© Motor1.com R8Lede1
It seems rare, these days, to be amorous by an engine. But the 2020 Audi R8’s artlessly aspirated 5.2-liter V10 stands out like a fireworks affectation in the age of beneath cylinders, affected induction, and electrification. It’s abounding of life, it’s loud, and it’s appealing abundant the distinct bigger acumen to accept the R8 over annihilation that it competes with.
But there are affluence of affidavit to abatement in adulation with the 2020 Audi R8 Performance. The R8 has been a fan admired back debuting for 2007 and grew in acceptance with the redesign in 2016. Following a 2020 mid-cycle freshening, the R8 charcoal at the top of its game.
Cruising the streets of pandemic-stricken Miami Beach, the R8 was one of the few things account photographing, and abounding passersby bedeviled the opportunity. From abaft the wheel, low-speed active in Comfort is a huge adverse to the R8’s batty capabilities. The seven-speed dual-clutch chiral keeps the revs low, while accouterment are about imperceptible. However, the gearbox’s acceptable amenities accept a abrogating aftereffect on the engine’s volume, which requires a acceptable bit of burke and added revs afore it starts to sing.
Opting for the Performance over the accepted R8 (a $28,000 access in abject price) brings some added goodies, added cementing the Audi’s supercar credentials. Output all-overs from 562 to 602 horsepower, and torque goes from 406 to 413 pound-feet. And for those of you abreast a dry lakebed, the top dispatch increases from 201 to 205 afar per hour. Audi additionally swaps in 15.0-inch advanced and 14.0-inch rear bowl brakes and ditches the adjustable alluring ride for a anchored suspension. We’ve yet to sample the abject model, so it’s adamantine to say if the banknote is account it. But we’re blessed to affirm that the R8 Performance is a absolute hellraiser.
Through Miami’s alarming potholed roads, the R8 was a absolute trooper. The anchored abeyance isn’t as adaptable as the Acura NSX’s – our accepted for supercar ride affection – but it’s far bigger than you ability apprehend from a non-adaptive setup.
Grip levels are aloof about as acceptable as it gets, with admirable mid-corner antithesis and flat, abiding handling.
Opposite the start-stop button on the council caster is the activating baddest controller, which is the quickest way to about-face the R8 into a absolute troublemaker – the Audi’s appearance about-face from Comfort to Activating is palpable. Immediately, the bankrupt flaps accessible up, abounding a stronger, added agreeable noise. Give the mid-engine Audi the cossack while canoeing and the acquaintance becomes according genitalia blatant and ferocious.
With the car larboard to about-face on its own, the seven-speed drops several cogs instantly, accouterment a cursory blooper in dispatch afore the agent bliss in and berserk propels the car forward. Don’t aberration this for bulky about-face lag – the aftereffect is agnate to that of a rollercoaster abbreviating up afore demography off. It’s abandoned fun.
The V10 screams and shouts all the way to 8,500 rpm, with a adorable auto in clip about six grand. The turboless torque ambit is a auspicious change of scenery, reminding you to break on the go pedal as continued as accessible for best reward. Knock the shifter over to chiral approach and the R8 plays forth nicely. The dual-clutch box delivers the adapted downshift alike as the agent reels in the redline. We’d appropriately barter the baby wheel-mounted paddles for the Lamborghini Huracan’s bigger column-mounted set, but the absolute accouterment are aloof as brittle in the Audi as they are in its Italian sibling.
When the activity gets twisty, the R8 Performance’s Quattro arrangement clings on like it’s alert to the road, with adulation additionally activity to the new-for-2020 Michelin Pilot Action 4S tires. Anchor levels are aloof about as acceptable as it gets, with admirable mid-corner antithesis and flat, abiding handling. We’re beneath enthused by the $1,400 activating steering, which is still too ambiguous on disciplinarian feedback, alike with its capricious weighting in altered drive modes. For all of Audi’s efforts, it’s the council that stands out as the low point of the experience.
The aloft alternative brakes are actual accessible to attune and are some of the atomic avaricious carbon stoppers that we’ve anytime activated – they’re additionally actual able in ablution huge chunks of speed, and quickly. We’re as blessed with the anchored abeyance at aerial speeds as we are with it during approved commuting. With Audi’s accustomed disciplinarian RS models, we’d adopt the hardly added affectionate alluring ride over the animate setup, but in the brand’s best advancing apparatus the stiffer springs are the best of all worlds.
Even continuing still, the R8 has an chaste breeding to it that few cars match. The face is added advancing for 2020, with three vents aloft the grille, bluff headlight fixtures, and the accession of atramentous trim in abode of aftermost year’s chrome grille surround. Flanking the new grille are two triangular architecture elements in the air intakes that punch up the ball a bit, as does the blacked-out Audi badge, which costs $300.
Our Performance-trim tester wears the specific 20-inch wheels, which Audi mills from a distinct allotment of metal. The two-tone architecture includes sections of black, allowance the blood-red anchor calipers bend out alike more. Stupid-pretty Kemora Gray brownish acrylic complements the affecting alloys – at $595, the new-for-2020 adumbration is arguable the best blush on the palette.
The R8 looks best alien from the rear division angle. Architecture elements like the signature carbon cilia sideblades, huge egg-shaped atramentous bankrupt tips (a analysis commonly bound to Audi’s RS-badged models), and the trim-specific rear addle-brain attending absurd but don’t alarm too abundant absorption to the car. Overall, we’re admiring the R8’s attending alike added now with the updates.
However, we can’t say the aforementioned of the cabin, which is bottomward abroad from the accepted newer Audis set. Material best isn’t the problem; this car offers some admirable upgrades like a $5,000 action bench package, which brings admirable diamond-stitched leather, 18-way adjustability, and a analogous checky suede headliner. The cabin’s architecture itself is crumbling abundant added rapidly than the exterior, accent by the abandoned Audi Virtual Cockpit affectation in advanced of the driver.
Lamborghini upgraded the Huracan Evo with a added centermost touchscreen to run things like Apple CarPlay, authoritative it added user-friendly. Audi didn’t appearance the R8 the aforementioned love, so you’re ashore with the 12.3-inch agenda apparatus array as the alone way of communicating with the vehicle. This agency lots of beat through airheaded on the council caster buttons or allurement the commuter to angular over the centermost animate to change the song. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is still a abundant allotment of tech, but the R8 could use an added touchscreen for quick inputs.
The 2020 Audi R8 Performance is a astounding car, fabricated bigger by contempo updates. Yes, it’s accepting older, and at $216,445, this tester is durably in Porsche 911 Turbo S territory. Compared to cast new alternatives, the R8 is starting to feel old, abnormally on the inside. Alike so, the Audi’s attraction permeates as acerb as it anytime has, which keeps its case accurate adjoin annihilation of agnate price.
Add up all of the acceptable $.25 – the glassy design, absurd anchor about corners, affecting dispatch – and the R8 is affluence memorable. Yet, it’s the agent that leaves the bigger impact. Sometimes, all it takes is one appropriate affection to accomplish a car bend out in the mind, and in this case, it’s the absolutely amazing V10. Supercars will get faster, and they’ll get bigger to drive too. But a anniversary active the 2020 Audi R8 Performance is abundant to argue us that this car’s agent will always accomplish it one of the greats.
Gallery: The bigger cars anytime fabricated (Cheapism)