Flash Drive: 2010 Audi R8 V10
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2012.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Audi R8 is a wonderful car with a V8 engine, but once you sample the V10-powered model, there is no going back. The R8 V10 is absolutely amazing. The design is stunning. If the look doesn't turn your head, the engine note emanating from its exhaust will. And that V10 does much more than make beautiful music; the acceleration will shove you back in the seat with every gear change. Sure, other cars can perform this same feat. But the R8 can also work as daily driver; the others can't. The seats are comfortable, the ride is not overly stiff, and there's a usable amount of space in the front cargo area. It even gets reasonable fuel economy — I saw 17 mpg, especially impressive with my heavy right foot. The only issue I found was with parking. The R8 is very wide and has large doors; you need a wide space for easy entry and exit. With exotic looks and performance combined with everyday usability, the R8 V10 is one of the smartest sports-car choices on the market today. –Perry Stern
Boasting concept-car looks and the engineering of quattro GmbH, Audi's R8 midengine supercar was an instant hit and proved relatively easy to drive for an exotic. For 2009, Audi boosts the performance with a 525-horsepower 5.2-liter V10 engine sourced from the Lamborghini Gallardo. It bumps the R8 into the upper tier as one of the fastest cars on the road. The V10 spools up very quickly to the 8,500 rpm redline, making the R8 5.2 FSI quattro very fast when you keep the revs up; there is not a lot of low or midrange torque when cruising in the upper gears. The stability control keeps it pointed in the right direction. The gated shifter requires deliberate shifts, but the R8 continues to be an exotic that could almost be used every day. Still, it's wide, low and fast and attracts an inordinate amount of attention — not necessarily attributes you want on a daily basis. –Mike Meredith
The Audi R8 is a supercar with a split personality. It can deliver hair-raising performance and put an ear-to-ear grin on your face. At the same time, it can also be driven so easily and comfortably that you could forget all the power you have at your disposal. During rush hour, the R8 provides its driver with great visibility and a secure driving position, so it is relatively easy to see this supercar's potential as a daily driver. But let's not forget the fact that the Audi R8 is an incredibly good-looking automobile, and it delivers confidence-inspiring handling with the quattro all-wheel-drive system. And if you opt for the optional V10 engine, you now have an extremely fast supercar with more horsepower than two regular cars. The V10 engine looks gorgeous and can be viewed from the exhibition glass hatch. Rev the engine once and you will fall in love with the harmonious and deep exhaust note. The Audi R8 makes me hope for the construction of a speed-be-damned autobahn here in the U.S. –Joe Chulick
The Audi R8 V10 has all the ingredients of a supercar and all the refinement of a luxury car. The clutch and gearbox are smooth and easy to use, and the engine has massive reserves of power that should satisfy almost anyone. But the R8, even with the V10 engine, is certainly no race car. The power and torque of the V10 — at least in this car, if not also in the Lamborghini Gallardo — is concentrated at high rpms, so you need to be in the right gear if you want dramatic acceleration. Of course the R8 isn't intended to be a race car. It's a grand tourer, and as a GT car the R8 is far better than any of its competitors. If you want a car like the R8, don't be confused: The R8 is awesome and you should buy it without hesitation. –Paul Hagger