R8

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2021 Audi R8 Overview

The Audi R8 took the world by storm when it arrived in 2008. In the intervening 13 years, it’s seen a second generation and several performance advances. For the 2021 model year, it gets a few important updates.

As before, Audi offers the R8 in both fixed-roof Coupe and soft-top Spyder models. Whichever one you get, you’ll be treated to a mid-mounted 5.2-liter V10 and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Last year, Audi offered its Quattro all-wheel drive (AWD) as the volume option in V10 and V10 Performance trims, with a limited number of special-edition rear-wheel drive (RWD) models. This year, the base V10 disappears, to be replaced by a new V10 RWD trim. V10 Performance models boast 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque and can rocket to 60 mph as quickly as 3.2 seconds for the Coupe and 3.3 for the Spyder. Meanwhile, V10 RWD models are slightly less powerful, at 532 hp and 398 lb-ft. Nevertheless, the V10 RWD Coupe reaches 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, while the V10 RWD Spyder does it in 3.7 seconds. The top speed is as high as 201 mph.

The V10 RWD R8 comes standard with keyless access and start, LED headlights, 14-way power seats 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, leather, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and an adaptive sport suspension. You can tack on Audi’s laser headlights, extra leather, a 550-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system, 18-way seats, and illuminated door sill inlays. Carbon Exterior Package. Meanwhile, the V10 Performance model comes with all standard and optional features from the V8 RWD, a carbon spoiler, and a fixed-damper suspension system. Newly available for the V10 Performance Is an R8 Performance Design Package, bundling Mercato blue diamond contrast stitching, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and blue ceramic brake calipers.

In keeping with most supercars, there’s not much in the way of safety on the R8. The only things of note you’ll find are a rear-view camera, reversing sensors, and adaptive cruise control. What you won’t find are crash tests from either the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but again, that’s not unusual for high-end cars like this one.

The R8 remains a formidable supercar with a new, purer RWD option that’s here to stay.

Updated

Kyree has always been fascinated with the automotive world, especially when it comes to premium European cars. But regardless of the vehicle—whether it's an efficient hybrid or the latest luxury sled—he's always ready to dispense information and advice. These days, he enjoys doing that here at CarGurus.

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