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2017 Audi R8 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Audi R8 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.7

Inside the 2017 Audi R8 is a cabin fit for an exotic car. The infotainment screen – now merged with the driver's display – is aptly named the virtual cockpit, a system that's both stunning and high-tech. Materials are similarly lavish throughout the cabin, creating a comfortable environment for you and your plus one. Total cargo space, though limited, is enough for a weekend trip.

  • "Materials quality throughout the car shows a massive upgrade. One of our biggest complaints about the old R8 was that its interior didn't match its price tag, but there's no such issue with the 2017 model. It looks and feels exotic and well-made, with an artistry to its shapes and forms that was lacking in the cold, mechanical previous model." -- Cars.com
  • "The cabin of the new R8 is a leap forward. There is generous space for the driver and co-driver, with ample room behind the front seats to store bags. The dashboard is ultra-contemporary, with a reconfigurable TFT display in front of the driver, and angular, almost funky switchgear. The R8's dash somewhat resembles the TT, but the styling language is more extreme and the materials are more upscale, and all befitting a $180K supercar." -- New York Daily News
  • "The gauge cluster facing the driver is filled by the company's unique 'Virtual Cockpit,' a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen that dynamically resizes the speedometer and tachometer to render infotainment functions in between. As with the new Audi TT, this solution obviates the need for a separate display elsewhere, so the R8's dashboard is refreshingly uncluttered." -- Edmunds

Seating

The Audi R8 offers seating for two and comes standard with heated sport seats, 18-way power adjustments, and Nappa leather upholstery. These are comfortable enough for a full day of driving. The V10 Plus trim comes with racing shell seats that have only height adjustments and can be moved forward and backward. However, you cannot adjust the angle of the backrest. These offer ideal support for track days, yet still provide a moderate amount of comfort for highway driving. Audi offers a package that swaps these out for the more comfortable base seats. It can be tricky to see out of the R8 thanks to its low-slung roofline.

  • The R8's two available seat designs occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. The base 18-way power chairs are both supportive in spirited driving and comfortable for touring, but the racing seats that comes standard in the V10 Plus lose the power functions (except height) and aren't even able to recline. If you plan to take your R8 to the racetrack on a regular basis, these seats may hold appeal, but we're glad that Audi makes the more luxurious seats an option for less aggressive V10 Plus buyers." -- Edmunds
  • There's a surprising amount of room for the two occupants the R8 can hold, with plentiful legroom and enough headroom for taller drivers to sit upright without their hair touching the roof. That roof, however, meets the windshield lower than you might expect, causing everyone to have to dip their heads and bend their necks to see stoplights at intersections. Outward visibility is not the R8's strongest attribute." -- Cars.com
  • The R8 is not the easiest car to exit, and ladies (or Scots) exiting while wearing a skirt will need to take extra care." -- CNET

Interior Features

The R8 features a virtual cockpit: It uses a 12.3-inch screen mounted directly in front of the driver. In addition to displaying the typical driver's gauges, this configurable display acts as the sole infotainment screen for the car. It takes a while to get your bearings with the system (and the passenger is mostly left in the dark when it comes to seeing or adjusting infotainment settings), but most automotive critics approve of the new interface, calling it high-tech and responsive.

Other standard infotainment features include Audi's MMI interface, navigation, a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. The R8 also includes automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a proximity key, push button start, automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

See 2017 Audi R8 specs »

  • "The MMI system is better than ever, and the screen that displays its output is crisp, clear, and – to the delight of some, and the consternation of many – mounted right in front of the driver, with no secondary screen in the center of the dash, a layout dubbed Virtual Cockpit. That means the driver has tons of detailed, gorgeously displayed information at their fingertips on a variety of configurable screens, easily controlled directly from the steering wheel. It also means the passenger has to lean over, squint, and look at a shallow angle at the portion of the screen they can see at all, just to input navigation data or adjust the radio. Is it a major beef? No. It's likely something owners and their passengers will quickly get used to, and it's much better than the system mounted in any McLaren. But to many it will be an unnecessary complication of an otherwise great entertainment and information system." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "As for the interior, just like in the new A4, TT, and Q7, Audi's reworked design is strong. The R8's innards are stripped down compared to other supercars. Most of the buttons are scattered all over the flat-bottom steering wheel, though unlike in the Huracan, the turn signal lever is still on the stalk. Like in the other new Audis the star of the show is the virtual cockpit, a completely configurable TFT screen responsible for displaying essentially everything, save HVAC info. You quickly realize that your left thumb controls 95 percent of the car's functionality (though the big MMI wheel is a redundant control). At first this seems daunting, but after five minutes you'll have the controls figured out. Only took me 10. The small, black-glass-backed HVAC controls are simple yet elegant, like the rest of the interior." -- Motor Trend
  • "The interior features Audi's Virtual Cockpit TFT instrumentation; combined with the electronic gear selector and the techy surfaces, it gives the cabin a futuristic aura that's a huge step forward from the predecessor's and is perhaps the most forward-thinking in its segment." -- Car and Driver

Cargo

The Audi R8 has 8 cubic feet for storage overall, split between the front trunk and an additional small space behind the seats. Test drivers are divided on the convenience of the R8's storage. Some note that the spaces are strangely shaped and small, and the area behind the seats is cumbersome to access, while others say the R8 still offers more room than other supercars. Still, you'll probably have enough room for a weekend's worth of luggage.

  • "Being a mid-engine car, the R8 has a frunk (a front trunk). It's a surprisingly deep well, able to accommodate a large roll-aboard suitcase and some soft-sided duffels – or a trip to the grocery store for a weekend barbeque for 40 people." -- Cars.com
  • "The R8's cargo space is divided into two areas, both awkwardly shaped and neither especially easy to access. Under the front 'hood' you'll find a compartment that holds an inflation kit and some other odds and ends, shaped roughly like a medium-sized plastic storage tub. A briefcase, backpack, or small overnight bag will fit easily – two of any of these will be tricky, but may fit. If you have any more than that you'll have to hit up the secondary area: behind the seats. While it's as wide as the cabin, it's also narrow. … In addition, the seats only move so far forward, so it can be tricky to get anything of substantial size in or out of the space-though in theory, at least, it should hold a golf bag. If you want to get into whatever you've stored on the parcel shelf behind the seats while you're sitting in the car, however, you'll want to brush up on your yoga skills." -- Automobile Magazine

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