2022 Audi R8

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor
May 6, 2021

Buying tip

Save $50,000 and go for the slightly less powerful R8 Performance RWD.

features & specs

V10 performance RWD
V10 performance quattro
V10 performance RWD
MPG
14 city / 23 hwy
MPG
13 city / 19 hwy
MPG
Coming Soon
MSRP
$148,700
MSRP
$199,800
MSRP
$160,900

Fast, elegant, and track-worthy, the 2022 Audi R8 is a supercar for all occasions.

What kind of car is the 2022 Audi R8? What does it compare to?

A V-10-powered mid-engine supercar, the Audi R8 is a dying breed. Based on the Lamborghini Huracán, the R8 comes as a coupe or roadster, both of which deliver beautiful looks to go with thrilling handling and acceleration. The R8 competes against rivals such as the Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Nissan GT-R, and Porsche 911.

Is the 2022 Audi R8 a good car?

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The R8 is a wonderful supercar with a price that is out of reach for most buyers. It sports elegant looks that are almost restrained for a mid-engine sports car and it performs well on both the road and the track. We rate it a 5.8 out of 10 overall. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Audi R8?

The rear-wheel-drive R8 introduced last year becomes the R8 Performance RWD and gets a power increase from 532 to 562 hp and 398 to 406 lb-ft of torque. Audi is also offering two packages for the new model. A Sport exhaust package has a sport exhaust with black tips and performance driving modes, while the Dynamic package has carbon-ceramic brakes, unique wheels, and racing shell seats upholstered in nappa leather. 

The R8’s mid-engine design has a serious but elegant look. The cab-forward stance creates good sight lines from the driver seat and the wide rear haunches are highlighted by signature black side blades that double as air intakes. Inside, the R8 has a simple design so oriented around the driver that there’s no center screen, just a digital instrument cluster that also handles infotainment.

An aluminum and carbon-fiber tub along with the mid-engine design give the R8 strong bones. It adds up to great weight balance for crisp, track-ready handling and sudden, thrilling acceleration. The quick steering provides wonderful feedback, and the ride isn’t too firm to drive the car on a regular basis. 

That platform makes room for a 5.2-liter V-10 behind the driver teamed with a quick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle. In its base form, the V-10 makes 562 hp and at the top end it spins out 602 hp. Both versions sing a deep, throaty tune that is one of the delights of owning an R8. Fuel economy isn’t one of those delights as the R8 gets just 17 mpg combined, or 16 mpg with all-wheel drive.

How much does the 2021 Audi R8 cost?

The 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD coupe starts at $147,995. That includes such features as nappa upholstery, heated power seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and summer tires on 20-inch alloy wheels. While the 2022 Audi R8 has front and rear parking sensors, it lacks important active safety features like automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. Pricing ranges past $200,000 for the R8 V10 Performance roadster.

Where is the Audi R8 made?

The R8 is built in Germany.

9

2022 Audi R8

Styling

The 2022 Audi R8 balances supercar sportiness with Audi elegance.

Is the Audi R8 a good-looking car

The Audi R8 combines the low, lean look of a mid-engine supercar with elegant strokes of Audi styling. It’s pretty but sinister, sporty yet luxurious. We rate it a 9 for its outstanding design inside and out. 

The mid-engine cues are obvious. The R8’s cabin is pushed forward, which creates a short hood that angles down and away to open up unobstructed forward vision. Large air intakes along the sides get a signature blade design that has always been part of the R8’s appeal, and they sit in front of massive 305/30R20 rear tires. The roof stretches back to a blunt rear deck on the coupe, while the roadster’s cloth top angles down to a rear deck that rises to meet it. 

The details include a trapezoidal honeycomb grille, large air ducts, and squinting headlights up front, and honeycomb mesh and a carbon-fiber spoiler at the rear that’s either fixed or electronically controlled.

Inside, the R8 is simple and attractive. The controls, screen, and dash are all focused on the driver. The instrument panel serves as the center screen, and the dash presents the controls to the driver for easy use, then falls away toward the front passenger, though the climate controls are accessible from both seating positions.

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9

2022 Audi R8

Performance

The 2022 Audi R8 offers supercar thrills with an everyday ride.

The Audi R8 delivers the tenacious grip of a mid-engine car, the boisterous power of a V-10, track-ready handling, and good steering feel. That earns it a 9 for performance. 

Is the Audi R8 AWD?

Audi offers the 2022 R8 with rear- or all-wheel drive.

How fast is the Audi R8?

The mid-engine body style is a boon to the R8’s performance. It puts the power to the pavement well, even with rear-wheel drive, and contributes to agile, neutral handling with a hint of understeer. Set low, the R8 stays flat in corners, and responds well to the quick, direct steering. Track capability is baked into all R8s, and the available carbon-ceramic brakes make this Lamborghini-based mid-engine supercar even more capable of withstanding track temperatures. 

The V-10 is powerful in both forms. It’s new base version in RWD models makes 562 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, increases of 30 and 8, respectively. Last year’s RWD model had a 3.6-second 0-60 mph time, so this year’s is likely 3.5 seconds. All-wheel drive R8s make 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. They hit 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and run to a top speed of 204 mph. The days of the deep thrum of the V-10 will soon end, so we should enjoy them now. 

The V-10 works through a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle that shifts quickly and delivers the correct gear for the situation, be it road or track, with the appropriate drive mode. 

The R8 works as an everyday supercar, too. It’s ride is firm but it doesn’t beat up occupants.

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3

2022 Audi R8

Comfort & Quality

The 2022 Audi R8 offers a fun, upscale environment for two and only two.

The Audi R8 has two supportive seats and fine finishes, but it lacks a back seat, has little cargo storage, seats only two, and even lacks interior storage. We rate it a 3 for comfort and quality. 

Audi builds the R8 around the driver without much consideration for the passenger. That’s OK. It’s the driver who’s in charge of up to 602 hp. All the controls are canted toward the driver, and the R8 lacks a traditional center screen. Instead it uses a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the driver. 

The two passengers have plenty of space, and we like the feel and assembly of the leather upholstery and the carbon-fiber and aluminum trim. However, the R8 can’t even be used as a grand tourer with its tiny 4.0 cubic foot frunk, and its minimal interior storage.

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2022 Audi R8

Safety

The crash-test agencies haven’t crashed the Audi R8, and neither should owners.

How safe is the Audi R8

The R8 sells in volumes too low to warrant crash tests and it lacks today’s ubiquitous active safety features. Without crash tests, we don’t rate it. 

We view automatic emergency braking as a must-have safety feature and the R8 lacks it. It also lacks every other active safety feature, offering only front and rear parking sensors as a notable safety extra.

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5

2022 Audi R8

Features

The Audi R8 is equipped with a healthy dose of comfort and performance goodies.

The R8 is a well-appointed supercar that offers some everyday driveability. We rate it a 5 for features in recognition of both its generous standard equipment and its out-of-reach price.  

The R8 is available in coupe and roadster body styles, each offered in R8 V10 Performance RWD and the more expensive R8 V10 Performance models.

While 2022 equipment isn’t yet available, we expect it to follow the 2021 R8. That would mean the $147,995 R8 V10 Performance RWD coupe will come standard with heated 18-way power-adjustable seats, nappa leather upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a power retractable rear spoiler, and 20-inch alloy wheels with summer tires. 

Which Audi R8 should I buy?

The additional horsepower for the 2022 model year just makes the R8 V10 Performance RWD an even better buy compared to the much more expensive all-wheel-drive R8 V-10 Performance.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Audi R8?

The 2022 R8 V10 Performance coupe runs a hair shy of $200,000 at $199,095 and the roadster tops that figure at $212,795. Both body styles have all-wheel-drive, the 602-hp version of the V-10, carbon-ceramic brakes, a performance suspension tune, a sport exhaust, racing shell seats, and a carbon-fiber fixed rear spoiler.

Every R8 comes with Audi’s 4-year/50,000-miles warranty, which covers the whole vehicle.

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3

2022 Audi R8

Fuel Economy

With V-10 power, the 2022 Audi R8 is built more to drink fuel than preserve it.

Is the Audi R8 good on gas?

An old-school supercar with a naturally aspirated V-10, the Audi R8 guzzles gas. Our 3 rating is based on EPA ratings for the 2021 RWD model of 14 mpg city, 23 highway, 17 overall. All-wheel drive cuts the ratings slightly to 13/20/16 mpg. We’ll update this report when 2022 ratings become available.

Review continues below
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$148,700
MSRP based on V10 performance RWD
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5.8
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9
Performance 9
Comfort & Quality 3
Safety N/A
Features 5
Fuel Economy 3
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