2020 Audi R8 Spyder review: It never gets old

Major up or major down, the R8 is a looker.

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I have been lucky sufficient to drive quite substantially every single iteration of the Audi R8 considering that it hit the scene far more than a ten years in the past and all I can say is, it by no means receives previous. Do I skip the original V8/guide coupe? Heck yeah I do. Is this 2020 Spyder V10 Performance model an absolute peach? Heck yeah it is.


  • Highly effective, great-sounding V10 motor
  • Sharp dealing with chops
  • Quick to drive day to day
  • Virtual Cockpit tech is some of the very best

Really don’t Like

  • Styling tweaks really don’t boost the over-all layout
  • Lacks some driver-assistance characteristics

Tiny tweaks for 2020

The R8 acquired a handful of updates for 2020, most notably a handful of beauty modifications that I wait to contact upgrades. The minimal non-practical fangs on the sides of the fascia are styling for styling’s sake and all around back, the honeycomb mesh about the air stores spans the whole width of the car. I’m not genuinely a fan of either tweak, but I will say I appreciate the enormous exhaust pipes and the black badges are great, much too. Structure is of course subjective and hey, people today still quit and gawk at this matter when it drives by.

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit tech is the place you’ll locate all the infotainment functions and substantially like the R8 alone, VC is still a take care of just after all these yrs. Some people today complain about the absence of a central multimedia screen in the sprint, but that would eliminate the cockpit’s layout. You can handle Virtual Cockpit by way of buttons on the steering wheel, but there are redundant controls on the centre console, so your passenger can still screw with your songs selection even if they are unable to completely see the display screen.

The R8 is an uncomplicated car to expend time in it is much far more cozy than other supercars. The seats are supportive, there is certainly a lot of area for two adults and thanks to the minimal hood and sprint, you have a great perspective of what is actually in advance. All of the local climate controls are within just uncomplicated get to and are intuitive to function and the 2020 R8 has a wi-fi charging pad for your cellular phone in a cubby just in advance of the digital gear shifter.

This V10 is ten/ten

I are unable to say it sufficient, I appreciate Audi’s five.two-liter naturally aspirated V10. Mounted amidships and linked to a 7-velocity, dual-clutch computerized transmission, that significant, absolutely free-respiratory motor produces 602 horsepower and 413 pound-toes of torque in this Performance model. (Audi used to present a significantly less-powerful edition with 562 hp and 406 lb-ft, but that one’s going away just after the 2020 model year.) The rear-biased all-wheel-drive technique sends torque front and back as wanted and while I still give the pre-refresh, rear-wheel-drive R8 RWS the nod as the very best-dealing with edition of Audi’s supercar, you are unable to argue with the totally unflappable AWD prowess of Quattro.

The R8’s cabin is clean up and cozy.

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In no way lift off the throttle and the R8 will get to speeds earlier mentioned 200 mph. Strike it difficult off the line and this V10 Performance Spyder will hit 60 mph in three.three seconds, nevertheless Audi admits its acceleration information is considerably conservative. Numbers aside, launching the R8 is a blast — and very best experienced in the Spyder. That significant V10 is nestled right driving your ears and the louder it receives, the further you’ll dig into the throttle. This is Audi’s very best-sounding motor by a extensive shot.

I am going to usually keep the R8 was at its very best with a guide transmission, but supercar customers really don’t want to shift for them selves anymore and the S-Tronic computerized is genuinely pretty fantastic. You can transfer via the gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles, but they’re modest and not exactly enjoyable to use, nevertheless at least they’re produced of steel now in its place of plastic. Switching among Convenience and Dynamic modes alters the transmission mapping a little bit, nevertheless it is from time to time a minimal much too eager to drop a gear in the latter environment. Truthfully, just depart the powertrain in Vehicle for the very best encounter. Even when the motor is at a simmer, it is still a freaking 602-hp V10.

The V10 Performance can be optioned with a carbon-fiber sway bar that saves 4.4 kilos of excess weight, which you’ll by no means in fact see unless you might be the kind who likes to choose supercars to truck scales. A far more meaningful up grade for the 2020 R8 is the retuned variable-ratio steering technique, which is reported to have a far more progressive feel not compared with that of the aforementioned R8 RWS. The all-wheel-drive R8 is brief to flip in and offers an suitable amount of feedback. The steering is a minimal mild for my tastes in Convenience manner, but just operate the R8 in its Unique environment and you can have it default to the heavier Dynamic environment. There, I fixed it.

Fantastic car, great road, great temperature.

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Weirdly, the V10 Performance makes use of a fixed suspension set up in its place of the adaptive, magnetic-ride dampers used on the base R8. That is not a complaint, necessarily — the metal springs are gentle sufficient to provide a compliant ride about damaged city streets nevertheless they’re also business sufficient to present fantastic dealing with when you might be savoring a spirited drive. I feel like Audi could in all probability trick a handful of customers out of some extra money by presenting the adaptive dampers on the Performance car, but if the major-amount R8 is established up this beautifully from the get-go, why complicate items?

The daily supercar

All of this delivers me to what I have usually beloved most about the R8: It really feels like the very best definition of the “daily supercar,” as esoteric a segment as that may perhaps be. It really is beautifully pleased to just operate a handful of errands at gradual speeds or sit in website traffic on the freeway. (Which reminds me, adaptive cruise command would be a wonderful addition.) It is as cozy and techy as any other present day Audi, but has no hassle preserving up with the world’s finest athletics vehicles — some of which, really don’t forget about, have drastically greater rate tags than the 2020 R8 V10 Performance Coupe’s still-very-pricey $198,850 starting rate (which includes $1,250 for location and a $1,700 fuel guzzler tax). With a handful of essential options like the carbon fiber front spoiler, Bang & Olufsen sound technique, diamond-stitched seats, red brake calipers and far more, the 2020 R8 Spyder witnessed below expenditures $225,945, extra costs integrated.

On that note, substantially as I dig the Spyder encounter, I would be difficult pressed to choose it about the Coupe. In no way mind the $twelve,200 rate maximize for the privilege of going topless, I assume the R8 Coupe appears way cooler and you can see the motor via the glass rear window, which is sweet. Then all over again, all R8s are fantastic R8s. And they’re just as pleasurable now as they’ve at any time been.