The second-generation Audi R8 may look strikingly similar to the first-generation model, but apart from the arresting looks both models share, there is quite a lot of difference between the two models. For starters, the new R8 exclusively uses a V-10 engine whereas the first-generation option offered that and a less powerful V-8 version. The absence of the V-8 caught a lot of R8 purists by surprise, a lot of whom, including, it seems, XCAR’s Alex Goy, miss the unbridled roar and cackling of the V-8 engine. The nit-picky among these group of people also point to the disappearance of the trademark side blades and the fact that the new R-8 is close to 50kg lighter than its predecessor, thanks in large part to Audi’s use of aluminum and carbon fiber on the physical components of the car.
All that being said, the Audi R8 is still as dynamic as ever, maybe even more so now that it has graduated to a second-generation model. For his part, Goy seems to have bought in on a lot of the changes Audi made to the R8, while also highlighting its status as one of the last naturally-aspirated holdouts in its segment.
The XCAR presenter also points out the supercar’s impressive balance of handling and aggressiveness, especially in less-than-ideal road conditions. He did manage to have a few slip-ups, but by and large, the second-generation R8 was about as well received as any of the last vanguards of the naturally-aspirated era.
With more and more supercars transitioning to turbochargers these days, it does feel like the Audi R8 is becoming one of the last of a dying breed. But, with clever engineering and an attention to all the details that made the first-generation model so popular, Audi seems to be doing quite well in resisting the urge to follow the crowd.
The second-generation R8 is still a beast in every sense of the word. Just the way Audi intended it to be.