2022 Audi R8 RWD Performance Review : The Last HuR8ah
Singapore - The big “why” the Audi R8 is so special to me, is because as a supercar, it simply doesn’t have to try so hard. It may be up there with the likes of the Porsche 911, Maserati MC20, McLaren Artura, its Huracan sister, and even the Ferrari 296 GTB. Sure, it checks many of these special supercar boxes, yet it remains simply relatable… like an Audi should and would.
When it was first introduced, The R8 was offered with either a 4.2 litre V8 or a 5.2 litre V10. There have been countless debates about the V8 being more engaging, because it makes a better noise. But then Audi decided that the second generation car would only receive a V10.
So, about the part I mentioned where the R8 does not need to try too hard. I have to tell you that will not be among the quickest of entry level supercars, but I really wouldn’t care. What truly matters to me is that Audi chose to direct their focus on the fundamentals, ensuring that their final car is simply more refined, and arguably one of the very best produced, ever und ever.
Pop open the door, and right away, you can tell that the car is from a different time. There is no infotainment screen. All of the car’s information is displayed within the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit. It is such, so that you can simply focus on the drive. Impressively, given the period the Virtual Cockpit was developed, it is not sluggish, even by today’s standards. While the interior does show some age, I dare say it still feels current enough, and quality here would easily put something like the more expensive Maserati MC20 to shame.
If you are a “proper” driving enthusiast, there is some good news. Audi decided that the R8 swansong would be a RWD only car. Audi has also upped the V10’s output slightly, so it produces 30hp and 10Nm more. But the numbers don’t matter so much. For us, the magic here is in how the V10’s puts out its drive. It takes you back to a different time… a certain “gold-standard” if you may. It accelerates in linear fashion - which is a refreshing change, especially in a time where the norm would be a wall of torque one way or another, as your options would be turbocharged and some even electric-assisted.
Have that rev-counter climb beyond 5000rpm, and that in-cabin thunder begins to turn-heel (here’s a 5-cyl RS 3 which makes similar noise), as you take wing. From here-on, the V10’s engine note frenzies into a delightful howl, punctuated only by the 7-speed S Tronic transmission’s cog swaps. Where possible, meaning legal, you can take that red needle all the way to a screaming 8700rpm.
Just for now, forget about “new world” electrified and boosted V6s and V8s out there. Sure, the V10 has less power than most, but it has that irreplaceable, immersive rawty-sheer-rawty emotion, which it brings to the table.
Around corners, the Audi supercar feels point and shoot accurate, but not as on-a-dime as its rivals. The steering is also lighter than the AWD version. There is feedback, but I could use a little more. Exit a bend with more power than you comfortably should, and the rear-end begins to hint that it wants to kick outward. There are some driving parallels with the 911 GT3; in that you have to treat the throttle pedal with more respect, but both cars drive very differently.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow, Jay Tee (rolling shots)
Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI RWD Performance
Engine 5204cc, 40v, V10, nat-asp
Transmission 7spd S tronic dual-clutch
Top speed 329km/h
Fuel Consumption 13.5l/100km