Audi R8 V10 Plus: Audi's Mk1.5 is the same but betterThe Audi R8 is a brilliant car that put far more established supercars' noses out of joint when it was launched in 2007. There's a new one on the scene and it's simply incredible.
A director's cut is a version of a movie that reflects the director's original intentions released after the first studio version. It's what you get when the director thinks-- "This can be a bit better than it already is." And that's precisely what the new Audi R8 is. It's a director's cut. Launched in 2012, this new R8 has been tweaked, poked and prodded to be better than ever before. And that's a tough job because the take on the R8 was truly brilliant. The V8 Manual is one of the best cars I have ever driven. The look of the original was so different at the time it stood out far enough to make much of the super car aristocracy look a little try hard. It's low front, massive side blades and distinctive rear work all told, pretty brilliant. With this second take, Audi has tweaked that the front gets redesigned LED lamps, the same goes for the rear lamps. And now, the exhaust can come in circular like it used to get on the hard core R8 GT. And also, there's a new model in the line-up. It's called the R8 V10 Plus. Plus-- I like the sound of plus. In this case, Plus means more hardcore. More power and more super car in this, where the astounded V10 gets 525 horses the Plus gets 550 from its Lamborghini to right 5.2 liter V10. That's a big number, which is great because big numbers create very small ones. Sixty-two comes in just 3 and a half seconds. That is a small number as this the MPG with a less said about that, the better really. And also, this thing will do 197 miles an hour, which is great if you have a runway or you live in Germany, otherwise, if you live in the UK like I do, it does get to 70 really rather quickly. The Plus has been massaged under the skin as well. This is [unk] in the Plus has been firmed up, which means your corner is nice and flat in level and thanks to the car's [unk] an all wheel drive system. You can take those corners just a little bit quicker than you would in other super cars. You can take them in speeds that might actually flummox or get other one's out a shape. I feel that something is missing here though. Call me old school. Call me old fashion. Call me a mono, whatever you want. But I do miss a manual gear box. You can't have it on the R8 V10 Plus. And I kinda miss that because it was its open gate click-clack and sort of added to the whole experience and maybe just a little bit more engaging. But, the 7 speed s tronic dual clutch also in this does have its advantages around town. It's very smooth. It's very lovely. It can make the car very quiet and actually a very comfortable cruiser. But, when you press the sport button just down there, well things get really, really noisy. So when you going some, should we say and you break, it'll search through the gears down, down, down make this massive V10 flat, four [unk] of the back scaring everything and everyone around you which is also-- it also cling on to the gears a lot longer which is great because it means you get to hear that awesome 5.2 liter V10 growl. Then you get the acceleration which is just unbelievable. You've see it through the scenery like some kind of a giant German Arrow. It is-- it's unbelievable. You feel all those 550 brake horsepower working as hard as they possibly can. And then, when you do, you need to take some speed off. Well, the Plus does have carbon store on brakes astounded and around town when you just pottering about. They can be a little bit grabby. But when you need them to work, which this speed this thing can do. I'd imagine you definitely will. Oh, boy do they work. You stop pretty quickly. Allow me to demonstrate it. We're going at speed. Now we're not. It really good. You're right. Isn't that absolutely astounding car? I absolutely love it. The way it handles. The way it feels. But there is one tiny criticism to be leverage against it and that's the interior. It is starting to feel just that little bit outdated. I mean, only infotainment system, for example. When it was launched in 2007, it was the jazziest thing in the world. But now, when you get full better tech on [unk] pedestrian Audis. And the switch gear as well. It's just starting to look a little bit long in the tube. That's not to say the interior isn't without its merits. I love the fact that the driver's seat in this sort of carbon fiber arc. Almost there is like, "No, this is your cockpit and this is what you're going to be having on the front. And it does still look good. It's just overtime. I don't think it'll aged spectacularly well. But being an Audi, it won't have a break. The R8's charm was its usability, and thankfully, that's hasn't changed. You can see out of it. It's comfortable though and lesser in Plus spec than the others. The space for things and it looks damn good. Audi's version of a director's cut is a wonderful thing. It's taken in the original fiddle with it and made it just a little bit better than ever before. In 2007, when it first launched, there were moments that Audi was mad to be trying to take home the lights of Porsche, Ferrari and Lamborghini. Now though, would there be a [unk] to stop.