2015 Audi R8 V10 Plus Coupe S Quick Take: The everyday super car
Many super cars are only fun to take out for a quick jaunt up your favorite road before going back in the garage until some free time comes along again. The 2015 Audi R8, on the other hand, is good for both cruising and running errands. Why you would run errands in a car with a base price of $182,500 is beyond comprehension for most people but then again, most can't afford a car with this price tag. For those who can, the Audi R8 offers the best of both worlds with its livable cabin and razor-sharp looks.
Everyday super car
It's no secret that the first-generation model is getting a little long in the tooth but it's still as comfortable and fun to drive as ever. That said, it's not at the cutting edge as it was when first introduced, and now the competition has rolled out later and greater offerings. The good news for Audi is that a second-generation R8 is on the way for 2016 and we fully expect it to be catapulted back to the front of the super car line. Some of the R8's features like the infotainment system are in need of a refresh (which the 2016 model promises to address) but the 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine that sits behind you is fine just the way it is.
Rated at 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, this V10 isn't much of a screamer but it will let out a baritone rumble upon start-up before lightening up a bit. An S-tronic seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission handles gear changes in the blink of an eye and is light years ahead of the single-clutch auto once used on the R8. Some super cars make their presence known wherever it goes with help from the engine note and while the R8 is no exception, it's easier to manage. On the highway, the engine is only heard when you step into the throttle and is a real treat when going through a tunnel. Making your way around town isn't as hard as it is in other super cars because it's relatively commonplace. People may snap a quick photo and be on their way. During our time with the R8, we took it to see a movie and up Pacific Coast Highway into Malibu. Ironically, we weren't the only ones to bring an R8 to the movies as an R8 Spyder was parked a few spaces down and we saw two others prowling the streets of Malibu.
Super car price
Then there's the price tag of our 2015 Audi R8 V10 Plus tester which rang out at a stout $196,500. On top of the base price, this model includes features like Sepang Blue pearl paint ($650), Diamond Stitch Full Leather Package ($6,000), a sport exhaust system ($2,500), a Bang & Olufsen sound system ($1,800), and an iPod cable ($100). A $1,700 fee for the gas guzzler tax and a $1,250 destination charge are also included. For those interested, the EPA rates the 2015 Audi R8 at 13 city/22 highway/16 mpg combined and estimates you'll spend $6,750 more in fuel costs over the course of five years. It's expected that the 2016 Audi R8 and its SpaceFrame technology will help to better these numbers.
We spent our time with the 2015 Audi R8 running some errands, parking it on a busy city street, and cruising up Pacific Coast Highway. Throughout its stay with us, we found the R8 rewarding to drive and yet, strangely lacking that intangible supercar aura that grabs you by the lapels. Perhaps that will be delivered in the second-gen R8 with its slew of upgrades and refreshes. Yet, the first-gen R8 still goes toe-to-toe with the best of them ever since it was introduced back in 2007.
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