Audi R10 V10 is a supercar for everyday life

Audi R8 12 toutHollis Johnson

When the Audi R8 arrived on the world stage in 2007, the German supercar took the automotive world by storm. In short time, the stylish Audi became not just one of the most sought-after machines in the world, but also a pop-culture icon. („Iron Man,“ anybody?)But after a decade of excellence, it was time for a successor.

How do you improve upon an icon? We’ve all heard of the sophomore slump or the disappointing sequel. After all, disasters such as „Jaws 2“ or „Speed 2“ happen way more often than an „Empire Strikes Back“ or a „Dark Knight.“

With the R8, Audi had the tall task of coming up with a sequel to its flagship model. After all, this is Tony Stark’s official ride.

For 2017, there is indeed an all-new, second-generation R8. Recently, Audi dropped off this R8 V10 Coupe Quattro S tronic for Business Insider to check out. Our ibis-white R8 V10 had a base price of $162,900, but with options the car left the showroom at $183,050.

So does the sequel live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

Photos by Hollis Johnson unless otherwise credited.

 

Our stunning ibis-white test car is the latest car to carry the R8 badge. But it certainly wasn’t the first.

Our stunning ibis-white test car is the latest car to carry the R8 badge. But it certainly wasn't the first.

Hollis Johnson

The R8 road car we know today is named after Audi’s all-conquering R8 Le Mans Prototype race cars. In 1999, Audi debuted the open cockpit R8R …

The R8 road car we know today is named after Audi's all-conquering R8 Le Mans Prototype race cars. In 1999, Audi debuted the open cockpit R8R ...

Audi

… and the closed cockpit R8C race cars. In its first time out, at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the R8Rs finished third and fourth. Unfortunately, neither of the R8Cs made it to the finish.

... and the closed cockpit R8C race cars. In its first time out, at the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race, the R8Rs finished third and fourth. Unfortunately, neither of the R8Cs made it to the finish.

Audi

In 2000, Audi returned with the R8 LMP.

In 2000, Audi returned with the R8 LMP.

AP

From 2000 until it was replaced in 2006, the R8 LMP racked up an astonishing 63 victories in 79 races.

From 2000 until it was replaced in 2006, the R8 LMP racked up an astonishing 63 victories in 79 races.

REUTERS

This includes five outright victories at Le Mans in six years. Its only loss at Le Mans came at the hands of VW Group stablemate Bentley’s Speed 8. And even then, the Speed 8 that won can actually trace its roots back to the Audi R8C.

This includes five outright victories at Le Mans in six years. Its only loss at Le Mans came at the hands of VW Group stablemate Bentley's Speed 8. And even then, the Speed 8 that won can actually trace its roots back to the Audi R8C.

Audi

With this level of success. Audi was keen to provide its rivals with a lasting reminder of its prowess.

With this level of success. Audi was keen to provide its rivals with a lasting reminder of its prowess.

Audi

The result was the R8 — Audi’s first legitimate supercar. It arrived in 2007 with a 4.2-liter, 420-horsepower V8 and a 185-mph top speed.

The result was the R8 — Audi's first legitimate supercar. It arrived in 2007 with a 4.2-liter, 420-horsepower V8 and a 185-mph top speed.

Audi

Although the R8 immediately became infinitely cool and built a reputation for being great to drive and easy to live with, critics also felt the V8 lacked muscle compared with other supercars of its day.

Although the R8 immediately became infinitely cool and built a reputation for being great to drive and easy to live with, critics also felt the V8 lacked muscle compared with other supercars of its day.

Audi

That all changed with the arrival of a 525-horsepower, 5.2-liter V10 borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo. Now the R8 had the face-melting speed to go along with the looks.

That all changed with the arrival of a 525-horsepower, 5.2-liter V10 borrowed from the Lamborghini Gallardo. Now the R8 had the face-melting speed to go along with the looks.

Audi

For 2017, there’s a new second-generation version of the Audi supercar. It’s available in two different flavors:

For 2017, there's a new second-generation version of the Audi supercar. It's available in two different flavors:

Hollis Johnson

The hardcore R8 V10 Plus …

The hardcore R8 V10 Plus ...

Hollis Johnson

… and the tamer — but still very capable — R8 V10. Our test car was an R8 V10.

... and the tamer — but still very capable — R8 V10. Our test car was an R8 V10.

Hollis Johnson

Aesthetically, the exterior of the new R8 is an evolution of the first-generation car. The design has aged rather gracefully. After all, you don’t fix what isn’t broken.

Aesthetically, the exterior of the new R8 is an evolution of the first-generation car. The design has aged rather gracefully. After all, you don't fix what isn't broken.

Hollis Johnson

Up front, Audi’s domineering front grille makes its presence felt. Whether this new grille is an improvement over the outgoing model is in the eye of beholder.

Up front, Audi's domineering front grille makes its presence felt. Whether this new grille is an improvement over the outgoing model is in the eye of beholder.

Hollis Johnson

However, the LED headlights look terrific.

However, the LED headlights look terrific.

Hollis Johnson

On the flanks, Audi changed one of the previous-gen car’s signature features by splitting the R8’s carbon-fiber blade into two — a potentially controversial move that some will applaud while others will lament.

On the flanks, Audi changed one of the previous-gen car's signature features by splitting the R8's carbon-fiber blade into two — a potentially controversial move that some will applaud while others will lament.

Hollis Johnson

The R8’s gas cap is still located on the top portion of the carbon-fiber blade.

The R8's gas cap is still located on the top portion of the carbon-fiber blade.

Hollis Johnson

The rear of the V10 gets an adjustable spoiler, which extends at 75 mph, while the V10 Plus gets a larger unit that’s permanently bolted to the rear deck lid.

The rear of the V10 gets an adjustable spoiler, which extends at 75 mph, while the V10 Plus gets a larger unit that's permanently bolted to the rear deck lid.

Hollis Johnson

Although many of the car’s fans may prefer the aggressive front-end design …

Although many of the car's fans may prefer the aggressive front-end design ...

Hollis Johnson

… I find the rear three-quarter view to be the car’s most appealing.

... I find the rear three-quarter view to be the car's most appealing.

Hollis Johnson

Step inside and you’ll find the most impressive part of the R8.

Step inside and you'll find the most impressive part of the R8.

Hollis Johnson

Although the first-generation R8’s exterior design aged well, its interior has not. For the all-new 2017 R8, Audi has completely revamped the cabin. The result is one of the finest in any supercar. It’s covered in rich nappa leather and alcantara.

Although the first-generation R8's exterior design aged well, its interior has not. For the all-new 2017 R8, Audi has completely revamped the cabin. The result is one of the finest in any supercar. It's covered in rich nappa leather and alcantara.

Hollis Johnson

Every aspect of this cockpit is focused on the driver.

Every aspect of this cockpit is focused on the driver.

Hollis Johnson

As you can see, there isn’t much for the passenger to do.

As you can see, there isn't much for the passenger to do.

Hollis Johnson

What would normally be found on the center stack …

What would normally be found on the center stack ...

Hollis Johnson

… has been relocated to the steering wheel.

... has been relocated to the steering wheel.

Hollis Johnson

The start-stop and drive-select buttons are kinda hard to miss.

The start-stop and drive-select buttons are kinda hard to miss.

Hollis Johnson

What makes the R8 really stand out is the inclusion of Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit system. Instead of a traditional gauge cluster and infotainment screen, Virtual Cockpit integrates the two in a single 12.3-inch, high-definition display.

What makes the R8 really stand out is the inclusion of Audi's new Virtual Cockpit system. Instead of a traditional gauge cluster and infotainment screen, Virtual Cockpit integrates the two in a single 12.3-inch, high-definition display.

Hollis Johnson

Everything the driver needs to control the car’s many features can be accessed through Virtual Cockpit.

Everything the driver needs to control the car's many features can be accessed through Virtual Cockpit.

Hollis Johnson

This includes the car’s superb 12-speaker, 550-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo.

This includes the car's superb 12-speaker, 550-watt Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Hollis Johnson

The most incredible function the system offers is a full-screen map that’s unlike anything offered by other brands.

The most incredible function the system offers is a full-screen map that's unlike anything offered by other brands.

Hollis Johnson

The Virtual Cockpit is a fairly risky move for Audi. The company’s infotainment system is one of the — if not the — best in the business right now. And to make such a drastic change could have been a disaster. Fortunately for Audi, Virtual Cockpit is intuitively organized, very easy to use, and beautifully presented.

The Virtual Cockpit is a fairly risky move for Audi. The company's infotainment system is one of the — if not the — best in the business right now. And to make such a drastic change could have been a disaster. Fortunately for Audi, Virtual Cockpit is intuitively organized, very easy to use, and beautifully presented.

Hollis Johnson

Virtual Cockpit is controlled either through the traditional rotary controller and script pad, located on the center console …

Virtual Cockpit is controlled either through the traditional rotary controller and script pad, located on the center console ...

Hollis Johnson

… or with steering-wheel-mounted buttons.

... or with steering-wheel-mounted buttons.

Hollis Johnson

The sparse center stack is populated only by the car’s climate controls.

The sparse center stack is populated only by the car's climate controls.

Hollis Johnson

Our R8 test car came equipped with a pair of beautifully quilted nappa leather seats. Unlike the seats in many supercars, the R8’s 18-way adjustable seats are not only supportive, but also comfortable.

Our R8 test car came equipped with a pair of beautifully quilted nappa leather seats. Unlike the seats in many supercars, the R8's 18-way adjustable seats are not only supportive, but also comfortable.

Hollis Johnson

The R8’s center armrest doubles as …

The R8's center armrest doubles as ...

Hollis Johnson

… cup holders!

... cup holders!

Hollis Johnson

Behind the driver is the R8’s 5.2-liter V10 engine. The V10, which is shared by the Lamborghini Huracan, is an absolute gem of a motor. It’s docile in normal driving, but capable of becoming a fire-breathing power plant when called upon.

Behind the driver is the R8's 5.2-liter V10 engine. The V10, which is shared by the Lamborghini Huracan, is an absolute gem of a motor. It's docile in normal driving, but capable of becoming a fire-breathing power plant when called upon.

Hollis Johnson

These days, the R8’s V10 is a dying breed. It’s one of the few remaining supercar powerplants to take a pass on turbocharging or hybridization. As a result, the Audi delivers a more connected driving experience. No need to wait for turbos to spool up!

These days, the R8's V10 is a dying breed. It's one of the few remaining supercar powerplants to take a pass on turbocharging or hybridization. As a result, the Audi delivers a more connected driving experience. No need to wait for turbos to spool up!

Hollis Johnson

The R8 V10 Plus gets a 610-horsepower version of the engine.

The R8 V10 Plus gets a 610-horsepower version of the engine.

Hollis Johnson

The R8 V10, our test car, came with a detuned 540-horsepower variant.

The R8 V10, our test car, came with a detuned 540-horsepower variant.

Hollis Johnson

According to Audi, the 540-horsepower R8 V10 is capable of making the run to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 199 mph.

According to Audi, the 540-horsepower R8 V10 is capable of making the run to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 199 mph.

Hollis Johnson

The more powerful V10 Plus speeds up the process with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.

The more powerful V10 Plus speeds up the process with a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.

Hollis Johnson

All R8s get Audi’s highly capable seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Our V10 test car handled the engine’s prodigious power with ease. The shifts were smooth and immediate in every situation we encountered during our few days with the car.

All R8s get Audi's highly capable seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Our V10 test car handled the engine's prodigious power with ease. The shifts were smooth and immediate in every situation we encountered during our few days with the car.

Hollis Johnson

Stopping power comes courtesy of these ventilated wave-design disc brakes.

Stopping power comes courtesy of these ventilated wave-design disc brakes.

Hollis Johnson

The R8 is incredibly smooth, steady, and easygoing. It’s very difficult to the push the car beyond its capabilities. The combination of quattro all-wheel-drive and active aerodynamics gives the car endless traction. The V10 offers instant power to get you out of trouble.

The R8 is incredibly smooth, steady, and easygoing. It's very difficult to the push the car beyond its capabilities. The combination of quattro all-wheel-drive and active aerodynamics gives the car endless traction. The V10 offers instant power to get you out of trouble.

Hollis Johnson

Alas, here lies our only issue with the R8 V10: While there’s no doubting its capabilities and competence on both road and track, the R8’s easygoing driving experience lacks the excitement and insanity one might hope for in a supercar.

Alas, here lies our only issue with the R8 V10: While there's no doubting its capabilities and competence on both road and track, the R8's easygoing driving experience lacks the excitement and insanity one might hope for in a supercar.

Hollis Johnson

In fact, you can say that this car offers a very similar experience to other high-performance Audis such as the RS7 and the RS5. This sentence serves both as praise and criticism because the R8 V10’s relaxed nature offers buyers a relatively worry-free ownership experience. On the other hand, this clinical efficiency detracts from the car’s charisma and charm. The driving experience simply doesn’t feed your soul the way other supercars can.

In fact, you can say that this car offers a very similar experience to other high-performance Audis such as the RS7 and the RS5. This sentence serves both as praise and criticism because the R8 V10's relaxed nature offers buyers a relatively worry-free ownership experience. On the other hand, this clinical efficiency detracts from the car's charisma and charm. The driving experience simply doesn't feed your soul the way other supercars can.

Hollis Johnson

In other words, the R8 V10 is the car choice should you want to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans in style and comfort, but not if your goal is attention.

In other words, the R8 V10 is the car choice should you want to tackle the 24 Hours of Le Mans in style and comfort, but not if your goal is attention.

Hollis Johnson

More times than not, the purchase of a supercar is an emotional buy and not a rational one. Supercars are generally useless in most daily situations and can be a great hassle to live with. The R8 isn’t. It’s one of the few cars of this genre that can be rationally justified.

More times than not, the purchase of a supercar is an emotional buy and not a rational one. Supercars are generally useless in most daily situations and can be a great hassle to live with. The R8 isn't. It's one of the few cars of this genre that can be rationally justified.

Hollis Johnson

Overall, the 2017 Audi R8 V10 is a worthy sequel to one of the most iconic cars in recent memory. Its combination of exotic looks, high performance, and day-to-day usability makes this a supercar you can live with.

Overall, the 2017 Audi R8 V10 is a worthy sequel to one of the most iconic cars in recent memory. Its combination of exotic looks, high performance, and day-to-day usability makes this a supercar you can live with.

Hollis Johnson

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