2022 Audi R8 V10 Efficiency RWD: First Drive


Years in the past, I had an opportunity to take an Audi R8 on a observe, however I gave away that probability. I gave it away to repay a type of karmic debt as a result of I gave the chance to a Jalopnik reader that was instrumental in serving to me get better my beloved Beetle when it was stolen all these years in the past. Since that point, the possibility to drive an R8 hadn’t come up once more. Nicely, it lastly did, and in a dramatic manner—Audi put me behind the wheel of an R8 within the Canary Islands, and one of their PR folks gave me a pair of underpants. That is all true.

(Full Disclosure: Audi flew me out all the way in which to the Canary Islands to drive this factor, and that airplane ticket seemingly price greater than I do as a human. In addition they put me up in each fancy resorts and, on one night time, in a Fiat-based RV. Audi should actually be blowing via some end-of-year money since I really feel like they simply despatched me to Athens to drive the RS3. What’s the purpose of constructing all that cash when you can’t spend it, proper?)

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Simply to ensure no one will get fired, I’ll make clear the underwear factor first: my baggage obtained misplaced, so I had no change of garments my total journey. One of Audi’s useful PR folks was in an identical predicament however did handle to get his baggage the day earlier than we left, and so, blessed as soon as once more with clear clothes, graciously gave me the lone unused pair of underpants from a pack he was capable of purchase.

They have been Calvin Klein underpants, and my junk felt prefer it was staying in a elaborate New York loft house, the type with excessive ceilings and uncovered brick in these issues. It’s a top-notch underpants expertise.

Sufficient about underpants, although—if you need the complete underpants assessment you’ll need to learn it on Unmentionable, G-O Media’s new underwear-based vertical. I’m right here to speak concerning the Audi R8 as a result of it’s a fairly fascinating automobile.

I’ll admit that initially, I assumed this journey was going to be some announcement that Audi could be discontinuing the R8, as a result of the merciless grind of actuality has conditioned me to count on awful information extra often than I’d like. However that’s not the case! Audi has no plans to cease constructing R8s.

The R8 is Audi’s lowest-volume automobile, certain. It’s nearly fully hand-built on the identical line as their GT4 racing vehicles, with which it shares 60 % of its components, together with that 5.2-liter V10 engine.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Audi, Lamborghini

That engine (and much more) can be shared with the R8’s sibling, the Lamborghini Huracan, a reality that gives quite a lot of perception into the peculiar character of the R8.

Each the Huracan and the R8 are highly effective, mid-engined supercars of about the identical dimension, weight, and functionality. And but, they actually couldn’t have extra differing characters.

The Lambo, with its dramatic raked angles and loud pipes and scissor doorways (okay, not the Huracan, however nonetheless) and that raging bull badge is a automobile that screams about what it’s and what it will probably do. The R8 can do the similar issues however prefers to let you already know about it by handing you a nicely-printed placard succinctly and modestly itemizing its potential on actually satisfyingly thick cardstock. It smells like sandalwood.

If the Huracan is Superman as everyone knows and love him, then the R8 is an alternate universe Superman the place he’s precisely the identical, however the transition from Clark Kent to Superman is simply the elimination of the glasses. That’s it. No red-undies-on-the-outside spandex go well with, simply Superman doing Superman shit, however in the identical tasteful grey flannel go well with that Clark wore to work.

This is basically why I discover the R8 so fascinating; it’s a bonafide supercar with dramatic proportions that make it very apparent this automobile is Not Strange. But it’s skinned within the crisp, rational, and severe design language of recent Audi.

The Look

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Okay, since I’m already speaking about how this factor seems, let’s actually do it. I do know I recommended that the R8 has a extra restrained look than the Lambo, however I don’t wish to counsel that it’s by some means not placing on the similar time. As a result of it completely is.

It’s just a little bit of a mind-bender, I believe. The automobile is clearly a supercar, with the lengthy, low proportions of a kind of little vehicles you made out of Pink Pearl erasers if you have been bored in school, particularly the drop-top Spyder model.

There are these large, air-gulping intakes behind the doorways (which you could get in black or physique coloration, by the way in which) reminding everybody that the final (I suppose, not less than) V10 you may nonetheless purchase lurks again there. And on the coupé model, you may even verify this by trying via that enormous again window.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

This can be helpful in case the Verify Engine gentle ought to come on, as you can simply take a fast look and never even need to open the lid.

I suppose the coupé seems a bit higher than the Spyder, though those we had obtainable to us to drive on the observe have been all this attention-grabbing matte purple coloration, which I believe seemed nice. Though it did have nearly the very same coloration and luster of one other very well-known matte purple automobile:

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

I perceive that most individuals would take this as a type of dig on the automobile, however the reality is that I don’t imply it that manner. Simply because the end jogs my memory of the colour and end of a Cozy Coupe doesn’t imply it additionally doesn’t look implausible, as a result of it does.

Of course, since that is basically a hand-built automobile, Audi has a program the place you may just about specify any coloration you need, and so they may even match colours to pictures or objects you present. Have a bruise that’s achieved that good shade of purple-green that exists nowhere else on Earth? Snap a photograph, and your new R8 can are available in simply that coloration.

In case you have the cash, this looks as if the way in which to do it.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Audi has struck a very attention-grabbing stability with the R8; it seems dramatic, however not flashy. It’s obtained this type of purposeful air about it. Like if you squint excellent you may see all its dimensions listed in millimeters, penned by some cautious drafter’s hand.

It’s a Critical Machine, and that’s what it seems like. The place somebody might wish to present up in a Lambo to convey to folks that they’ve loads of cash, when you present up in an R8, it’s since you want to convey that you already know what you’re doing in a automobile — you’ve chosen simply the proper instrument, rigorously crafted by folks with extra levels than a bag of thermometers in an effort to expertise velocity in its purest, most undiluted type.

In fact, this might all be absolute bullshit, and chances are you’ll barely be capable of parallel park. However that gained’t be the R8’s fault.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The Spyder lacks the thrilling engine-terrarium on the rear, however in change, you get infinite headroom on demand, and that engine cowl, which curves gracefully and has these two raised strakes of vents that visually circulation from the headrests to the rear. It seems good with the highest down.

The ballet of the highest going up and down is a good little get together trick unto itself, too. Right here, I had somebody report it so you would admire this little dance, too:

There’s lots occurring there, however what else would you count on?

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The rear heat-extraction grillework seems downright industrial and reminds all these chumps behind you that they simply obtained handed by 562 hard-breathing horses, and the taillights and different lighting are rigorously designed, with animated sequential indicators and different hallmarks of our present new golden age of lighting design.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Even the bits that are typically decorative on most vehicles have actual jobs to do on the R8; take the exhaust suggestions, for instance. On most vehicles, they simply serve to make the exhaust pipes look extra “sporty” or noticeable or no matter, and so they’re typically fully faux.

On the R8, they’re truly designed to assist funnel exhaust warmth away from the automobile, which helps the general cooling of the engine. That’s why they’re there, and if they appear cool, properly, that’s only a good perk.

How’s the within?

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Tobias Sagmeister

As you’d count on from a low-volume, rich-persons-only automobile like this, the inside is an opulent cocoon of one of the best supplies and the labor of individuals who give a rattling about what they do, and you’ll really feel it. It’s additionally notable for what’s not there, as you could have seen in that image above, the place I’m being a dipshit.

See what’s not there?

A center-stack display. Like nearly each single automobile in the marketplace has at the moment. However not the R8 as a result of that is very a lot a driver-focused automobile, nearly to the purpose the place it’s just a little bit impolite, or not less than dismissive, of the passenger.

Not that the passenger’s seat is uncomfortable or something — it isn’t — however all the things in this automobile is designed to be managed by the motive force, a lot in order that the passenger doesn’t get a middle display to play with the radio or nav or something.

The HVAC controls can be found, not less than, and so they remind me of one thing very particular within the Volkswagen group’s previous:

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

To me, they appear nearly precisely just like the latch used on Beetle and Bus engine lids for many years. I doubt this was intentional, however, come on. Have a look at that. It’s what they seem like.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Additionally paying homage to a traditional automobile is the R8’s rear view, which passes via a number of panes of glass like an outdated Tatra T87. The window is kind of slender, however the visibility is surprisingly good, and also you get that good little peek on the engine as a bonus.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

On the convertible, you even have the choice of rolling that rear window down, when you’d like, which is a pleasant choice.

There are every kind of coloration and trim choices obtainable for the inside, so it doesn’t need to be a sea of grey and black. You’ll be able to specify coloured or carbon fiber trim for vent surrounds and trim items and inserts all around the inside.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The seats are very snug, however in all of the vehicles we examined—and that is seemingly a part of the “efficiency” bundle referenced within the identify R8 V10 efficiency RWD—the seats are the race-bred bucket seats that don’t enable for backrest adjustment.

If you want a extra reclined driving place or wish to simply entry the cargo space behind the seats, I’d counsel getting the traditional R8 seats with movable backrests as a substitute.

Talking of cargo areas, the R8 does fairly properly contemplating the character of the automobile. It’s a two-seater, mid-engined supercar. If that is what you present up in to assist your buddy transfer to a brand new house, you’re not more likely to be rewarded with pizza and beer afterward. That’s not the purpose.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The entrance trunk isn’t colossal, however it’s large enough to carry an airplane carry-on-sized bag and perhaps a couple of different squishy issues crammed in there, too. That bag on the Spyder proven above is for the wind deflector, and there’s additionally an emergency tire restore package and different small instruments in one other little included bag, which seems like this:

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Have a look at that. The automobile comes with a free screwdriver! Who says the R8 isn’t a deal?

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The lack of folding seats made the rear cargo shelf difficult to {photograph}, however it’s there, and you would cram some longish stuff again there.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The Spyder doesn’t have that rear shelf, however it does not less than attempt to give a bit extra storage with just a little vertical locker, which is well-sized to maintain a big membership sandwich on the underside ground and perhaps a softball or one thing up high. Maybe a gerbil in a kind of little balls.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The middle console hides a pair of cupholders, full with a lid so you can also make them disappear lest anybody uncover you’re human and sometimes drink liquids whereas driving.

Lastly, I discussed driving

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Have you ever ever used nook clamps? They’re only a pair of clamps joined at a 90° angle, however if you’re attempting to construct one thing with angles like that, they’re shockingly helpful. I keep in mind how I felt once I lastly realized they existed and the way a lot simpler they made constructing sure issues. It was that second of discovery of the best instrument for a job, and it makes you are feeling like a optimistic fool for ever attempting to try this explicit job with out it.

That’s near how the R8 makes you are feeling if you take it on a observe: It’s the best instrument for that particular job.

I imply, certain, there’s loads of supercars which might be rewarding to drive, particularly on a observe, however the R8 is the one I’ve pushed most not too long ago, and I can say that this can be very apparent that it is a automobile that has been meticulously designed to do that very particular factor.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

What makes this explicit model of the R8 attention-grabbing is that it’s rear-wheel drive, which, for an Audi, is kinda bizarre. Audi has by no means been about RWD. Even from their larval stage of improvement when trendy Audi emerged because the four-stroke evolution of DKW, it’s all the time been FWD, and later Audi’s actual trendy identification got here with their improvement of the Quattro all-wheel-drive setup.

One of many Audi PR folks even stated “Quattro is Audi, and Audi is Quattro.” That’s not all the time the case, although, as this R8 RWD reveals.

The purpose of the RWD model of the R8 appears to be twofold: first, to create a brand new “entry-level” R8 (regardless of the hell which means for a automobile that begins at $142,700, however that’s nonetheless about $50,000 lower than the Quattro one) and to supply a bit extra of a visceral, and perhaps even uncooked driving expertise.

You’ll be able to’t get the R8 with a handbook anymore — the one transmission is the seven-speed dual-clutch one — and whereas it looks as if that could possibly be quite a lot of enjoyable in a automobile like this, the reality is that the DSG does shift higher than you (properly, not less than me) and the automobile stays lots partaking anyway.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

There’s a good quantity of rear weight bias right here, as you may seemingly see from that diagram there. The entrance axle has 40 %, the rear 60, which is round what a rear-engined automobile like a Beetle is, despite the fact that it is a mid-engined automobile.

The dealing with is way extra predictable and manageable than an outdated Porsche 911 or 356, after all, however Audi has allowed for just a little little bit of oversteer/managed drifts to occur of their Sport driving mode, and that does make issues fairly enjoyable.

The observe the place we drove these in Gran Canaria was sort of a difficult observe, particularly as a result of there have been sections with a lot of free grime and gravel that would make issues just a little bushy.

In truth, I did overcook it stupidly right into a flip and hit a gravel patch, which precipitated me to slip into the a lot larger gravel patch off observe. Fortunately, I didn’t hit something, however it was a superb reminder that I, you already know, suck just a little bit.

That screw-up apart, driving the RWD R8 on a observe is immensely enjoyable and satisfying. The naturally-aspirated V10 makes 562 hp and 419 pound-feet of torque, and it’ll get from parked to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds (add a tenth when you’re within the Spyder, hair whipping round and your glasses flying off into the aether).

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

It’s gut-punch fast, and in case you have sufficient street you may get it to over 200 mph, however I didn’t get that probability, and I don’t truthfully suppose anybody who buys one among these will, both.

However that’s high quality, as a result of pretty much as good as this automobile is at simply straight-up velocity, it feels finest if you’re wringing it out via turns, stomping exhausting on the large brakes (18 inch metal ones or elective 19 inch ceramics) and customarily pushing it exhausting, having fun with it for the absurd and fantastic expertise that it’s.

Oh, the observe additionally had these tube-framed and fiberglass Beetle-bodied Enjoyable Cup vehicles, however they wouldn’t let me take one for a spin to, you already know, evaluate:

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

I’m guessing nobody right here actually desires me to try to describe each element about how this automobile feels on the observe as a result of I all the time really feel like these descriptions fall quick and sound sort of, I don’t know, douchey.

Let’s simply depart it at this: it is a automobile that feels prefer it desires to work with you, and is a prepared accomplice in your quest to have enjoyable and go quick round a observe. You’ll be able to out-drive your ability, certain, like something, however I discovered it to be forgiving and secure and a hell of quite a lot of enjoyable.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

What’s additionally spectacular is how properly the R8 RWD transitions from screaming alongside a observe to navigating regular roads. It’s large and lengthy and also you had to pay attention to its large butt in these slender streets, however as soon as you bought a really feel to your footprint, it wasn’t exhausting to weave round city or alongside windy mountain roads.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Even with the highest down on the freeway, it’s a remarkably relaxed cruiser, and you would do a protracted street journey on this factor no drawback. Once more, that each one sort of suits the general character of this automobile—it’s a supercar, with all the exuberance and extremes that entails, however it additionally retains issues below management and isn’t going to make a scene in public.

I imply, except you actually need to. And also you most likely will, not less than typically, as a result of the sound of that V10 pushes every kind of foolish buttons inside you, which suggests if you hit a tunnel, chances are you’ll do that:

That video doesn’t actually do it justice, however belief me, it’s nice.

Oh, and talking of nice, look what I noticed as I used to be driving round over there:

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

An outdated Mini looks as if a really perfect automobile for these islands. Sensible choice, buddy!

Digital whatevers and different toys

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

I largely point out this to let potential consumers know that when you’re on the lookout for the most recent driver-assist techniques or CarPlay integration or no matter, you’re very a lot trying within the incorrect place. Which I believe you’d already knew.

Why would you need an L2 driving help system on this automobile? You wouldn’t. That may be ridiculous, like when you purchased an automatic steak-eating machine. So there’s none of that bullshit right here.

The automobile is, after all, filled with every kind of tech, however it’s the type used to make the automobile drive higher and quicker and safer and all that.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The one massive display is the instrument cluster, although that may be configured in a wide range of layouts, so you may have a map/nav show or simply your foremost devices or a particular track-focused format or no matter.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

The steering wheel has between two and 4 “satellites,” which is what Audi calls the little floating buttons there, and people are a visually enjoyable method to flip the automobile on or off, choose drive modes or make the exhaust louder. It’s not going to vary your life, however they add some distinctiveness.

I believe the one method to change radio quantity is on the steering wheel there, so, once more, robust nuts to your passenger.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

There may be one little techno-toy factor on the automobile that I believe is genuinely intelligent and helpful, and it’s in these little buttons on the seat belt. These are microphones, in order that even when you’re tearing ass round with the highest down and all of the engine noise, you may have a dialog with somebody on the telephone and so they can truly hear you. I examined it and was advised it really works surprisingly properly by the particular person on the opposite finish.

My Verdict

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

For no matter motive, I believe the Audi R8, in all its kinds, will get sort of forgotten within the supercar area, and that’s a disgrace. It positively has a unique tone than most different supercars, a sure seriousness that may flip some folks off and would possibly appeal to others from a distinct segment that I believe is probably going smaller, however I’d suppose fairly passionate.

I had a blast driving this factor round that island, on the observe, via the cities and winding via the mountain roads, however it’s not one thing I believe I may personally ever personal.

And that’s not simply because I’m a perpetual broke-ass who needed to be gifted underpants — it’s as a result of, deep down, I’m unsure I’m a Critical Sufficient Man (I say man as a result of the gross sales for these are about 99 % male, in line with the PR guys) for a automobile like this. I’m not even fully sure I’d get together with these people who find themselves?

Pulling up in an R8 makes a fairly distinctive assertion, assured but quiet; saying it’s not a showy standing image could be delusional. In fact, it’s, however it goes that additional step and turns into a showy assertion that claims you’re the type of one who seems down on showy statements — which is a type of showy assertion unto itself. It’s an ouroboros of posturing, and never everybody can pull it off.

Image for article titled 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD: First Drive Of A Paradoxical Supercar

Picture: Jason Torchinsky

Look, in case you have the cash and like to drive, why not get your self an R8? And when you’re going to get one, why not get the extra visceral RWD one and save a bit of cash that you simply don’t actually need to save lots of, anyway? It’s a blast to drive, it’s simple to cruise in and, in line with some PR pitch I obtained simply now, the R8 is even essentially the most dependable supercar, which it higher be, contemplating the way it’s constructed.

The R8 is an odd type of supercar, a self-conscious and refined supercar, a succesful observe monster which you could additionally take your mother to her struggle membership in with out upsetting anybody within the gated neighborhood.

It’s just a little complicated, lots spectacular and an absolute blast to drive. The R8 remains to be right here, and it’s price remembering that.



Supply hyperlink