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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
Audi R8 Audi R8 Audi R8 Audi R8
Last updated: 10th Dec 2015
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Audi R8
39948 127500 GBP
  • Audi R8

    £44,750 £44,750

    Variant: 4.2 FSI V8 R Tronic Quattro 2dr

    • Year: 2009
    • Mileage: 44210 mi
    For sale
    £44,750 £44,750
    John Clark-Motorchoice Edinburgh
    0131 341 5812 View contact number
  • Audi R8 5.2 V10 QUATTRO COUPE

    £79,950 £79,950

    Porcelain Audi Exclusive fine Nappa leather with black stitching, R8 Bucket sports seats, heated seats, extended leather, Alcantara diamond stitched headlining, dual zone climate control, 19in 10-spoke 'Y' Design alloy wheels, Red Brake Calipers, HDD satellite navigation plus, Bluetooth Telephone preparation, 6 CD changer, Bang & Olufsen Hi-Fi, AUX Input, Audi Magnetic ride, Quattro 4WD system, ESP with traction control, electric windows, electric heated folding mirrors, remote central locking and alarm, ABS, front and side airbags, auto-dim rear view mirror, leather 3 spoke multi-function steering wheel, 6 speed R Tronic gearbox, paddle shift controls, trip computer, parking aid front and rear, Xenon headlamps, headlamp wash, LED front lights, auto-headlamp function, Garage Door Opener, 2 owners from new, full Audi service history

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 13000 mi
    For sale
    £79,950 £79,950
  • Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro 19 inch Polished Y Spoke Alloys, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Reversing Camera, Bang & Olufsen Audio Heated Electric Seats, Stunning

    £67,900 £67,900

    Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is excited to offer for sale this outstanding Audi R8 V10 Coupe. This Immaculate example is finished in Brilliant Red with complimenting Crimson Fine Nappa Leather Upholstery and Oxygen Silver Sideblades. A superb specification includes 19" Upgrade Polished Y Spoke Alloy Wheels, Audi Parking System Advanced including Front and Rear Parking Sensors and Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth, Heated Electrically Adjustable Seats, Bang & Olufsen Audio, Audi Music Interface, Cruise Control, Xeon Headlights, LED Running Lights, Carbon Engine Cover, Autodimming Rear View Mirror, Floor Mats, Multi Function Flat Bottom Leather Steering Wheel and much more. Serviced at Truro Audi 06/13 and at Audi Aylesbury 02/14, and again in 10/15 and will be serviced again prior to delivery. Supplied with 2 keys, 2 tracker fobs and all original owners manuals and wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 10714 mi
    For sale
    £67,900 £67,900
  • Audi R8

    £58,990 £58,990

    Variant name:SPYDER V10 QUATTRO ,Derivative:MK1 (TYP 42) ,Variant: 2010 10 Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 V10 FSI Quattro R Tronic Just arrived in stock and available now this pristine example low mileage 10 reg Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 V10 FSI Quattro 525 BHP R Tronic 2 Door Sports & performance Convertible which has been fully maintained and cared for to the highest of standards by Audi and specialists and finished in Phantom Black Pearl Effect paint with matching black fine nappa leather upholstery which is the perfect colour combination optional extra specification, includes Audi parking system advanced, cruise control, Mobile phone prep, Garage door opener, Contrast stitching to fine Nappa leather with a total cost of £1990. Also includes 19" Diamond Turned Alloy wheels, Parking sensors, Audi R8 Multimedia Interface, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Bluetooth Technology, Heated Seats, Elec adjustable spoiler, Audi Quattro 4 wheel drive technology, Audi Magnetic Ride, DRL, Sports suspension and much more. Also benefits from an upgraded AKRAPOVIC twin full exhaust system which cost an extra £6042. Viewing is essential as we are extremely confident there is now better example supercar available on the market so call us now for more information as first to see will buy !

    • Year: 2010
    • Mileage: 36999 mi
    • Engine size: 5.2
    For sale
    £58,990 £58,990
  • AUDI R8 SPYDER 4.2 2012

    £57,993 £57,993

    RAC INSPECTED and APPROVED. Top Brand Cars Are Delighted To Offer This Stunning Massively Spec,d Audi R8 4.2 Spyder Presented in, 2 seats, Black, With Matching Full Black Leather Trim, The Spec Includes, Audi Parking System Advanced, Audi Music Interface With bang and olufsen Sound System, Audi Exclus. Leather Package, Alloy Wheels-19in 10-Spoke Y Design, Audi Parking System Plus, Standard Features - Satellite Navigation System - DVD - Based, Electronic Climate Control, Heated Front Seats, Drivers Information System (DIS), Anti - Theft Alarm, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface and Voice Control, Concert Radio with Front - Loading CD Player and MP3 File Compatibility with AUX - IN Socket, Feel Free To Contact Our Sales Team, VIEWING BY APPOINTMENT ONLY, Part Exchange Welcome, Finance Available, Debit And Credit Cards Taken,, WE ARE FSA APPROVED AND CAN OFFER NO DEPOSIT AND LOW RATE FINANCE, HP/PCP/LEASE PURCHASE

    • Mileage: 20500 mi
    • Engine size: 4.163
    For sale
    £57,993 £57,993
  • Audi R8

    £48,900 £48,900

    Variant name:Coupe ,Variant: 4.2 FSI Quattro, 19" Black Alloy Wheels, Carbon Sigma Side Blades, Satellite Navigation Plus, Multi Function Flat Bottom Leather Steering Wheel, Xenon Headlights, 2 x SD Slots, Full Service History. Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer for sale this beautifully presented Audi R8 4.2 Manual Coupe. Finished in Phantom Black with Full Luxor Beige Fine Nappa Leather Upholstery and Micrometallic Grey Inlays. This vehicle comes with a great specification to include, 19" Black Alloy Wheels, Carbon Sigma Side Blades, Satellite Navigation Plus, Multi Function Flat Bottom Leather Steering Wheel, Xenon Headlights with Power Wash and LED Daytime Running Lights, 2 x SD Slots, AUX and much more. This stunning example also comes with a full service history completed by Audi on 23/11/11 5954 miles, 21/12/12 at 8152 miles, 05/03/14 at 15280 miles, 01/05/15 at 25186 miles and 28/04/16 at 32091 miles then just serviced by ourselves on 06/11/17 at 43365 miles. Supplied with 2 keys and all its original owners manuals and Wallet. John Holland was established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the UK so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standards.

    • Year: 2010
    • Mileage: 43370 mi
    • Engine size: 4.2
    For sale
    £48,900 £48,900
  • Audi R8

    £39,989 £39,989

    Sat Nav, Rear View Camera, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Electric Seats with Lumbar, Multi CD, Bang & Olufsen Sound, Xenon Headlamps, Advanced Park Distance Control, Multi Function Steering Wheel inc Gear Shift Paddles and 19" 5 Spoke Diamond Cut and Anthracite Alloys. Full Service History. www.imperials.co.uk ------ Please call us to Confirm which of our 3 Essex Showrooms your desired vehicle is located at before travelling to see us, Everyone of Our Cars Goes Through Our In House Work Shop Prior to Sale by Our Fully Qualified and Experienced Technicians - Buy with Confidence, For up to 20 images of this vehicle and an Instant Finance Quote please view www.imperials.co.uk, For Out of Office Hours Enquiries please call Jim 07811 208138 and he will be happy to help, We are also good buyers of all prestige, Sports and 4x4 vehicles so why not give us a call for a price on yours, Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, Thank You, www.imperials.co.uk

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 52000 mi
    For sale
    £39,989 £39,989
  • Audi R8

    £62,989 £62,989

    ABT Engine Performance ReMap and Exhaust Upgrade Increasing BHP to circa 600 BHP from a Standard 525bhp, Improving Performance figures to 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and a Top Speed of 201mph. Sat Nav, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Electric Heated Sports Seats, AMI Audi Music Interface, Bang & Olufsen Sound, Xenon Headlamps, Audi Advanced Park Distance Control, Power Hood, Adjustable Suspension, Multi Function Steering Wheel inc Gear Shift Paddles and Alloys. Full Audi Service History. Balance of Extended Audi Warranty. www.imperials.co.uk ------ Please call us to Confirm which of our 3 Essex Showrooms your desired vehicle is located at before travelling to see us, Everyone of Our Cars Goes Through Our In House Work Shop Prior to Sale by Our Fully Qualified and Experienced Technicians - Buy with Confidence, For up to 20 images of this vehicle and an Instant Finance Quote please view www.imperials.co.uk, For Out of Office Hours Enquiries please call Tony 07956 564440 and he will be happy to help, We are also good buyers of all prestige, Sports and 4x4 vehicles so why not give us a call for a price on yours, Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, Thank You, www.imperials.co.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 23000 mi
    For sale
    £62,989 £62,989