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2020 Audi R8 Performance Review


Performance: 9.2

The V10 engine delivers jaw-dropping power and rockets the R8 forward when you hit the gas. This Audi also has the excellent handling needed to harness all that energy. Its ride is comfortable, if a bit firm. Bad gas mileage is about the only negative with the 2020 Audi R8’s performance. With this level of athleticism, however, we doubt many people will care.

  • "The Audi R8 V10 Plus delivers the performance expected of an exotic sports car. Acceleration is otherworldly, and handling is unflappable. What's surprising, though, is how easy it is to explore its incredible capabilities and how pleasant it drives when you're not dropping the hammer." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "After a few hours on public roads with little fatigue, we hit the rising and running 2.9-mile Algarve International Circuit for some full-speed laps. Here we had a chance to throw the R8 around a little and found it as easy as the last model to drive fast. It's possibly the easiest supercar to pilot that we've ever tested." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "On the road home, spent but satisfied, I set the driving mode to Comfort and the R8 became as docile on the highway as it was furious on the track. The transmission kept the revs and engine wail low, shifting seamlessly, while the adjustable dampers made for a fairly comfortable ride. A street-legal race car that doubles as a daily driver. It's quite a combination." -- CNET (2017)

Acceleration and Power

All R8 models feature a 5.2-liter V10 engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The V10 produces 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque in the standard Coupe and Spyder models, and 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque in V10 Performance models.

This is the car you want to be driving if you're running late. It blasts you off the line and has more than enough power for most driving situations. It even has a satisfying exhaust note.

That combination of power and quickness is enough to make you say, "Who cares?" when you look at the fuel economy numbers. Speaking of gas mileage, according to EPA estimates, the R8 gets 13 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Those are some of the lowest ratings in the class.

  • "Acceleration is blistering, accompanied by the wonderful, sonorous soundtrack. Bark and bite are in concert, adding to the rollicking entertainment." -- Consumer Reports
  • "You'll be unsurprised to hear that the driving experience is close to what we remember of the outgoing R8. The engine remains the star of the show. Although unable to match the boosty low-down shove of its turbocharged rivals, it responds to the smallest throttle input without hesitation and has both the willingness and the enthusiasm to explore the upper reaches of its rev … the Audi's noise seems entirely natural when being worked hard. Nor does it ever feel short on straight-line performance." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 5.2-liter V10 now delivers 562 horsepower in base spec -- 30 more than before -- thanks to a new titanium valvetrain. The V10 Performance, previously known as V10 Plus, keeps the same 602 horsepower as before. The standard coupe will run to 60 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, while the Performance will do the same spring in 3.2." -- CNET

Handling and Braking

Good luck finding a car that handles noticeably better than the R8. This Audi is about as buttoned-down as it gets. It's incredibly agile, with standard Quattro all-wheel drive providing plenty of road grip. Although the ride is firm, it's still comfortable enough that you don't ache after a long day of driving. Features include a magnetic suspension that can be adjusted with different driving modes. You won’t get this in V10 Performance trims, however, because they have a sport-tuned suspension.

  • "As before, the active steering effectively alters the steering ratio with a mechanical device in the steering column, quickening reactions at lower speed and making the rack slower at higher speeds for stability. This gives very quick reactions in tighter turns, but the sense of the steering slackening takes some getting used to." -- Car and Driver
  • "Although the R8 can feel a little heavy it is still nicely composed through bends. It definitely feels rear biased without getting too squirmy. A trailed brake into a corner can easily initiate rotation, but the Quattro system immediately allows you to use the available torque to pull you straight out of a corner and onto the next. The result is an R8 that still works as a great supercar for those who may not have previously driven a car with more than 600 horsepower. The roar of the engine and the thrill of the thrust get your heart pumping while the drivetrain and chassis make sure you don't get yourself into a situation you can't get out of." -- CNET
  • "The fact that the R8 delivers such ultra-high-performance without a raucous character, intimidating handling demeanor, and a Spartan cabin sometimes common for the breed is a pretty big compliment." -- Consumer Reports
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2020 Audi R8

MSRP: $169,900 - $208,100

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