In-depth reviews

Audi R8 review - Reliability and safety

The R8 is a development of its predecessor, while a raft of electronics helps to raise safety levels

Audi is famed for the quality and reliability of its components, and as the second-generation R8 is a development of the original, it should be a good performer. With its hand-crafted production process and hefty price, we expect the R8 will deliver a blemish-free ownership experience.

The engine, for example, is a development of the old 5.2-litre V10, and is also used in the Lamborghini Huracan. It’s a similar story with the twin-clutch S tronic gearbox, which feels bulletproof even after several full-bore applications of the launch control back to back.

However, Audi finished a disappointing 23rd out of 29 manufacturers in the 2021 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, falling from an already underwhelming 21st place in 2020.

In terms of safety, the R8 hasn't been Euro NCAP tested – and is unlikely ever to be – but its aluminium and carbon-fibre hybrid platform is stronger than ever, meaning it’s 50kg lighter and 40 per cent stiffer than the first generation. There are four airbags, multi-stage stability control and carbon-ceramic brakes (an option on the R8, standard on the R8 Performance), but there’s no option to add hi-tech features such as autonomous emergency braking or blind-spot monitoring.

Performance mode is activated via a button on the steering wheel and has three sub-modes – dry, wet and snow. By loosening the ESC’s grip and managing all other driving parameters it extracts the maximum performance, while keeping the car pointing in the right direction.

LED headlights are standard, but among the options are laser lights, with the ability to light the road up to 600m ahead of the car. A camera-based sensor system ensures the lights are dipped when another car is approaching, to avoid dazzling them.

Warranty

R8 owners will benefit from a standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty, although there is the opportunity to extend cover to either four or five years, at extra cost.

Servicing

Audi offers various servicing plans that help to spread the cost of scheduled maintenance, with each plan based on the age your vehicle. The Audi Complete package includes servicing, maintenance and tyres for up to five years.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    5.2 FSI [570] V10 Performance 2dr S Tronic RWD
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £126,825

Most Economical

  • Name
    5.2 FSI [570] V10 Performance 2dr S Tronic RWD
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £126,825

Fastest

  • Name
    5.2 FSI V10 Quattro Performance 2dr S Tronic
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £146,930

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