Car group tests

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.

• Best supercars to buy now

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.

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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.

Coming soon

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Due: Feb 2016 Price: £145,773Engine: 3.8-litre flat-six, 572bhp

New 2016 Porsche 911 Turbo S side

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 PlusPorsche 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/cost50/£1,224/M/£50550/£1,298/L/£490
Servicing costs£999/£869/£1,613£550/£1,250/£550
Peak power 602/8,250 bhp/rpm552/6,500 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 560/6,500 Nm/rpm750/2,100 Nm/rpm
Transmission 7-spd twin-clutch/4WD7-spd twin-clutch/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel73 litres/foam68 litres/foam
Boot capacity 112 litres115 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,555/340kg1,605/385kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.2 metres/N/A10.9 metres/0.31Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/12112,000 (2yrs)/36
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.13th/25th6th/8th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/AN/A
0-60/30-70mph2.9/2.2 secs2.8/2.1 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 1.6/2.3 secs1.7/2.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th 2.9/4.0/5.1 secs2.6/3.6/6.0 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 205mph/2,900rpm198mph/2,300rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 40.1/33.2/8.9m35.9/26.8/9.6m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph66/50/67/76dB77/56/69/72dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range23.1/5.1/371 miles24.5/5.4/366 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined16.1/30.4/23.0mpg21.4/37.0/29.1mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined3.5/6.7/5.1mpl4.7/8.1/6.4mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket283/287g/km/37%266/227g/km/37%
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensorsFour/yes/yesSix/£121/yes
Adaptive dampers/stability/cruise ctrl£1,600/yes/£275Yes/yes/£299
Climate control/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Metallic paint/LED lights/keyless goYes/yes/yesYes/yes/£744
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

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