Get to Know Your Audi
The Audi R8 is far beyond any other vehicle that Audi produces and has beat out incredible models from Porsche, Aston Martin, and Lamborghini.
The R8, which first appeared in 2003 at the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows, was based on the Audi Le Mans quattro concept car. After much fanfare, the road car was released in 2006. The R8 is designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi Sport GmbH, a subsidiary of Audi that focuses solely on high-performance vehicles.
Each Audi R8 is meticulously crafted: for each car, 70 workers fit 5,000 parts by hand. The factory produces an average of just 8 to 15 cars a day, so when you have an R8, you own a true masterpiece.
Thus far, the R8 has had two generations. The first generation, the Type 42, was in production from 2006 to 2015 and was based on the Lamborghini Gallardo body style.
The original models of the R8 quattro were the 4.2 FSI and 5.2 FSI. The 4.2 FSI, also known as the Audi R8 V8 quattro, originally had a V8 engine, while the 5.2 FSI came with a V10 engine. The V10 coupe boasts a top speed of 196 mph.
A few years later, Audi released the convertible versions, the R8 Spyders. The 5.2 Quattro Spyder was released at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show; the Audi R8 V10 Spyder had the same 5.2-liter V10 engine as the original coupé did. Two years later, Audi announced their V8 Spyder, completing the original R8 range.
The R8 GT was released in 2011 as a higher-performance model of the R8 V10, with a top speed of 199 mph (3 mph faster than the original) and an acceleration of 0 to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds. It was called the best handling road car available by six-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx, and only 333 of these cars were produced worldwide.
The last model in Audi’s first generation was the R8 GT Spyder, the convertible version of their GT. They also only made 333 of these cars and only 50 were sold in the US, making it an extremely rare and valuable vehicle.
The second generation of the R8, the Type 4S, extends from 2015 to the present. This generation was shares the platform and engine of the Lamborghini Huracán, but was designed without a manual transmission. It also has luxury features like a backup camera, navigation system, and gets about 11 mpg city, 20 highway.
The first models of the second generation were the base model R8 Coupé V10 5.2 FSI and the high-performance R8 V10 Plus Coupé. A year later, they introduced the R8 Spyder, and there are now two second-generation R8 Spyders: the standard V10 engine and the V10 Plus Spyder.
In 2017, Audi unveiled the rear-wheel drive Audi R8 RWS. A departure from the all-wheel drive (AWD) of past R8 models, the RWS is over 100 pounds lighter, making it an even faster option for R8 devotees. Plus, RWD is known for its better fuel economy.
2019 brought the release of the R8 V10 Performance Decennium. This 222-car run celebrates 10 years of the 5.2-liter FSI engine. With a phantom black pearl effect on the outside with a black interior, leather seats, and smooth steering wheel, the Decennium will be the new car to have—you just have to sell your used Audi R8 first.
If you’d like more information before making a decision, be sure to check out our Complete How-To Sell Your Exotic Car Guide and our in-depth research piece Leasing vs Owning.
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