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STYLING | 10 out of 10
Larger than life and even better than expected
The carbon-fiber detailing is of extraordinary visual quality
Luxury has replaced compromise inside the supercar cockpit
Kelley Blue Book
Super Bowl commercials are known as the supreme royalty of the advertising world, but simply getting a spot during the Big Game isn't enough; you still have to find a way to stand out. Audi did just that during the 2008 championship, when it debuted a Godfather-inspired spot that stole the show by relying almost exclusively on the Audi R8's breathtaking, almost sinister-looking exterior.
The 2009 Audi R8 is an ultra-sleek, ultra-exotic sports coupe that gets a new trim level for 2010. Cars.com reports that the standard V-8-powered R8 remains as the base model, and Audi adds "V-10 models, called R8 5.2 FSI Quattro." The name may not be elegant, but the R8's styling sure is. Car and Driver is impressed by the "avant-garde" styling, and Edmunds notes that the visual upgrades to the V-10 R8's "just add more badass-edness to the way" the car looks. The 2010 Audi R8 appears to exist solely to attack roads-not drive on them, but pummel them into submission. What's most impressive about the styling is that Audi achieves the look not by throwing together a bunch of sharp angles, but by utilizing a "soft curvature of the hood and roof [that is] drawn together in one sweeping arc," as Kelley Blue Book describes it. They go on to declare that the Audi R8 is completely unique and "styled unlike anything else on the road, with sweeping arcs and muscular lines that are more suited to a concept car than a road-going one." In terms of distinctions between the V-8 and V-10 models, Automobile Magazine reports that the V-10s get "flared sideblades, extended sills, a larger rear diffuser, standard LED headlamps...and more chrome for the single-frame grille." The sideblades are one of the Audi R8's most distinguishing features, but Cars.com points out that they're more than simply aesthetic-they serve to "route air to the engine," which is situated behind the driver. The new 2010 Audi R8 simply appears so damn cool that Kelley Blue Book feels it "might not look out of place in the year 2109."
Audi began designing the R8 with the intention of making it a feasible as a daily driver, and reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that they've succeeded in creating a comfortable cockpit. Kelley Blue Book says "the controls couldn't be easier to reach and operate," and while Automobile considers the cabin to be "somewhat overstyled," ConsumerGuide appreciates that the "dashboard design mimics that of other Audis." The interior isn't without its flaws, however, as ConsumerGuide points out that the "CD changer mounts above the center floor tunnel just behind the seats," an awkward position no matter how flexible you may be. There are few interior differences between the two versions of the 2010 R8; Edmunds asserts that the only real change is the fact that "the top of the gearshift knob, speedo and tachometer also come etched with a red accent circle."
Although its low silhouette and angular sideblades give the 2010 Audi R8 a bit of a stealth appearance, this isn't the kind of car that you can drive without attracting some serious attention.