- The practical supercar
- Gorgeous from almost every angle
- Thriling V-10
- Fantastic handling
- Finely executed details
- Limited cargo space
- Entry and exit are tough
- Rearward visibility is poor
The 2015 Audi R8 is a supercar fit for daily driving, thanks to its German precision and Italian powerplant.
The 2015 Audi R8 is approachable, comfortable, and incredibly fun to drive. This year a few updates get the most out of the last year of production for this generation.
Though due to be replaced by an all-new model soon, the current R8 is no less attractive as a do-it-all, every day supercar.
The base R8 is the 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8-powered Coupe. The same engine also comes in Spyder convertible form. A 525-hp, 5.2-liter V-10 powers Coupes and Spyders as well. All versions get minor cosmetic changes in this, their last model year.
Last year Audi swapped in its dual-clutch transmission, and it took performance to new heights. Unless you're obsessed by changing your own gears, the dual-clutch is the way to go. It's nearly sentient in the way it predicts and selects gears, in the way it rips off rapid upshifts, or skips gears to get to a ratio several cogs away. Purists can still have a 6-speed gated manual shifter.
The R8 also added a V10 Plus model, and it carries over into 2015. It tops off the V-10 at 550 hp, up 25 from the usual output. It helps the bigger-motor car feel as nimble as the smaller car, though power isn't numerically outrageous, given the number of 650-hp supercars running around today.
The R8 has its fill of luxury touches. They include navigation and real-time traffic, an excellent audio system, and Bluetooth with audio streaming. Superb seats and interior space encourage drivers to spend time in there too. Cargo space is tight but passenger space is a pleasant surprise.
No crash-test data is available, but Audi fits the R8 with knee airbags, a rearview camera, and stability control with a performance mode.
The R8 doesn't do well in one area: gas mileage. The EPA pegs the V-8 as high as 14/23 mpg--and as low as 12/19 mpg when it's fitted with the 5.2-liter V-10 and manual.