Although a decade has passed since the first Audi R8 was let loose on the streets, the German supercar is still going strong. While being in production, the R8 has won the prestigious “World Car of the Year” at the World Car Awards twice.
But that really doesn’t come as a surprise. You see, the R8 is a brilliantly versatile supercar. It’s a perfect blend of striking looks, insane performance, unparalleled practicality, and typical German reliability. And to ensure that the R8 remains competitive in the fast-evolving world of supercars, Audi has continued to tweak and change it over the years, so now it’s better than ever.
Let’s take a look at how the R8 has evolved over the years.
First Generation (2007-2015)
The first R8 came with a mid-mounted 4.2-liter V8 – the exact same unit that was fitted to the B7 RS4, except with a dry-sump lubrication system. This naturally-aspirated powerplant produced an impressive 420 hp and 317 ft-lbs. of torque which was sent to all 4 wheels via Audi’s signature “Quattro” 4WD system.
In December of 2008, Audi announced an upgraded, faster version of the now-famous supercar: the R8 V10. Aside from minor cosmetic changes, the new car featured a Lamborghini Gallardo-derived, naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter FSI V10. The R8 V10 boasted 532 ho, and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, and could hit a top speed of 198 mph.
Of course, in the subsequent years, Audi introduced the “Spyder” (convertible) versions of both the base R8 and the R8 V10.
Second Generation (2015 – )
The second-generation R8 was launched in 2015. Audi didn’t make many changes to the beautiful exterior aside from updating the head and taillights and making some minor cosmetic changes to the front fascia. However, underneath that familiar shell, the R8 is a completely different car.
Audi has thrown away the V8, and the 2nd gen R8 only comes with a V10 – a brand new unit that produces a staggering 610 hp. This means the new car can sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and will keep on accelerating until it hits a Vmax of 205 mph.
Moreover, speed isn’t the only department of improvement. The new R8 features a stiffer, tauter, and lighter chassis, which makes it a significantly more agile and better-handling car than its predecessor.
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