10 Plus is distinguished from the ‘standard’ R8 V10 by the fixed carbon fibre rear wing, matching carbon fibre door mirrors, side blades, and a rear diffuser.
The area most begging for a workover in the old car was the interior, now completely redesigned and much improved in this new car. It is now highly intuitive, driver focused, far less fussy, houses all the current state of the art technology yet has a clear emphasis on safety and minimising distraction from the road ahead. You’ll see this new dash set up in most Audi’s now, but what you won’t see is the integration of most of the auxiliary switchgear into the steering wheel; that’s unique to the R8. It’s all very intuitive, and to our minds a benchmark in incorporating masses of new technology into a simple, safe, and uncluttered design.
But even better on the road
Bluntly speaking, it’s a rocket ship; even more so when set to ‘dynamic drive’. Choosing to remain loyal to the free revving supercharged joy of a beautifully showcase wrapped 6.3 litre V10, Audi have ensured that you will relish in the tractability and thrust of 610 bhp taking you to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds.
Purity is the key, combine with unrelenting linear progress, and great joy is to be had from this amazing V10 whilst powering hard through second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and finally seventh gear to settle at a ‘reasonable’ speed. Your head will be locked to the headrest, your arms stiffened at the wheel to keep the car in a straight line, the sheer force pushing endlessly to the lower part of your spine. It’s almost sexual, a real high, and unforgettably thrilling each time you dare push the throttle to even 75% of its full travel and (for the very brave) beyond.
Sensational yet so rooted to the road, and drawn to a halt in an instant by the standard fitting of excellent carbon ceramic brakes.
It brings a smile to my face just thinking that this amazing excuse for a modern day cannonball can be just as easily used for the daily office commute. Programme the steering wheel mounted drive select to ‘comfort’, switch the exhaust button to ‘normal’ rather than the tempting ‘sport’, set the gearbox to auto instead of manual paddle shift, and you could almost forget what you’re actually driving. It is only the admiring glances and the limited luggage space that remind you that you’re in the Devil’s supercar.
Audi R8 V10 plus tech spec
Price when new: £137,500 | On sale in the UK: Now | Engine: 5204cc 40v dual-injection V10, 602bhp @ 8250rpm, 413lb ft @ 6500rpm | Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto, four-wheel drive with rear LSD | Performance: 0-62mph – 3.2secs, 205mph, 23.0mpg, 287g/km CO2 | Weight / material: 1555kg / aluminium and carbon fibre | Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4426/1940/1240