2010 Audi R8 V10 | road test

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 by

The R8 V10 shares looks with its V8 sibling, but has more than 100 extra horsepower



  • Really quick
  • Amazing engine and exhaust note
  • Fantastic chassis


  • Not particularly practical
  • Unusual gearbox technique takes some getting used to
  • Some creaky interior bits


The R8 V10 is the car we think the V8-powered car should have been. It maintains ’s usual quality and luxury but the 525bhp makes it hugely exciting. A handful to drive if you’re pushing it, the V10 is a massive amount of car for the money. We love it – it’s an that gets over the brand’s slightly conservative attitude (brilliantly made but not wildly exciting) with savage amounts of power and comes alive when driven hard. Even the price is attractive.

The new engine makes the R8 the exciting drive that the original should have been


The main thing to talk about in this car, having already driven its sibling, is the Lamborghini-derived 5.2-litre V10 engine in the back. It’s fantastic, pushing out 525bhp and you can feel the potential just pootling around town. The vaguest breath on the accelerator hints at what sits behind your head and the noise when you put your right foot to the carpet is epic, accompanied by blistering but linear acceleration.

The engine revs to almost 9,000rpm and howls gloriously when opened up. It’s very quick to respond to inputs from the pedal, particularly at high revs and is mated to a six-speed R-tronic robotised manual gearbox which requires a certain way of driving in manual mode. Because the transmission features an automated clutch, unlike more traditional automatic ‘boxes, drivers need to lift off the accelerator when changing up a gear, just like in a full manual. Otherwise, keeping the foot down while shifting makes for rather jerky progress. Get used to that foible and the gearbox is excellent.

The R8 is fantastic when driven at speed, but drivers need to know what they're doing and have their wits about them


The ride is, as expected, very firm. This is a and boasts a chassis set up for stiffness. Although it’s well damped thanks to the high-tech magnetic ride system, drivers will need to slow right down for speed bumps. You’ll feel every change of surface in the road, but we never encountered anything spine shattering.

Handling is fantastic – perhaps not quite as direct as some rear-wheel drive machines but still crisp and with far more grip than anyone should need on the road. On the limit, you really need to know what you’re doing. The grip is such that it’s easy to be confident going into a corner, but if you lift off the throttle mid-corner, the car will react and has the capability of getting an inexperienced or inattentive drive in trouble very quickly. It’s also easy to go into a corner faster than you think you are – the R8 V10 is very powerful and can be deceptive in its speed thanks to the high levels of refinement.

Around town it’s easy to drive although the turning circle is quite large and its low stance mean that getting in and out is rarely dignified.

The interior is smart and comfortable, although the carbon fibre elements felt a bit creaky to the touch


Our test car had some optional features from Audi’s Exclusive line added to it, but even without those the interior’s a very nice place to spend some time. There was carbon fibre all over the cabin, swooping from the doors across the dash and creating a very contemporary and sporty feel. Although most of the cabin feels solid and well put together from quality materials, the carbon fibre elements did feel a bit creaky – it’s a very minor concern however.

The seating position is fine and the fully electric seats are both comfortable and supportive around the corners. However, the fire extinguisher (mandatory in the UAE) was quite obtrusive in the passenger footwell. We wouldn’t like to be sat there in a crash.

Above about 3,500rpm the exhaust develops a warble that becomes a scream as the engine is opened up – subtle it ain’t. The engine is never quiet, so abandon any thoughts of whispered conversations on the motorway. There’s a fair amount of wind noise at higher speeds too.

The robotised manual gearbox requires a particular way of driving


Practicality is not one of the R8’s strong points, but we can’t really criticise a sporty supercar for that. Like its V8-powered sibling, there’s a small space under the bonnet for a couple of overnight bags, a space behind the seats and that’s about it.


The R8 isn’t a massively feature heavy car by its nature. Our test car came fitted with climate control, front and rear parking sensors, a rear parking camera and satellite navigation. The stereo system had an auxiliary input socket for MP3 players, which is good to see.


ABS, traction control and electronic stability control are all included. Front and side airbags are standard, as is hill hold assist, which stops the car rolling backwards unintentionally when moving away on a slope.

No crash test information was available for the R8 V10 at the time of writing.

With 525bhp, this is likely to be other drivers' most common view of the R8 V10


At 535,000AED the R8 V10 is far from cheap and costs considerably more than the V8 version (458,000AED). However, it compares well to its major rivals. The Porsche 911 Turbo may be slightly cheaper (488,000AED) but it’s 25bhp down on power and doesn’t have the presence of the R8.

Compare the R8 to the Lamborghini Gallardo (749,000AED), with which it shares its (slightly detuned) engine, and it seems like a bargain.

The R8 V10 has a combined fuel economy of 13.7 litre per 100km, giving it a theoretical range of 656km from its 90-litre fuel tank.

Audi offers a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty on the R8 V10. Major services are due every 15,000km and will cost around 3,600AED at the time of writing.

2010 V10

Engine: 5.2-litre V10
Max power (bhp/rpm): 525/8,000
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 430/4,500-6,000
Transmission: Six-speed robotised manual
Driven wheels: Four-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1,625kg
Price (AED): 525,000

3 Responses to 2010 Audi R8 V10 | road test

  1. George Reply

    September 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I’d say Dhs. 77,000 is peanuts for what you get in return, an added 110bhp and a V10.
    Why go SUPERCAR( – 1) when u can go SUPERCAR…
    PS The 911 turbo does a 100kmph is about 3 secs and a Quarter Mile in 11 secs…this may well be The Greatest Bang Per Buck Car of all time…

  2. Phill Tromans Reply

    September 20, 2010 at 10:50 am

    No idea, but not this one. It’s described in the Performance section at the top.

  3. Jad Reply

    September 20, 2010 at 10:15 am

    What type of report the one that doesn’t include a hint about a sports car acceleration?

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