2009 Audi R8 | new car review

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 by

The world made a collective gasp of awe and admiration when the wraps finally came off the production R8 and it was finally available to buy in showrooms across the world – and no place more so than here in the Middle East, where the very latest in high-fashion car culture is so very important; to the lucky few, anyway.

Very much the car of early 2008, there was many a white R8 to be seen cruising, with a certain amount of menace, along the highways, LED lights blazing.

There now appears to be rather more than a few slightly used R8s for sale in showrooms here, so it seems that the hottest-car-to-own-shine has somewhat left Audi’s most super production car. Some have commented that once used to the car they found it to be not quite fast enough, which when you break down the figures seems a little hard to believe. But, when you compare it to the new and very, very hot cars from the likes of Porsche, it could be said that maybe the Audi lacks a little punch, bite and all-out aggression.

2009 Audi R8

The R8 is powered by a 4.2-litre all-aluminum V8 engine with FSI direct fuel injection, making 420bhp and 430Nm of torque; the power is sent to the tarmac by the Quattro all-wheel drive system, ensuring serious surefootedness in any road conditions, especially the wet.

There is a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or an R-Tronic sequential manual gearbox that uses the same transmission and clutch, but operates the clutch and gear changes automatically. But, strictly speaking, this being very much a driver’s car that can easily cut with the best of the rest on the racetrack; the most obvious option would be to go for the manual and swap those cogs yourself.

2009 Audi R8

The styling in many opinions is simply stunning, with cuts, slashes and vents slicing into the R8 wherever the eye can see. Gorgeous twin-spoke, five-spoke lightweight alloy wheels roll under some very macho wheel arches, and the rear air intakes are big enough to swallow a suitcase – shame the ‘front-boot’ can’t take as big a piece of luggage!

But it’s the carbon fibre blades just behind each door of this strict two-seater that really divided the opinions, but again, with the local tuning patrons being such big fans of the black, high-strength weave, it’s little wonder that the car sold so well upon its debut here.

2009 Audi R8

The interior within the R8 is just simply a work of art. The leather, metal and carbon fibre finishes are all absolutely top-notch, and as you nestle into those supportive bucket seats a gentle ‘ahhh’ will uncontrollably come from your lips.

The steering wheel is pure racing car, and with lots of the control surfaces in aluminum or carbon, you will feel like a racer everyday you drive to the office. Of course all the creature comforts are also there, as are all the safety features, and that is probably the greatest and most astounding achievement from Audi – the fact that you can reliably drive the R8 everyday, but still kick it into a truly exciting beast with the simple flooring of your right foot.

2010 Audi R8 V10

UPDATE, AUGUST 2009: Audi has announced that the V10-powered version of the R8 is now on sale across the Middle East.

Sporting a 5.2-litre engine that makes 525bhp, the latest addition to the R8 range costs 490,000AED for the manual transmission version or 525,000AED for the automatic.

Visually, the V10 is distinguished from its V8-powered sibling by subtle changes to the front end, sideblades and at the back. The V10 also comes with all-LED headlights as standard.

Other features include hi-tech suspension that uses magnets to adjust the stiffness of the chassis depending on conditions, as well as launch control for a perfect start off the line. Luxury items include a Bang & Olufsen sound and navigation system, Nappa leather seats and automatic air conditioning.

2010 Audi R8 V10

Specification

Body  typeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission
Coupe4.24204306M/A
5.25255306M/A

 

Price Range (AED) 415,000-448,000 (V8), 490,000-525,000 (V10)

 

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