New for 2015The Audi R8 remains largely unchanged for the 2015 model year, but makes power-folding heated exterior mirrors standard equipment, and introduces a number of available options such as an Alcantara headliner with diamond stitching, Laser Red painted brake calipers, and a sport exhaust for the V-10 S tronic-equipped models. Florett Silver, Mythos Black, and Sepang Blue are all added as exterior color options.
Vehicle OverviewThe Audi R8 is a mid-engine two-seat supercar that comes in coupe or convertible form. The R8 fits above the TT as Audi’s most powerful sports car.
SummaryThe 2015 Audi R8 is a mid-engine coupe or convertible that is powered by a V-8 or two versions of a V-10, all paired with the automaker’s signature quattro all-wheel-drive system. All R8’s comes with a six-speed manual and have the option of upgrading to a seven-speed automatic. The standard engine is a 4.2-liter V-8 that makes 430 hp and 316 lb-ft of torque, will sprint from 0-60 mph in as little as 4.2 seconds (Coupe with the automatic), and gets an EPA-estimated 11/20 mpg city/highway with the manual and 13/22 mpg with the automatic. The 525-hp 5.2-liter V-10 makes 391 lb-ft of torque, brings the 0-60 time down to 3.4 seconds, and is EPA-rated for 12/19 mpg with the manual and 13/22 mpg with the S tronic. With the V-8 making peak power at 7,900 rpm and the V-10 at 8,000 rpm, R8 drivers aren't likely to be too concerned with fuel economy.
The most powerful iteration of the R8 is only available as a coupe, where changes to the V-10 bring power up to 550 hp and 398 hp, good for a .1 second faster 0-60 mph time, the best being 3.3 seconds. Fuel economy is identical to the version found in non-Plus models, so buyers won’t have to fret over fuel efficiency when deciding which V-10 they want.
The most notable features on the 2015 R8 include full LED headlights and taillights, Leather/Alcantara seats, magnetic ride control, full Nappa leather (on V-10 models), Carbon Sigma treatment for V10 Plus models (includes front lip spoiler, exterior side mirror housings, sideblade, rear diffusor, decorative inlays and door sill inlays), MMI infotainment system, a parking system with rear view camera (due to typical supercar visibility), carbon fiber reinforced ceramic brakes, and a 12-speak Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. An Audi R8 Spyder can drop its convertible top in 19 seconds.
The 2015 Audi R8 has not been crash tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS.
What We ThinkThe 2015 Audi R8 is a quintessential supercar: high-revving engine, low and wide looks, absurd you-didn’t-buy-it-for-that fuel efficiency, and takes just a hair past 3-seconds to reach 60mph. In a Driven review of a 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus, we pointed out one way it’s not quite like the rest in the segment, noting, “no matter which flavor you pick, the 2014 Audi R8 remains the most civilized and drivable of exotic cars. It's meant to be enjoyable, not intimidating. No wonder people smile at it wherever you go.” One of the reasons for the recent explosion in popularity for this segment isn’t the rise in power, but the accessibility granted by the recent crop of excellent automatic transmissions.
In a three-way comparison test between a 2014 Audi R8 4.2 Spyder, 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S, and a 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet, where the Audi fared well, earning the distinction of “If cost were no object” we’d have picked the R8. The highest praise for the R8 was lavished on the excellent magnetic ride dampers, the “accurate and honest” steering, and the high-revving engine that was “tuned for emotion rather than for efficiency.”
- Beautiful styling and LED lights
- Mid-engine performance
- Magnetic ride dampers
You Won’t Like
- Base price makes a 911 look reasonable
- Fuel economy isn’t class leading
- Poor rear visibility
- Porsche 911
- Jaguar F-Type
- Nissan GT-R
- Aston Martin Vantage