Is the 2016 Audi R8 V10 Plus the last guardian of the naturally aspirated supercar?Turbos are in and they are taking over. Only a few supercars still breathe normally, and the Audi R8 V10 Plus might be their king.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] Well doesn't this look familiar? It's an LDR8 but not the R8 we know. It's an all new one. It has a meaner face, lasers for eyes, and a fixed carbon wing. Its 5.2 liter V10 produces 602 brake horsepower and delivers it to all four wheels. This is the R8 V10 Plus, the fastest R8 you can buy today. I remember when the original R8 came out. It looked unlike anything else. It really was a pretty, pretty car. It was also useable, you could see out of it. You could put things in it. It challenged the nine eleven in the everyday useability state. And it's V8 engine well, that's one of the favorite engines of all time. It was also [UNKNOWN] sports car and I mean like iron mack, it made switching gears And this new one, well Audi hopes it will build on the successes of the old one. It's not much of a secret that the R8 and the Lamborghini Gallardo shared a few key things, not least the engine in the V10 R8. The same is true of the new R8 and the Huracan. They have the same layouts, and some remarkably similar toys. In the V10 plus version of the R8, this one has the same 602 brake horsepower engine to play with from launch. The power is aided to the road by a seven speed dual clutch transmission that can send 100% of the torque to the fronts or the back as needed. Sadly there isn't a manual option for this or the Lambo Hurricane. It seems that that, Is a thing of the past now as is a V8 option, which I think is a crying shame because the last gen's V8 is one of the best sounding engines ever. You might recognize it. [NOISE] Also gone are the distinctive side blades that looked a bit weird to start with and then just made sense. On top of that, the new R8 can weigh up to 50 kilos lighter than before, thanks to aluminum, carbon fiber, and some clever engineering. Audi's managed to make a 602 brake horsepower 413 pound foot car that can hit 62 from rest in 3.2 seconds. And will top 205 miles per hour, and will naught to 124 in less than 10 seconds if you're feeling brave as well. [SOUND] [NOISE] The interiors loaded with lots of toys. Big comfy seats. The virtual cockpit. Like what you get on the TT and lots of buttons on the steering wheel. Once you start the engine making the exhaust noisy. The turbo mega [INAUDIBLE] button. Know this isn't a turbocharged engine. And the dry select, nor the audio. Stuff as well. So there is lots and lots of tech, but what is it actually like to drive? So to speak, absolutely amazing. When you're in dynamics mode, which is Audi East or Sport, it can be quite aggressive. It'll change quite harshly. It can jolt the car. So it makes you feel either like you've lost a manual change or you're in a race Racing car. I think they were going for the latter rather than the former. In normal mode in comfort, it's actually really pleasant. Dynamically it can be a bit harsh on the springs but in normal mode it's just really nice, been [INAUDIBLE] round the smoothish mountain roads and the rides been really supple, it's been really, Quite pleasant. However, you probably don't want to hear about comfort mode because well that's a bit boring really isn't it. So here's the rub. In dynamic mode, in torrential rain, my God it gathers pace, it is so fast. It's kind of take your breath away, all hot in your mouth. Good lord this is quick, we shouldn't be going so quick, the road is soaking wet, I'm being irresponsible fast. It's awesome. It's naught to 62 is on part with the Hurrican, obviously, but also a 911 turbo S, but the way it delivers power is very different. 911, big dollop of torque and a kick in the kidney. This, very smooth, very linear, but very very aggressive. [NOISE] Now, grip wise we have been utilizing the quatro system. Lots of lovely four wheel drive action. It has a surprisingly large amount of grip. Terrifyingly so I shouldn't have been able to get around some of these corners in say, a rear wheel drive car at the speeds I've been managing. But the car seems to feel very flat, very level, say like a proper safer car. The steering I've got a bit of an issue with. It doesn't sit quite right with me. Takes a while to find it's groove and once you hook it up, it's still a bit work properly. I mean I can get to work with it, [LAUGH] quattro. I can get to work with it but it doesn't feel the most precise in the world. The track control system I will say is top notch, because I should have been killed twice today. Thanks to the weather. The brakes, carbon ceramic, they're interesting, because I find them a little bit grabby. But once you start to get to learn them, they feel a little bit more natural. I think these are the kind of brakes that you need to spend some time getting to learn and to figure out. Now I've said a lot that this car shares much with the Huracán and, well, it does. There's no denying that. However, with the Italian, you feel it's a little bit more delicate. You don't really wanna prod it the wrong way for fear something might fall off. But the Audi feels a little bit more solid, a bit less special, as a consequence. The Lamborghini feel infinitely more special than the R8, but this feels a bit more solid. Now this being the V10 Plus we got a carbon fiber wheel on the back as standard. They say it's to generate lots and lots of downturn I don't think that's true. I just think that people who have bought these to identify other people with the same amount of money. And the people with the normal V10 with a retractable rear spoiler thing, well they just look down on them. Which is a shame because I'm told the base R8 is pretty amazing. Now here's the rub, the R8 and the Hurricane that it shares some of its bits with are becoming something of an oddity. While neither have a manual, both have mid-mounted, naturally aspirated V10 engines. Like a Ferrari that's just gone turbo charged. It's got its California T for turbo and 480 GTB. The new 911, that's gone biturbo, and the new Merc AMG GT has two turbos onboard as well. The cars that are coming out are changing, our roads are evolving, much to the chagrin of purists who unfortunately have much to say, but well, can buy very little. And don't worry, that's not just the [UNKNOWN] I'm one of them. Look at how much has changed since the rose tinted good old days, For example the Ferrari three five five. Auto gauge boxes aren't capped anymore, in fact they're faster than that, the engines don't have to be ruleless. the V ten ans S R eight has a cylinder shuttle system. So when you cruising only five cylinders are used. So that means in theory you can get a little over 30 mpg in this and do more than 200 miles an hour. That sounds quite good, I wish it actually worked that way. But still this car has got me thinking, what's left for the naturally aspirated engine? I mean Aston Martin is going to stick with it's V12 for as long as humanly possible, but that just leaves The all rate and the [UNKNOWN]. And their run's gonna be what? Best part of the decade and then they'll be replaced. And then I suppose well, what do we get? Big boosty power and more MPG for all? That's no bad thing in reality, it's better for the environment and all that. It also means there's more oil for longer. But is this one of the last guardians of the naturally aspirated supercar castle? I fear it may be. And what a thing to go out with. A screaming V10 with more power and performance than you really know what to do with. And a car that not onlly looks good, but, more importantly, feels good. In my brief time with it, the old R8 was good, but the new one's better. [SOUND]