New Car Reviews

2008 Audi R8 4.2 – Four Seasons Update – May 2009

Long-Term 2008 Audi R8 Update: Spring 2009 ( 2 of 5 ) Miles to date: 0

Miles to Date: 35,056
Months in Fleet: 10

Our time with the is fleeting, and we’re counting down the weeks until its year is up. To make the most of our last couple of months with the R8, we had a bunch of work done to keep it in tip-top running order through the very last day of our Four Seasons test. With 35,000 hard miles, our R8 certainly deserved the following:

1) new oil level thermal sensor (the oil warning light came on intermittently)2) 35,000-mile maintenance (Oil service performed, haldex differential oil change, replace spark plugs, brake check, coolant check, battery test, power steering belt check, lubricate all hinges)
3) wiper blades replaced
4) serpentine belt cleaned
5) left park aid sensor replaced
6) rear rubber scoops replaced (these got knocked off by some hardpacked snow last winter)
7) Both front tires replaced

That makes three new tires for the R8 this spring, since assistant editor David Zenlea got a flat in the right rear P Zero on his way to visit his parents in suburban Chicago. Unfortunately, the 295/30/ZR19 Pirelli P Zero was deemed unrepairable, and he was unable to source a replacement in the Chicagoland area over the weekend. His punishment? Returning to Ann Arbor in the Zenlea family’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix rather than the R8 while we waited for the Tire Rack to drop-ship a new tire to his parents’ house. Laments the tire-wrecker:

“So for the next week, the R8 is in my parents’ garage, its offending tire lifted a hair off the ground. My father says it’s cruel and unusual punishment to have such a beautiful car in his house for a week and not be able to drive it. I tried to make him feel better by reminding him that the car costs about the same as what he’s paying in loans for my out- of-state schooling. I don’t think that helped.”

Zenlea returned to Chicago the following weekend to retrieve the R8: “The shop was able to mount, but not balance, the new tire. Apparently, their equipment wasn’t quite set up for 295-width tires. I drove back to Ann Arbor at 70 mph, feeling a slight vibration.”

Now that the R8 has fresh rubber on three wheels (all balanced back here in Ann Arbor), we’ll be making the most of it between now and mid-July, when Audi of America takes it away forever.

Coupe Quattro MT6

Base Price: $109,995
As Tested: $131,245

Body Style: 2-door coupe
Accommodations: 2 passengers
Construction: Aluminum “Audi space frame”

Engine: DOHC 32-valve V-8
Displacement: 4.2 liters
Power: 420 hp @ 7800 rpm
Torque: 317 lb-ft @ 4500-6000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drive: All-wheel
Fuel Economy: 13/20/15 mpg (city/highway/combined)

Steering: Electromechanical with speed-dependent power assistance
Turns lock-to-lock:
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft
Suspension: Double wishbone-type (front and rear)
Brakes: Vented discs, ABS
Wheels F/R: 19 x 8.5/19 x 11 in alloy
Tires: Pirelli PZero Rosso
Tire Size: 235/35YR-19 front and 295/30YR-19 rear

Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Track F/R: 64.3/62.8 in
L x W x R: 174.5 x 75.0 x 49.3 in
Weight: 3597 lb
Weight Dist. F/R: 44.2/55.8%
Fuel Capacity: 23.8 gallons
Est. Range: 357 miles
Fuel Grade: 91 octane

Standard Equipment:
Chest and knee airbags
Automatic climate control
Power adjustable driver and passenger sports seats
Cruise control
Satellite radio

Mugello Blue Pearl Effect paint, $650
Enhanced Leather Package, $5500
Carbon Exterior Package, $5300
Premium Package, $3500
    Audi Parking System Advanced
    6-CD Changer
    Audi Hill Hold Assist
    Bluetooth Phone Preparation
    Auto-Dimming Exterior Mirror
    Storage Package
Carbon Interior Trim, $2200
Audi Navigation System Plus, $2000

Test Results:
0-60 MPH: 4.2 sec
0-100 MPH: 10.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 12.9 @ 113 mph
30-70 Passing: 5.6 sec
Speed in Gears: 1) 40; 2) 64; 3) 92; 4) 123; 5) 155; 6) 180 mph
Cornering L/R: 1.06/0.98g
70-0 Braking: 148 ft
Peak Braking: 1.15 g