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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
38921 134000 GBP
  • Audi R8

    £42,990 £42,990

    4x4, Full main dealer service history Audi R8 4.2 V8 Manual registered November 2007 finished in Daytona Grey with Full Brown and Black Leather interior; NEW DISCS AND PADS ALL ROUND; Bang & Olufsen Audio; Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Magnetic Ride, Satellite Navigation Plus; Lumbar Support; After-market iPod lead Attachment; Full Audi Service History on 22/09/09 at 7,851; 23/09/11 at 19,903; 18/05/13 at 31,523; 19/10/15 at 49,571; 28/11/14 at 43,112; 21/01/15 at 44,131; 17/11/16 at 52,304. 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: 54100 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
    Targa Florio Cars Limited
  • 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

    £63,000 £63,000

    Climate Control, Bluetooth, Colour SatNav, Comms Pack, Full Leather, Powered Folding Mirrors, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Satellite Navigation, Xenon Headlamps, Alarm, Anti-Theft System, Central Locking, Immobiliser, Keyless Entry, Locking Wheel Nuts, Privacy Glass, Remote Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Tracker Fitted, Alcantara Leather, Colour Coded Interior, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Lumbar Adjustment, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Camera, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Air Bag, Brake Assist, Curtain Airbags, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Magnetic Ride, Front Fog Lamps, Headlamp Jetwash, Metallic Paintwork, Premium Cloth soft top, Rear Spoiler, Auto-dip Rearview, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Bang & Olufsen, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, 2 Keys, Photo For Illustration Only, UK Speci This Vehicle is available to view at any one of our RAC Approved branches. For more information and to arrange a test drive please contact the Bishops Stortford branch on 01279 656000 or alternatively Kings Langley on 01923 270000. Part exchange welcome, Finance available regardless of your credit rating, all our cars are Hpi checked and are supplied with upto 3 years RAC Platinum Warranty and RAC GAP Insurance Available, We are a private company with over 30 years experience within the motor trade. Situated in Bishop's Stortford only 15 mins from JCT 27 on the M25 or 5 mins from JCT 8 on the M11 all of our cars are hpi checked and come with a comprehensive warranty., www.totallytradedirect.co.uk

    • Mileage: 29000 mi
    • Engine size: 5204
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £81,989 £81,989

    Carbon Sigma Inlays, Sat Nav, Rear View Camera, Bluetooth, Voice Control, Advanced Parking System, Homelink Garage Door Opener, Climate Control, Cruise Control, Electric Heated Sports Seats with Lumbar, Audi Music Interface, Audi Mag Ride Suspension, LED Headlamps, Daytime Running Lights, Rear LED Lights, High Beam Assist, Hill Hold Assist, Light and Rain Sensors, Storage Pack, Illuminated Door Sills, Power Hood, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Multi Function Steering Wheel inc Gear Shift Paddles and 19" 10 Spoke Y Design Alloys. Full Audi 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 Twitt

    • Year: 2013
    • Mileage: 17000 mi
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £49,990 £49,990

    Bluetooth, Sports Seats, Heated Seats, Parking Sensors, Cruise Control, 4x4, Full service history Audi R8 4.2 V8 6 Speed Manual registered June 2008 finished in Mugello Blue Metallic with STaSIS Stainless Steel Exhaust, Diamond Cut 19 Inch 5 Arm Double Spoke Alloys with Black Brake Calipers, Black Leather Heated Recaro Bucket Seats, Magnetic Ride, Audi Satellite Navigation, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, K&N Air Filter, Cruise Control, Xenon Headlamps, Bang & Olufsen Sound System with CD/MP3 Player and Bluetooth Phone Preparation, Black Optic Kit, Extended Light Package, Aluminium Pedals, Colour Display, Automatic Climate Control, Adjustable Steering Column, Electronic Stability Programme, Anti Slip Regulation, Electronic Differential Lock and Traction Control, Tracker, AUX IN, 3 Spoke Flat Bottom Multi-Function Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Heated Door Mirrors, Tailored R8 Seat Covers, LED DRLs, Electronic Immobiliser, Anti Dazzle, Service History at Audi on 8,322 miles on 06/07/09, 11,462 miles on 29/06/2010; 13,069 on 07/06/2011; Midland VW at 17,847 on 29/05/2013; Audi at 22,770 on 06/05/15; Audi Brighton on 27/03/17. Finance available on request - subject to status. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; 12 Months MOT; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome. See our Youtube channel or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

    • Mileage: 28000 mi
    • Engine size: 4163
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £124,941 £124,941

    Variant name:5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro 2dr S Tronic ,Derivative:Plus ,Variant: 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro 2dr S Tronic Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Bluetooth Prepared,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,ESP,Four Wheel Drive,Heated Mirrors,Heated Seats,Leather Steering Wheel,Manufacturer Warranty

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 5000 mi
    • Engine size: 5.2
    For sale
  • Audi R8

    £69,990 £69,990

    Variant: 4.2 quattro (430PS) S Tronic Driver, Passenger And Front Side Air Bags,Anti-Lock Brakes,Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment,Radio/CD/MP3/DVD,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control System,Alarm,19In Alloy Wheels,Bluetooth Interface Telephone Equipment,Climate Control,Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point,Hill Holder,Power-Assisted Steering,Driver Information System,Remote Central Door Locking,Driver/Passenger Heated Seats,Electronic Brake Force Distribution,Electric/Heated Door Mirrors,Steering Wheel Mounted Controls,Tyre Repair Kit,Rake/Reach Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel,Front Head Restraints,Cup Holder,Speakers,Sport Chassis,Immobiliser,Rear Spoiler,Driver/Passenger Electric Seat Lumbar Support,Heated Rear Screen,Limited Slip Differential,Leather interior

    • Mileage: 15500 mi
    For sale
  • 2011 Audi R8 GT


    19" GT Alloys, Matt Carbon Fibre Door & Centre Console Trim, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, Audi Music Interface, R8 GT Logo On Seats, Cruise Control, Phone Prep-Bluetooth Interface, 1 of 33 UK Cars, Stunning Example! Audi Navigation Plus, Alcantara Steering Wheel, R8 GT Lightweight Carpets, R-Tronic Gearbox, Carbon Ceramic Brakes, Carbon Fibre Rear Wing, Limited Slip Differential, Polycarbonate & Extra-Thin Glass, Aluminium Bonnet.

    • Mileage: 8280 mi
    For sale

    £64,950 £64,950

    HOME STOCK EMAIL AUDI R8 SPYDER V8 MANUAL Registered 01/10/2012 (12/62) 4 owners in total 26,000 miles Ibis White with Extended Fine Nappa Leather in Black Black Roof 19” V10 Style Alloys Satellite Navigation Plus Audi Magnetic Ride Audi Parking System Advanced Rear View Camera Bang &Olufsen Sound System Audi Music Interface Cruise Control Full Audi Service History £64,950 Submitting Form... The server encountered an error. Form received. Submit FURTHER INFORMATION FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS VEHICLE PLEASE COMPLETE THE ABOVE FORM. ALTERNATIVELY, EMAIL OR CALL OUR SALES TEAM USING THE DETAILS BELOW: SALES@SUPERVETTURA.COM T. +44(0)1344 620072 M. +44(0)7541 888310 FACEBOOK /SuperVettura TWITTER @SuperVettura INSTAGRAM /SuperVettura

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 26000 mi
    For sale
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