Advertisement
BBC TopGear
BBC TopGear
Subscribe to Top Gear magazine
Sign up to our Top Gear Magazine
Subscribe
Advertisement

Interior

What is it like on the inside?

Back in 2007, this cabin was so ice-cool that if you’d climbed out of a Porsche 911 just before getting into the R8, you’d have combusted with jealousy. This car came just at the time Audi was hitting its stride with cabins, moving away from well-built but tediously grey cockpits to design of real modernity and style.

Early cars like this one will be showing their age but respectably so. This particular car’s done 53,000 miles. Its early life was spent as the UK press car and it was actually featured on Top Gear telly with Clarkson himself behind the steering wheel. It’s got a bit glossier since then.

Advertisement - Page continues below

Inside, there’s some patina – the plastic has worn on the steering wheel spokes around the volume knob, the leather seats are shinier than Donald Trump’s suits, and the bolsters sag like his jowels.

But there are no squeaks or rattles. The FM radio doesn’t crackle. The air con blows cold, the bum warmers are fiery and beneath a scratched-up alloy gearknob lies the first R8’s defining party piece: the open-gate manual, as precise and purposeful as the day it left the factory for a hard life of impressing journalists.

As the lofty Mr Clarkson opined on your tellybox, there’s loads of space in the R8, and it’s quiet enough to do distance at speed in comfort. The R8’s reputation as a practical supercar is well-deserved – this feels miles more liveable, not to mention less dated, than a Gallardo of the same vintage. That said, some folks will find the general similarity to other Audis, in the dials, the switchgear and general layout – a tad underwhelming. For those folks, we say, there’s always the Gallardo.

While we’re nitpicking, the MMI system is very behind-the-times now, you’ll need to keep an old iPod on standby if you want to listen to your own playlists, and the sat-nav is so behind the times there’ll be whole countries it’s not aware of. But you’ve got a smartphone for that, right?

Advertisement - Page continues below

Subscribe to the Top Gear Newsletter

Get all the latest news, reviews and exclusives, direct to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, you agree to receive news, promotions and offers by email from Top Gear and BBC Studios. Your information will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

BBC TopGear

Try BBC Top Gear Magazine

subscribe