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I Drive the New Audi R8 V10 Plus


Thrilling performance. Breathtaking handling. Redesigned from the ground up, the second generation all-new R8 has arrived.

By James W Phillips



On a cold and wet Saturday morning, what better way to start my weekend than to be only the second person in Essex (UK) to drive the all new Audi R8 V10 Plus! With special 1-2-1 access courtesy of Southend Audi, I had an hour with this hotly anticipated SuperCar, which has replaced the much loved first generation Audi R8.

Greeted with a warm welcome as always by Matthew Le Chevalier and Ian Cooper , Southend Audi was the perfect location to introduce me to what could be my next SuperCar.

The new R8, just visible through the windows of the handover bay looked menacing, but as with all Audi’s – seductive.

So my first impressions as I walked through the door onto this new SuperCar were all the new design touches, and the contemporary styling. This will be a head turner on the road and I began comparing it to my R8.


There have been several immediate changes, the side blades cut in two, the chrome R8 badge to the filler cap, front end styling changes that have resulted in a more pronounced snout, following the current Audi trend for the angular shaped grill.



The rear end, which has been one of the main criticisms of the new design, is much more aesthestic in real life, and I can calm doubts that the change is so much better to look at in the flesh. The cooling mesh vents to the rear allow much clearer sight of the exhaust pipes and construction used.


The standard wheels on the V10 Plus (shown) were too small, however easily changed when ordering your spec.


Door access is provided by concealed handles which all add to making you feel special.

Boot space (at the front of course) is smaller than the existing R8. You can still fit in a couple of weekend bags or shopping, but not quite as much as before. Boot release and engine bay cover release all the same as the previous model.



One huge improvement, is the key, this follows the Lamborghini spec, and throughout the R8 there are echos to the Lamborghini partnership with Audi using several interchangeable parts.

The engine bay was a delight to look at, full carbon surround, with the noticeable addition of the cross stabilizer struts and engine bay lighting taken from the previous model. Power output is delivered by the 5.2 FSI V10, 7 speed S-Tronic delivering 540 break horse power for the standard V10 model and 610 for the V10 Plus. This is a high-revving 5.2. Lightweight Audi Space Frame® technology with the Audi S tronic® transmission capable of gear changes within hundredths of a second make this a very special car.


lluminated and visible through the rear window, the high-revving, mid-mounted V10 engine sits directly behind the driver and gives the R8 a lower centre of gravity.
More power and more torque than the previous R8. And now, for the first time, with Cylinder-on-demand and Dual injection system. With a new, responsive quattro® all-wheel-drive system, up to 100% of the R8’s torque can be transmitted wholly to the front or rear wheels, depending on road and weather conditions, for improved traction and grip. Gloss Carbon elements give the V10 plus an unmistakable motor-racing look, while a fixed rear spoiler (Plus model only) provides greater downforce for enhanced grip in corners. It’s just as formidable to hear. Activate the Performance mode on Audi Drive Select and the controllable exhaust flaps to enhance the R8’s signature engine sound.With 610PS and maximum torque of 560 Nm, the all-new R8 V10 plus accelerates from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds making it not just the fastest Audi production car in history, but also the first to reach 205mph. Where legal, of course.


The cabin is typically Audi which means immense taste and class, with that new Audi smell. Build quality and luxury inside the cabin are again perfection and why the Audi brand is so popular. Contemporary and artistic design added to simple temperature controls dials and the LED lighting strips around the Bang and Olufsen speakers were just two of the highlights.


With its monoposto cockpit design, it’s no coincidence that, on climbing inside the all-new R8, you get the feeling of being behind the wheel of a race car.

The standard seats in this particular model were very comfortable and held you firmly, but the most noticeable feature which strikes you as soon as you sit in the R8 is the steering wheel. This is the WOW factor and looks like something from StarWars!


Audi Drive Select, engine start-stop function, Performance mode and manual exhaust flap control. Audi Virtual Cockpit and infotainment features can also be controlled. Adjustable in height and reach, with full-size airbag. You really feel in control of something special.
The dashboard as a unit is far less bulky than the previous R8, the headroom is huge, and the leg room ample. The digital dashboard display was a sheer technological delight and focuses the drivers attention squarely at the job in hand with everything there right in front of you. Performance Mode enables the driver to actively adjust the R8 to the particular road conditions for improved driving dynamics and an even more engaging drive. Three additional setting options can be set directly from the steering wheel: dry, wet or snow. It can also be used to adjust optional Dynamic steering and Audi Magnetic Ride. The satellite navigation is all integrated within the digital display so your eyes are never taken away from looking ahead, from the driving experience.
Driving the new R8 out of the handover bay, you immediately notice the lighter steering, improved field of vision (helped by the front and rear cameras) and the ease of change between drive and reverse with the hand selector in the center console. This still feels like a big car, but so easy to drive. The exhaust note was immediately apparent, and out on the road, the new R8 had not lost any of it’s head turning looks, for it drew immediate attention. Changing down with the paddles, the note of the exhaust change was very satisfying. Acceleration was rapid, but very smooth through the gears with no jerking and blipping down the box with the paddle I don’t think would ever loose its shine!
Orders are being taken now, and the man to speak to is Matthew Le Chevalier, R8 specialist and genuine nice guy.
Watch the video of start up below on my YouTube channel:

Address: Claydons Lane, Raleigh, Essex SS6 7UQ (UK)
 Many thanks to Matthew and Essex Audi.
All images: Luxury News Online

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