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Audi R8: Buying guide and review (2007-2015)

Audi R8: Buying guide and review (2007-2015) Classic and Performance Car
Audi R8 Audi R8 Audi R8 Audi R8
The Audi R8 arrived on the motoring scene in 2007, and redefined the affordable supercar category. The usual Audi sports car recipe of front-mounted turbocharged engine and four-wheel drive was effective, but had not troubled the opposition much in terms of driving dynamics. Moments of genius such as the original Quattro and the B7 RS4 were few and far between, however with the introduction of the R8 that all changed. Here was a junior supercar which could not only match the class leaders but also beat them at their own game. 

Initially available with a dry sump version of the RS4’s 414bhp V8, the rear biased four-wheel drive system and mid-engined layout gave the Audi’s new player the handling and pace to back up its stunning looks. Audi gave the opposition a bit of time to regroup before releasing the 518bhp 5.2-litre V10, which took the fight to Ferrari and turbocharged Porsches. Being part of the VW group means that the R8 shares components with its more flamboyant Lamborghini Gallardo cousin, especially in V10 guise, as well as some of the best bits from the Audi performance parts bin.

The first generation R8 has done wonders for the Audi brand, a well-balanced chassis and a pair of great engines have allowed it to shake up the junior super car establishment. The R8’s mix of performance and affordability is still as relevant today as it was at its launch.
 
Which one to buy?
 
Available as a manual V8 at launch the R8 offerings swelled out to include a Lamborghini derived V10, a convertible and numerous limited edition models.

Most UK models were available with a manual gearbox as standard, and a six-speed R Tronic gearbox as an option. This R Tronic was criticised by some for its low speed jerkiness but came into its own when pressing on, but the 2012 face-lift saw the introduction of an improved seven-speed R-tronic gearbox, as well as some external and internal changes intended to freshen up the design. 

A number of limited edition models were sold such as the R8 GT which was a lighter more focussed R8 V10, as well as the R8 V10 Plus and LMX. These all featured ever increasing power outputs making sure to keep just a few horsepower below their Lamborghini stable mates. These are the ones to have if owning the ultimate first generation R8 is your aim.

Most people will automatically assume the V10 is the one to have, but the V8 is plenty fast enough accompanied by a satisfyingly deep exhaust note and while the V10 is appreciably faster in a straight line you would need a long empty stretch of road close to home to make the most of the extra power on a regular basis.

Optional ceramic brakes are worth having if you plan to do regular track days, otherwise the standard disc and brake setup is more than up to the job. The other option that is a must both on and off the track are the magnetic ride shock absorbers which improve ride comfort while keeping the car planted in the twisties.

Performance and specs

2008 Audi R8 V8 Coupe
Engine 4163cc, 32valve DOHC V8 
Power 414bhp @ 7800rpm 
Torque 317lb ft @ 4500-6000rpm
Top speed 187mph
0-62mph 4.6 seconds 
Fuel consumption 19.3 mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual/six- or seven-speed semi–automatic 
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2650mm
Length 4431mm
Width 1904mm
Height 1252mm
Weight 1560kg
 
Common problems

Parts are still widely available and while servicing charges are not the same as they would be for your A4 they are on the lower end of the scale in supercar terms. Reliability has been very good on the R8 and there are precious few issues to be concerned about.

• A recall was carried out on cars built between April 2009 and August 2011 for a fuel pipe that was located too close to a heat shield. Check that your car has had this checked out if it was built during this time frame.

• Servicing can be either time or mileage based, except on the GT models which have fixed service intervals. Avoid cars with patchy service histories as despite their inherent reliability, missed services can cause problems.

• Some owners have noted that second gear on manual cars can suffer from crunching synchros if the gearboxes have been abused. 

• V10 models tend to have higher running costs especially if the carbon ceramic brakes need replacing, not to mention the fuel consumption increase over the V8 cars.
 
Model history

2007: Audi R8 coupe launched. Initially available in coupe body style and 414bhp V8
2009: R8 V10 released. 5.2 litre V10 produces 525bhp. LED headlights, larger brakes and updated body styling differentiate the models
2010: R8 V10 Spyder introduced with same mechanicals as V10 coupe and soft top electronically folding roof. R8 GT launched featuring an uprated 552bhp V10 engine with a 100kg reduction in weight
2011: R8 V8 Spyder introduced with electronic soft top folding roof and a slightly uprated 428bhp V8. R8 GT Spyder launched with same mechanicals as R8 GT. R8 V8 limited edition for UK market introduced with 100 units built. Bespoke paint and trim options including R8 GT alloy wheels mark this model out
2012: Major facelift carried out on all R8 models with changes to LED headlights to all models, uprated 7 speed S Tronic gearbox and new bumpers and trim. R8 V10 plus model available in coupe body style featured uprated 542bhp V10 engine and model specific interior and exterior trim items.

Most UK face-lifted models were 2013 cars with orders being taken from mid 2012. Limited edition R8 LMX V10 introduced with only 99 units built. Power was up to 562bhp and featured a first-for-Audi laser head lighting technology. Limited edition versions of V10 models built for Chinese and US markets
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.r8talk.com
• www.audiownersclub.com/forums
• www.audiownersclub.co.uk
 
Summary and prices

There is a huge range of cars to choose from, the recent release of the new R8 may have something to do with that, but the older generation cars are still in demand and residual values are generally excellent.
 
You won’t see much change from £40,000, even for one of the earliest V8 models. Mileages can be high in supercar terms, but this should not dissuade you from a well looked after example. V10 models start at £60,000 and R8 GTs are still around the £100,000 mark.
Whether you settle for an early V8 or the last of the line V10 Spyder, the first gen R8 is a great supercar with the looks to match. Throw in the practical aspects of reliability and reasonable running costs, and you can have your supercar cake and eat it.
 
Words: John Tallodi
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Last updated: 10th Dec 2015
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Audi R8 cars for sale

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Audi R8
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  • Audi R8 SPYDER V10 QUATTRO S TRONIC

    £85,000 £85,000

    Body: Convertible Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 8,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2014 (14) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 5.2 Finished in: ESTORIL BLUE WITH BLACK MILANO LEATHER 19" alloys

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 8000 mi
    For sale
    Quirks Car Company
  • Audi R8

    £75,995 £75,995

    Variant name:Spyder Convertible quattro 2Dr ,Variant: Spyder Convertible quattro 4.2FSi V8 430 EU5 STron Auto7 2014 '14' reg with 7,449 miles Phantom Black with Black Quilted Leather and Silver Contrast Stitching, S-Tronic Paddleshift Gearbox, Audi MMI with Navigation, Bluetooth Phone Preparation and USB Interface, Bang & Olufssen Surround Sound System, Audi Parking System with Front and Rear Sensors and Pictogram in Nav Screen, Electric Seats with Lumbar Support, Heated Seats, Carbon Fibre Driving Zone including Door Handles, Centre Console, Binnacle Surround, Silver Engine Cover Louvres. Full Audi Service History and Excellent Condition

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 7774 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £58,995 £58,995

    Variant name:Spyder ,Variant: 4.2 FSI Quattro R Tronic Finished in Ibis white with full black Nappa leather interior OPTIONAL FEATURES FITTED TO THIS CAR Bang and Olufsen premium sound system Satellite navigation plus Tyre pressure monitoring system Parking system advanced with reversing assist camera Voice dialog system Lighting pack Hill hold AMI Stainless steel pedals Auto dimming rear view mirror Wind deflector STANDARD FEATURES 19” 5 arm double spoke alloy wheels Bluetooth phone preparation Automatic Bi Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights Heated seats Electric adjustable seats Multi-function steering wheel Electric black hood This R8 Spyder is offered in superb condition and has covered 24500 miles. Car comes complete with a full Audi main dealer service history and the balance of Audis manufacturers warranty. Car due in, please call for details

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 24500 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8 V10 QUATTRO MAG RIDE

    £55,000 £55,000

    Body: Coupe Transmission: Semi-Automatic Mileage: 50,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2009 (09) Doors: 2 Engine Size: 5.2 Finished in: DAYTONA GREY METALLIC WITH PALE GREY LEATHER Cruise Control

    • Year: 2009
    • Mileage: 50000 mi
    For sale
  • AUDI R8 5.2 2013

    £75,995 £75,995

    We have pleasure in presenting this stunning example of this very rare and highly sought after Audi R8 V10 Plus Quattro Coupe. Covering only 8,100 miles. Full Audi service history. First service 09/10/2014 mileage 2819, second service 25/05/2015 mileage 3,631, third service 12/07/2016 mileage 7,816 .The car is finished in Phantom black Pearl effect /Carbon blades with Alcantara / pearl Napa Leather Sports seats with 19inch alloy wheels it looks absolutely stunning. The Flagship V10 Plus Audi has enhanced the standard V10 specification by providing standard carbon-ceramic brakes, revised front-suspension geometry, uprated springs and firmer passive dampers as standard for the Plus version. Various carbonfibre-reinforced plastic parts have substituted heavier ones. The car comes with a lovely standard specification including Ceramic brakes, Sat Navigation, Carbon fibre interior trim, LED lights and so much more. The car has been very well looked after and has only 2 previous owners from new. To include six months ultimate warranty, Finance available. For more information contact Nino Barresi 07768775391.

    • Mileage: 8100 mi
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £61,995 £61,995

    Variant name:Spyder ,Variant: 4.2 FSI quattro R Tronic Audi R8 4.2 quattro R Tronic Coupe finished in Brilliant Red. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, satellite navigation system - DVD-based, cruise control, navigation system Plus with MMI operating logic, Audi hill-hold assist, Audi music interface (ami), Audi parking system advanced, 19" '5-arm double-spoke' design alloy wheels in high-gloss, Audi magnetic ride, full leather package, tyre pressure monitoring system, voice dialogue system, light package and extended fine nappa leather package - black.

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 11472 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £79,995 £79,995

    Variant name:Coupe ,Variant: 4.2 FSI V8 Quattro S Tronic Finished in Ibis white with full black Nappa leather interior OPTIONAL FEATURES FITTED TO THIS CAR Black styling pack to include radiator grill frame, number plate surround and exhaust in Gloss black. Carbon Fibre sigma blades 19” 5 double spoke titanium finish alloy wheels Bang & Olufsen surround sound system S Tronic twin clutch transmission Audi park advanced with reversing camera Engine compartment lighting Electric adjustable seats 4 way lumber support Cruise control Auto dimming rear view mirror Tyre pressure monitoring 3 spoke multi function sport steering wheel Leather gear stick surround Stainless steel pedals and foot rest Auto dimming and folding exterior mirrors STANDARD FEATURES Satellite navigation Bluetooth connectivity Light and rain sensor Heated seats AMI (Audi music interface) Automatic LED headlights with daytime running lights This stunning 424bhp V8 R8 is offered in excellent condition and has only covered 13400 miles. Car comes complete with the benefit and reassurance of a full Audi main dealer service history and the balance of an Audi manufacturer warranty until October 2017.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 13400 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £129,990 £129,990

    Laser Headlamps, Bluetooth Media, Electric Seats, Parking Sensors, Parking Camera, Bang & Olufsen, Switchable Sports Exhaust, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Heated Seats, Cruise Control, Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Powerfold Door Mirrors, Start/Stop, DAB Radio, Keyless Entry, LED Headlamps, Driver Memory, VAT Qualifying, 4x4 Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic Automatic registered September 2016 finished in Suzuka Grey with Full Black Quilted Leather Seats, One Owner from New, VAT Qualifying, Interior Carbon Pack, Exterior Gloss Carbon Pack with Carbon Fibre Blades; Rear Wing, Lower Trim and Door Mirrors, Reversing Camera, Switchable Sports Exhaust, Electric Multicontour Heated Seats with Lumbar Support and Driver Seat Memory, Powerfold Heated Door Mirrors in Carbon Fibre, Keyless Entry and Go, Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Push Button Start and Paddleshift, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Bang & Olufsen Audio, LED Headlamps with Audi Laser Light including High-Beam Assist, 19 Inch 5-Arm Twin Spoke Alloys, Carbon Ceramic Brakes with Silver Callipers, Cruise Control, Start/Stop System with Regenerative Braking, DAB Radio, CD Player with Twin SD Car Reader, iPod Connectivity, USB, Advanced Bluetooth Media, Satellite Navigation System High, Garage Door Opener, Automatic Lights and Wipers, Not Yet Due a Service. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 3500 mi
    • Engine size: 5204
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £114,995 £114,995

    Variant name:Coupe Plus ,Derivative:Plus ,Variant: 5.2 FSI quattro Plus (610 PS) S Tronic Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro Plus 610 PS S Tronic Coupe finished in Floret Silver, metallic.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 3200 mi
    • Engine size: 5.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8 4.2 V8 Quattro

    POA POA

    Audi R8 4.2 V8 6 Speed Manual Coupe Registered July 2008 finished in Ibis White with White Blades, 19 Inch 5 Arm Double Spoke Alloys and Black Bembo Brake Calipers, Full Fine Black Nappa Leather Interior with Carbon Fibre Interior Trim, Magnetic Ride, Xenon Headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lights, Electric Heated Colour Coded Door Mirrors, Front and Rear Acoustic Parking System, Audi Navigation Plus with Colour Display, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Audi Music Interface, Bluetooth Phone Connectivity, 6 CD Changer, AUX IN, Heated Comfort Seats with Electric Lumbar Support, Electric Windows, Automatic Lights and Wipers, Automatic Climate Control, Leather Multi Function Steering Wheel, Anti Dazzle Mirrors, Electronic Differential Lock and Traction Control, Electronic Immobiliser and Alarm, Tracker, Full Service History. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome. Follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    • Year: 2008
    For sale
  • AUDI R8 2014 Auto 4200 Petrol Grey V8 QUATTRO

    £74,995 £74,995

    A TRULLY STUNNING EXAMPLE, OVER GBP 7000 OF EXTRAS, JUST RECENTLY SERVICED AT AUDI, VERY LOW MILEAGE, NOT ONE TO BE MISSED. THIS CAR COMES IN THE BEST COLOUR SCHEME WITH THE CARBON BLADES, IT REALLY IS A BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLE. THIS CAR HAS A FULL AUDI SERVICE HISTORY AND ALSO COMES WITH A TRACKER. PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO CALL IF THERE IS ANYTHING YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS OR ANY OF OUR OTHER CARS. VIEWINGS CAR BE ARRANGE AT EITHER OF OUR SUSSEX OR SURREY BRANCHES. PART EXCHANGE WELCOME, FULL DEALER FACILITIES AND FINANCE AVAILABLE.

    • Mileage: 4200 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £77,995 £77,995

    Variant name:V8 QUATTRO ,Derivative:MK1 FL (TYP 42) ,Variant: 4.2 V8 quattro S Tronic Audi R8 4.2 quattro S Tronic Coupe finished in Daytona Grey, pearl effect. Specification includes bang & olufsen sound system, satellite navigation system - DVD-based, cruise control, 19" '5-arm double-spoke' design alloy wheels in titanium fi, electronic climate control, Audi hill-hold assist, r8 3-spoke contoured flat-bottomed multifunction sports ste, Audi music interface (ami), heated seats, sports seats in fine nappa leather, Audi exclusive black styling package and electrically adjustable lumbar sup Concert RadioCarbon Sigma Fascia and Door Inlays

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 11933 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
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