Audi R8 vs Porsche 911 Turbo S
Ultimate sports cars go head-to-head as new Audi R8 V10 Plus meets Porsche 911 Turbo S
Few cars caused as much of a stir as the original Audi R8. When it was unveiled in 2006, the mid-engined supercar was a world away from the brand’s sensible saloons and hatchbacks. Nearly a decade on, Audi has pulled the wraps off an all-new version.
Okay, so it doesn’t look much different – the brand didn’t want to mess with a winning formula – but it’s transformed under the skin. It’s lost weight for starters, plus the V10 engine is more powerful. There’s also a faster-acting gearbox and different suspension. Yet the roomy, well equipped interior, good-sized boot and all-wheel drive mean this supercar can be used every day.
Another car that effortlessly mixes warp-speed performance with a seamless ability to handle the daily grind is the Porsche 911 Turbo S. Relentlessly honed over four decades, the rear-engined model has a blend of high-performance heritage and cutting-edge technology that makes it one of the most desirable sports cars on the planet.
So which of our contenders will deliver the knockout blow in this bruising encounter?
Head to head
Our duo have very different engines. The Audi’s 602bhp 5.2-litre V10 is proudly displayed under a glass tailgate, sounds great, revs to 8,500rpm and has razor-sharp responses.
The 911’s 3.8-litre flat-six is hidden from view and sounds muted in comparison, but the addition of twin turbos yields 552bhp and a thumping 750Nm.
While R8 Plus models get a fixed carbon-fibre rear spoiler, the 911 goes more hi-tech. Both front and rear spoilers can be extended by up to 25mm and 75mm respectively. There are Normal, Speed and Performance settings, and at 186mph the S generates 132kg of downforce.
On the road
Given the performance potential of these cars, it’s no surprise both are offered with advanced driving tuition. These one-to-one courses take place at the brands’ respective ‘experience’ centres, both of which are located at the Silverstone circuit in Northants.
First place: Audi R8
Audi has managed to make the already exciting R8 even more thrilling. Lighter and faster than ever, this mid-engined missile turns every journey into an event. At the heart of its appeal is the 5.2-litre V10, which delivers incredible performance and a thrilling soundtrack. Factor in the involving handling, supple ride and beautiful cabin, and this is a supercar you can live with every day.
Second place: Porsche 911 Turbo S
The Porsche loses out by a whisker in this encounter. Mind-scrambling performance, engaging driving dynamics and unrivalled all-weather security are highlights, as is the surprising practicality. Yet the 911 lacks the visual and aural drama of the R8, plus it costs more to buy. Still, a new 911 Turbo S is just around the corner, so round two is on the cards.
Porsche 911 Turbo S
Due: Feb 2016 Price: £145,773Engine: 3.8-litre flat-six, 572bhp
Order your 911 Turbo S today, and by the time delivery is due, you’ll get the facelifted car. Despite its 20bhp boost and claimed 2.9-second 0-62mph time, the new model emits less CO2 and uses less fuel. It’s pricey, though, at £145,773.
|Audi R8 V10 Plus||Porsche 911 Tubo S|
|On-the-road price/total as tested||£134,500/£154,225||£143,045/£145,132|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)||£68,192/50.7%||£65,801/46.0%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£9,868/£19,735||£10,517/£21,034|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£2,697/£4,495||£2,543/£4,238|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||50/£1,224/M/£505||50/£1,298/L/£490|
|Peak power||602/8,250 bhp/rpm||552/6,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||560/6,500 Nm/rpm||750/2,100 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||7-spd twin-clutch/4WD||7-spd twin-clutch/4WD|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||73 litres/foam||68 litres/foam|
|Boot capacity||112 litres||115 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||11.2 metres/N/A||10.9 metres/0.31Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/3yrs||3yrs (unltd)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||Variable/121||12,000 (2yrs)/36|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||13th/25th||6th/8th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||N/A||N/A|
|0-60/30-70mph||2.9/2.2 secs||2.8/2.1 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||1.6/2.3 secs||1.7/2.6 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th||2.9/4.0/5.1 secs||2.6/3.6/6.0 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||205mph/2,900rpm||198mph/2,300rpm|
|Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph||66/50/67/76dB||77/56/69/72dB|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||23.1/5.1/371 miles||24.5/5.4/366 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||283/287g/km/37%||266/227g/km/37%|
|Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensors||Four/yes/yes||Six/£121/yes|
|Adaptive dampers/stability/cruise ctrl||£1,600/yes/£275||Yes/yes/£299|
|Climate control/leather/heated seats||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless go||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/£744|