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2008 Audi R8 Base 2dr Coupe Man quattro

2008 Audi R8
Trim Info:
All-Wheel Drive, 2 Door Coupe, Compact
13 mpg city / 18 mpg hwy
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Expert Reviews

September 22, 2009 by Brian Alexander, Content Editor

2008 Audi R8 1
2008 Audi R8

DriverSide Overview
Supercars are famous for being a lot like exotic snakes – if you’ve got enough cash you can own one, but you do so at your own risk. In either case, if you lose control for just a split second, you are going to get bit; though unfortunately no anti-venom in the world can quell the humiliation and financial ruin of a totaled supercar. Or at least that’s how it used to be, until the advent of the Audi R8. Named after Audi’s five-time Le Mans winning prototype, the R8 may go down as the world’s first truly forgiving supercar. Its mid-engine balance and Quattro all-wheel drive make the relentlessly fast and immensely capable R8 astonishingly easy to drive at speed. Don’t go thinking it doesn’t have a personality though, because with a snarling V-8 soundtrack, LED-outlined headlamps and carbon fiber ‘sideblades,’ the R8 has all the subtlety of a tactical nuke. Inside, drivers enjoy typically stellar Audi build quality, not to mention the sound of that mid-mounted engine cranking away. Certainly people will find a way to wreck even this most tolerant of land rockets, but with such impeccable balance, grip and agility, they’re going to have to kick this snake pretty hard before it bites back.





What's to Like
This car doesn’t go unnoticed – it’s pretty much like driving around in the Millennium Falcon, though a Chewbacca-esque presence is purely contingent on who you choose as your passenger. Rampant acceleration, insane grip and controlled poise are coupled with a comfortable cabin to create a truly usable performance machine. Did we mention how awesome it looks?

What's Not to Like
The price of exclusivity is high, and the R8 is no exception – expect big, big car payments. Cargo space is there, but in no way is it overwhelming. The R tronic automatic sequential transmission can be somewhat bothersome on hills, as it engages the clutch much like traditional manual transmission and is therefore prone to stalls, or at the very least, doesn’t seem completely controllable.

The Drive:
DriverSide Driving Impressions

Driving the R8 is about as blissful as it gets. Audi’s high-revving 4.2-liter V-8 – basically the same engine first introduced to us in the ballistic RS4 – provides astonishing thrust, especially once it hits its stride above 5,000 rpm. Like a good pair of running shoes, the R8’s helm keeps you well informed of what’s happening on the asphalt. The impeccable balance provided by the engine’s placement amidships allows the R8 to change direction with remarkable speed and composure. Quattro all-wheel drive provides prodigious grip, constantly taunting you to try and push the car beyond its limits. Rest assured that if you do – and it takes a lot of effort to do so – the Quattro system will gather things up quickly and without incident.

Engine and Drivetrain
Audi’s 4.2-liter all-aluminum V-8 makes its way into the R8’s engine bay with minor alterations since its debut in the RS4. With an 8,000 rpm redline, the engine likes to be revved into the stratosphere, producing 420 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 317 lb-ft of torque between 4,500 rpm and 6,000 rpm. Power is driven to all-four wheels, with torque biased rearward at a maximum split of 35/65 and both a six-speed manual gearbox and six-speed automatic sequential ‘box are available.

Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Being a flagship model, the R8 comes light on options. Those looking for an automatic gearbox may be somewhat shocked to find out the R tronic sequential will set them back $9,000, though we do have to say the paddle-activated, rev-matched downshifts rank pretty high on the awesomeness-to-price scale. Other options include a premium package, various leather upholstery packages, navigation, alcantara headliner, alternate ‘sideblade’ colors and a Bang and Olufsen 12-speaker sound system, though we’d say blaring out that glorious V-8 soundtrack with talk radio is tantamount to heresy.

Key Technology Evaluation
As you’d probably have guessed looking at it, the R8 isn’t a vehicle that skimps on technological flair. Audi’s magnetic ride suspension works much like Ferrari’s Manettino system and has the ability to stiffen the suspension at the push of a button by altering the stiffness of the shocks via magnetic charge. The system varies the damping of the suspension through turns, working to eliminate body roll and dive under braking. Bi-xenon headlamps with LED surrounds show off the R8’s futuristic predisposition outside, as does the LED-lit engine compartment.

Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
With its 8,000 rpm V-8 powerplant, the R8 is pretty much the genetic opposite of a Toyota Prius. While the engine’s emissions are rated at LEV-II, its fuel economy returns certainly fit the supercar bill, with the manual R8 achieving 13 mpg city and 19 mpg highway, and the automatic coming in at a slightly better 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway.

A Closer Look:  Vehicle Details
Interior

While the interior of the R8 is simple, it maintains the air of refinement Audi is famous for crafting. The roofline is actually relatively high so the cabin isn’t claustrophobic, and the tools of the road – steering wheel, gauges and gear lever – dominate the driver’s view. The seats are very comfortable and well bolstered, making long stints behind the wheel enjoyably painless.

Exterior
One look at the R8 is all it takes. Its completely 21st century design will have passersby gawking wherever you drive. The carbon fiber ‘sideblades’ are particularly distinct when speced as a different color than the body. Other drivers constantly fixate on the R8’s unorthodox shape as you pass by them. Freeway stalkers are a common occurrence, and don’t be surprised if you’re pulled over for doing the speed limit; the cop just wants to get a better look at the car.

Market Segment and Pricing
With a base MSRP of $109,000, the R8 keeps itself in good company, going directly up against some of the best in the business, such as the Porsche 911 GT3, Maserati GranTurismo and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, all of which are priced within a few thousand dollars of each other. While the mid-engine R8 is quite different from the Aston and Maser, we won’t be surprised if the Audi’s style and superb drive manage to steal away some potential buyers.

What We Think
The Audi R8 has certainly raised the bar for carmakers the world over. Its driving precision dissects the road with the aptitude of a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon, making the driving dynamics of other V-8 performance cars feel like trying to perform an operation with a filet knife. The fact that Audi has managed to create such a usable, forgiving mid-engine supercar on its first try is immensely impressive. Like its Le Mans predecessor, the Audi R8 is, without a doubt, a legend in the making.



Other Resources

Audi R8 Crashes In Portugal, Old Luxury Takes Vengeance [R8-Spotting] – We'd heard "Old Luxury" was pretty pissed over that whole turf war with Audi over luxury buyers since the Super Bowl. You remember, right? Yeah you do -- that was when the Audi R8 dropped the horse head faux Bentley grille into "Old Luxury's" bed. We Source: feeds.gawker.com

Forbes Autos Review – Forbes autos review Source: www.forbesautos.com

Automobile Magazine Review – Automobile Magazine Review Source: www.automobilemag.com

Car and Driver Review – Car and Driver Review Source: www.caranddriver.com

Did we say 50/50? Audi R8 V12 TDI not coming, 4.2 V8 TDI instead – Filed under: Concept Cars, Sports/GTs, Euro, Supercars, AudiClick above for high-res gallery of the R8 V12 TDI Le Mans When we heard that there was a 50/50 chance Audi would be offering a production version of its R8 V12 TDI LeMans concept, our inter Source: feeds.autoblog.com

2008 Audi R8 Quattro R tronic: – OUR TAKE: The gawker factor is pretty high, so new is Audi to this segment. And like the design, the driving experience is both unique and subdued. It's a fast car, to be sure, but it's not a pulse-racer. Source: www.autoweek.com

Audi RS8 will get turbo V10 – They told us it would never happen, but it now seems that, contrary to earlier reports from senior Audi bosses, next year’s even hotter R8, the RS8, will get the same twin-turbocharged, 572bhp V10 as the RS6 super-saloon. Source: www.autocar.co.uk

Best new cars of 2008 – Best new cars of 2008 Source: cars.about.com

Impressive compression: Driving Audi's R8 diesel – Okay, so it was only a couple of laps on an old airport runway (near the famed Sebring track in Florida) in a one-of-a-kind concept car that would get us fired or killed--or worse--if we wrecked it. Source: www.autoweek.com

Audi going to full LED lighting on the R8 for just $5,600 – Filed under: Emerging Technologies, MPG, AudiIn the ongoing effort to improve fuel efficiency on vehicles, automakers are looking for ways to reduce parasitic losses that absorb power from the engine rather than sending it to the drive wheels. That m Source: feeds.feedburner.com

First Full LED Headlight for the Audi R8 - Web Exlusive – First Full LED Headlight for the Audi R8 - Web ExlusiveFrom today, the range of equipment available for the Audi R8 now also includes the first full-LED headlamp. In addition to the daytime running light, which now features 24 LEDs per headlamp, ligh Source: www.eurotuner.com

Supercharged Audi R8 For The Impatient [Tuners] – Do you want an R8, but need it to have more power than the standard 4.2-liter V8's 420 HP? Well, you could sit around waiting for Audi to bring out the V10-powered model. Or you could try to swipe the V12 TDI concept. But, if you don't feel like wait Source: feeds.gawker.com

Audi Rents Out the 'Ring: V10 R8 – What we have here is just another Audi R8 taking laps around the Nürburgring, except there's something different about this one. Notice the two slats in the lower grills compared to the current R8's three . And the side intakes seem to be a litt Source: forums.motivemag.com

Audi R8 debuts as DTM safety car – Filed under: Motorsports, Sports/GTs, Euro, Supercars, AudiClick for hi-res gallery of the Audi R8 DTM safety car Audi has announced that its superlative R8 sportscar will serve as the safety car for the ever-popular DTM touring car championship, hav Source: feeds.feedburner.com

2008 APR Audi R8 - Early Riser – 2008 APR Audi R8 - Early RiserJune 18, 2000. Audi's R8 racecar crosses the finish line first at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, an accomplishment it will repeat four more times over the next five years. Unbeknownst to the motoring public at large, Audi Spor Source: www.europeancarweb.com

Audi R8 vs. Corvette LS3 "Super Lap" – WebRidesTv.com's Super Lap pits 2008 Corvette LS3 against a 2008 Audi R8. At almost half the price and a similar 0-60 time, can the 'Vette hold its own against the Audi?<br><br> Written by Larry Harvey Directed by Greg Harvey Vehicle tel Source: feeds.feedburner.com

Audi Forums – Interact with the Audi community. Source: www.audiforums.com

Fourtitude – Audi fan site. Source: www.fourtitude.com

Audi Plans To Reclaim The Ring With V10 R8 – It seems like everyone’s gunning for the ZR1’s spot at the top of the Nurburgring heap, including Audi. The company has let it slip that the new V10 variant of the R8 will set a lap time lower than the now legendary ZR1 once complete. Along with Source: www.autofiends.com

Chrysler Leases, Wald Bisson C-Class, Gumpert Apollo, BMW M6 CSL, Audi R8 V10 - 07/28/2008 – Chrysler leaves the lease business, a German tuner goes ballistic and the rumor mill heats up for BMW and Audi. Hosted by Derek DeAngelis. Visit http://feed.fastlanedaily.com and vote for what you want in the show! Source: www.fastlanedaily.com

Comparison: 2008 Audi R8 - America's Best Handling Car Contender Video – The first contender in our Best Handling Car competition is Audi's mid-engine supercar, the 420-hp R8.... Source: www.motortrend.com

R8 racer – So this is the fastest Audi that Audi does. Do you want a go? We sure do Source: rss.feedsportal.com

Audi R8 Track Star, BMW M3 CSL, Honda NSX - 08/27/2008 – Audi goes racing, BMW dashes hopes and Honda preps a new supercar. Hosted by Derek DeAngelis. Visit http://feed.fastlanedaily.com and vote for what you want in the show! Source: www.fastlanedaily.com

Rent an R8 for $8,000 per day... not including the flight to Tokyo – Filed under: Coupes, Sports/GTs, Etc., Japan, Marketing/Advertising, Supercars, Audi, LifestyleThe Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong bought 13 Rolls-Royce Phantoms for shuttling guests around the city. The Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo has purchased just one c Source: feeds.feedburner.com

V12 TDI Audi R8 Ainâ��t Happeninâ�� – Here’s a crushing blow to oil-burning Fiends everywhere. Audi has announced that wedging the super potent, 500 or so horse, 750 lb-ft of bone-breaking torque V12 TDI is just too much of a pain to follow through with. Why you ask? It’s not so muc Source: www.autofiends.com

MTM Audi R8, F1 the way we like it and the new Mustang is spotted - Fast Lane Daily - 10Sept08 – A German Tweaker tunes the R8, F1 gives us geek seizures and a new Mustang shows up looking small. Hosted by Derek DeAngelis. Submit your stories to the feed @ http://fastlanedaily.com/feed/ we'll feature them in the show! Source: www.fastlanedaily.com

MTM supercharges the Audi R8 – Filed under: Aftermarket, Tuners, Supercars, AudiClick above for a gallery of high-res images MTM has been adding horsepower to Audis for more than 20 years, and they have put that experience into developing a new twin-screw supercharger system that Source: feeds.feedburner.com

Audi R8 V10 and Spyder versions to be scarce and dear – Filed under: Car Buying, Convertibles, Sports/GTs, Plants/Manufacturing, Supercars, Audi Click above for high-res gallery of the Audi R8 Word has it there is an eight-month waiting list for the Audi R8 in the car's home market of Germany. Here in the Source: feeds.feedburner.com

PPI Razor GTR: Donâ��t Call it an Audi R8 – It’s always interesting when the real deal emerges from the renderings. If you haven’t seen (or read) The Golden Compass this next joke won’t be nearly as funny. Armor Dolphin. Some will argue that even if you have seen the kiddie Source: www.autofiends.com

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