2008 Audi R8 Interior

$50,120 - $50,263

2008 Audi R8 Interior Review

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


Interior: 8.1

Most critics agree that the R8's two-seat cockpit shows Audi's strong attention to detail. "Seats that are lushly comfortable and supportive, yards of nicely tailored leather, simple and intuitive inputs for audio, climate and navigation -- Audi shows again how to create a proper cabin," says the Arizona Republic. Likewise, Car and Driver comments, "Inside, the R8 feels roomy and comfortable with a handsome instrument cluster, plenty of polished metal trim, and an interesting styling element that sweeps from the doors up and around the instruments before plunging toward the central console."

The cabin is also very quiet and "amazingly well isolated for a hot mid-engine car," says Consumer Guide. "The R8 is certainly no noisier than some big-power sports sedans, so there's seldom a need to turn up the stereo or the volume of conversations." AutoWeek similarly notes that the cockpit environment is "calm and comfortable, a place in which even the most delicate conversations can take place."


Surprisingly enough, most reviews say the two-seat Audi R8 is spacious. "Despite outward appearances, the R8 cabin has plenty of head and legroom for six-footers," says Consumer Guide. The Audi's wheelbase is longer than competitors', which helps contribute to the extra leg- and headroom. "Thanks to a 104.3-inch-long wheelbase, the R8 passenger compartment has more leg-, shoulder-, and headroom than a Porsche 911 Carerra or Mercedes SL," notes Car and Driver. Motor Trend says "there's enough headroom for an NBA player" and Forbes confirms that "a 6-foot-5-inch driver fit comfortably behind the wheel."

Despite the roominess, entry and exit may not be easy. "The car's low. The roof's low," comments USA Today. "You have to twist and duck to enter and exit." The Chicago Tribune, however, has a different take, saying, "No falling into or slithering out of the cabin, which is wide, spacious and comfy."

The seats also provide ample support for sporty driving. Car and Driver says they're "as supportive as the Porsche's without being quite so snug." It's worth noting, however, that the Porsche 911 coupe features two small rear seats, whereas the Audi R8 uses the rear space as a small cargo area.

Interior Features

The 2008 Audi R8 comes standard with several features including Alcantara leather sport seats, a seven-speaker Audi sound system, automatic climate control, electronic cruise control, heated front seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Optional equipment includes a Convenience Package (with an Audi parking system and rearview camera), a Leather Package (includes fine nappa leather seats), a Bang & Olufsen Sound System (with surround sound and 12 speakers), and Audi Navigation.

The cockpit controls are well-organized in monoposto style, meaning they are laid out in an arc that wraps around the driver, as in a racing car. "In the Audi fashion, the instruments are notable for their clarity and the controls are ergonomically correct," says Edmunds. "With the fussy little buttons of the Porsche 911 Turbo for contrast, it's easy to appreciate the R8's systematic layout."

The R8 features the same flat-bottomed steering wheel as other Audi sports cars, and some reviews say its interior is even comparable to that of the Porsche 911 Carrera. "Both cars have fresh interior designs, clear instrumentation, and logical control layouts," comments Car and Driver. "But we'd have to score the Audi's cool flat-bottomed wheel, artful dashboard, creative surface textures, and gated shifter a little higher than the Porsche, which, although fresh, has that oh-so-familiar look."

Most say the interior quality is exceptional. "Reflecting modern design and processes, the R8 feels good everywhere you touch it," says Edmunds. However, Automobile Magazine is one of the few reviews with criticism about the materials quality: "Visually, the knurled knobs, wide-eyed gauges, and metal-trimmed pedals are superb," they say. "Unfortunately, some of the controls that appear to be hewn from billet are cleverly disguised composite material. Tactile feedback suffers." They add, "The shift paddles are also injection-molded; while they're nicely ribbed and precise in operation, caressing plastic is never a joy in this league."


Audi Navigation is optional for the R8. It comes with a 6.5-inch color display, AM/FM/Satellite radio with channel preset capabilities, five language settings and voice guidance. Those that tested the system have differing opinions. USA Today calls it "second-rate" because it "had poor-quality graphics, too-few street names and the map jerked as it rotated as the car moved." Forbes, however, praises the system for "its relatively easy programming and scalable views" and finds it "notably superior to frustrating systems from its German rivals at BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche."


The R8 provides a 3.5-cubic-foot front trunk as well as a carpeted storage ledge behind the two front seats. Reviews are mixed on the usefulness of these spaces. Of the ledge, Consumer Guide comments, "Audi says there's enough space there for two golf bags, but the clubs and the occupants would have to be Munchkin-size." MSN reports that "the space behind the front seats will take a golf bag or a few duffle bags." The Orlando Sentinel finds the front trunk space, on the other hand, "generous and surprisingly usable" and USA Today says it can hold "a couple of backpacks or some tennis rackets." Bottom line: The R8 has space for some items, but it's probably not the best car for trips to the airport.

More impressive are the R8's small storage spaces, which Edmunds finds "unusual for a high-end sports car." These include a glove box that Car and Driver finds "particularly deep" and a pair of cupholders in the front console. The Car Connection, however, isn't so thrilled: "We were challenged where to put a small camera during the drive where it wouldn't be thrown around," they say. "The door pockets are tight and shallow, the glovebox isn't for much more than gloves, there's a miniscule ashtray, and a small center-console compartment is barely large enough for a PDA." It's also worth noting that MSN found the two cupholders "are set too far back for convenient use."

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