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2012 Audi R8 Review

Auto writers agreed that the 2012 Audi R8 offers compelling driving dynamics and a luxurious interior, though some of its tech features can be difficult to use.

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine choices
  • Sharp handling and braking
  • Comfortable, luxurious interior
  • Firm ride quality
  • Unrefined automated manual transmission
  • Confusing tech features




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 8.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 5.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
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2012 Audi R8 Overview

The 2012 Audi R8 4.2 comes with a 4.2-liter V8 engine, while R8 5.2 and R8 GT models come with more powerful 5.2-liter V10 engines. All-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission are standard on the base 2012 R8, and a six-speed automated manual is available. Reviewers said the base V8 engine produces more than enough power to move the R8 down the highway effortlessly. Many also preferred the manual transmission, and noted that the automated manual can be slow to respond and shifts awkwardly in city driving. The 2012 R8 gets an EPA-estimated 13/21 mpg city/highway. While some said it rides firmly, reviewers agreed that the R8 offers strong brakes and especially sporty handling, which helps it handle winding roads with ease.  

The Audi R8 is available in coupe and convertible (Spyder) body styles, and reviewers said it has a lavish, upscale interior. They agreed that the two-seat R8 can comfortably accommodate most adults, even those on the taller side. Standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, automatic climate control and power-adjustable and heated seats. Available features include a rearview camera, navigation, rear parking sensors and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Most reviewers said the 2012 Audi R8's controls are within easy reach of the driver, but some mentioned that the available navigation system that is operated by Audi's Multi Media Interface system can be difficult to use. With just 3.5 cubic feet of trunk space, reviewers noted that there's only enough space for a small bag in the R8's cargo hold.  

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers praised the 2012 Nissan GT-R's powerful twin-turbo V6 engine and blistering acceleration. They agreed that the GT-R is fun and easy to drive and offers a cabin that’s filled with high-tech features.

Critics loved the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette’s powerful V8 engine, and most agreed that the Corvette offers nimble handling and a comfortable ride. The Corvette also offers an impressive amount of cargo space for the class, and it’s available in more powerful Z06 and ZR1 trims.

Compare the R8, GT-R and Corvette »

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