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Road Test: Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro 2dr R Tronic (2009-2012)

£113,345 when new
Road test score

Car specifications

Brake horsepower
Fuel consumption
0–62 mph
Max speed
Insurance Group


Audi hasn’t transformed the R8 by adding a pair of cylinders. Not like Porsche transforms the 911 by adding a pair of turbos anyway. No, the R8 V10 is basically an R8 V8 that’s faster, a little grippier, and better equipped.

Which means it’s the perfect everyday-use supercar. A Gallardo (with which the Audi shares an engine) is too noisy to be more than a special-occasions car. And if ‘everyday’ includes the British winter, well you won’t want to be getting by on 2WD.

The 525bhp engine has an astonishing spread of power, pulling hard from low in the rev range and getting pregressively and implausibly stronger all the way to an 8,700rpm red-line.

And the magical, predictable, transparent handling of the V8 car isn’t messed up by the extra power. This is a car that always seems to be on your side.

The launch price looks high, but at least it doesn’t need any extras. The R Tronic and the carbon-ceramic brakes are both a waste of money unless you want to do track days. And actually this isn’t a track-day car.

It’s too civilised for that.

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