2008 Audi R8

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$50,120 - $50,263
$109,000 - $118,000

2008 Audi R8 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Audi R8 was new.

The R8 is a bona fide near-exotic sports car that's a winner on the track and is also surprisingly easy to drive around town. Its aggressive styling and comfortable seats are big hits, and criticisms are few -- so much so that the R8 is poised to compete with exotic sports cars costing more than twice its base price. However,stiff competition puts the R8 near the bottom of its small class.

Pros & Cons

  • Unique, aggressive styling is sure to turn heads
  • Great value relative to more costly exotic competitors
  • Comfortable and roomy seating, especially for a sports car
  • Dynamic handling allows both racing and daily driving capabilities
  • Available transmissions could be better
  • Odd styling details
  • Poor rear visibility

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Audi R8 has a score of 8.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.1
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Audi R8 Overview

The all-new Audi R8 is a viable competitor to iconic and exotic sports cars such as the Porsche 911 and Ferrari F430. It's Audi's first attempt at both a mid-engine sports car and an exotic, with the R8 sharing basic components with Lamborghini's mid-engine Gallardo. Review after review praises the Audi's unique styling and superb handling, with many noting its excellent everyday drivability. "THE VERDICT: Sports-car perfection from an unexpected source," states Car and Driver.

Of course, the R8 isn't without its faults -- though they are minor. These include reports of light steering feel and a slower straight-line performance than top rivals. Still, the Audi is less than half the price of the Lamborghini and less than a fourth as much as the Porsche Carrera GT. But buyers beware: the R8's price can increase quickly -- by as much as $20,000 -- when fully loaded.

The Audi R8 comes equipped with a 4.2-liter V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed R tronic automatic. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard.

  • "The craftsmanship, performance, exoticism and near perfection of this street car, combined with the history of the R8 race car, are going to make this newest Audi a winner, just like the Le Mans-winning race cars with which it shares its name." -- Road and Track.
  • "The R8 may be cross-shopped with Porsches, AMG Mercedes, Aston Martins, Jaguars, Ferraris, or even Lamborghinis, but what counts is that it really does have a character of its own, with a feel that's more like exotics that cost more." -- The Car Connection.
  • "As for the price, I concede that $110,000 and up is stiff money for an Audi. But this is, hands down, the most exotic car you can buy for that kind of cash. The Aston Martin V-8 Vantage is certainly beautiful, and the Porsche GT3 is a hero on the track, but the midengine R8 has more in common with cars in the $200,000 club, like the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari F430, than with its nominal competitors." -- New York Times
  • "After putting the R8 through its paces at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and in the surrounding desert roads, we found the car's stirring performance and stand-alone style do justify the price -- at least for buyers who can look beyond the logo on the hood." -- Forbes

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