AUDI R8 V10 PERFORMANCE RWD
TWO YEARS AGO THE REAR-DRIVE R8 FAILED TO make it beyond an ecoty elimination round at Anglesey Circuit, but since then Audi’s first and only supercar has been through its final update before it departs this world.
Those updates included a simplifying of the line-up, leaving just the range-topping Performance quattro and Performance RWD on sale, the latter benefitting from modest 29bhp power and 8lb ft torque hikes over the nonperformance RWD, taking the totals to 562bhp and 406lb ft.
That’s still some way off the 602bhp of its Italian cousin, the Huracán Evo RWD, but the R8 has never been about chasing headline power, and with the standard 19-inch wheels it’s a night-and-day improvement over an example fitted with optional 20-inch rims. The fixed-rate dampers and steel springs work better with a taller sidewall and lower unsprung mass, the result an additional suppleness that allows the car to breathe more cleanly with the surface, adding clarity to the messages it sends back.
Earlier this year, against the new Corvette C8 and Porsche’s Cayman GTS (evo 303), the R8 was a match for the Vette’s brawny character thanks to its intoxicating V10, exotic looks and more sophisticated dynamics that indulge you more of the time. Against the Porsche it showed it had an almost equal level of dynamic polish, and what it lacked in ultimate gloss it made up for with personality.
In this year’s ecoty company it might look out of its depth, especially considering the mid-engined rivals it will face, but the R8’s quality has been there from the outset and even as its days draw to a close, don’t bet against it being up for one last fight.
‘IT HAS THE ABILITY TO DELIVER THOSE GOLDEN MOMENTS THAT TRANSCEND MERE DRIVING’ – ADAM TOWLER, EVO 303