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    Audi returns to Le Mans

    For years the German marque straddled Le Mans like a colossus. Then it left. Jake Groves leads the comeback.
    Audi bailed out of the World Endurance Championship back in 2016, after a decade and a half of near-complete dominanace. Its swansong was the Audi Sport Team Joest R18, but the story began with the R8 – the R8R contested the 1999 race. Heck, even the R8 production car’s concept forebear was called the Le Mans Concept.

    So, when you’re invited to Le Mans, glamping, and with the opportunity to rub shoulders with some famous people (courtesy in my case of Aston Martin Racing, not Audi), taking our R8 to one of the most famous races on the planet is a no-brainer. I’ll be the closest thing to a 2019 Le Mans entry Audi Sport will have – hell, they should be paying me for this.

    Lumpy, congested British motorways and fast, clean French autoroutes generally don’t make for a particularly thrilling drive. But when you have 10 cylinders, a foldable roof and a near-continuous convoy of motorsport fans in similarly tasty cars all the way from Calais to Le Mans, you don’t stop smiling. At one point I even spend time in convoy with CAR’s James Taylor, who’s driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RS; some long tunnels allow for laugh-out-loud (and very childish) acceleration tests between the R8’s bassy midrange and the Porsche’s limiter-bouncing howls.

    I arrive at the campsite with no backache (the bucket seats are uncompromising but supportive) and ready for a weekend in any weather, the R8’s supposedly paltry frunk swallowing everything from T-shirts and shorts to chunky boots and a thick raincoat.

    The weekend itself proves unforgettable. I come away exhausted and temporaily deaf but it will be hard to beat watching the sunrise at Tertre Rouge, taking a helicopter ride over the track mid-race and testing my own endurance by staying up most of the night.

    Then, on the misty Monday morning after, I do the whole trip back again with a similarly wide smile on my face. That is, of course, after a quick blast up and down the Mulsanne straight, sneaking a few pictures on the second chicane.
    Any niggles? It’s a small one, but plenty of recent new Audis have an updated version of Virtual Cockpit that looks cleaner and comes with some cool graphics – something the A1 hatch gets but this facelifted supercar doesn’t, even though the two were launched at the same time. Oh, and there are a couple of creaks coming from the instrument cluster – again, not a dealbreaker, but evidence of the R8’s handmade origins.

    / #2019-Audi-R8-Spyder-Performance-Type-4S / #2019 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Performance-Type-4S / #Audi-R8-Type-4S / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Performance / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2 / #Audi-R8 / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Spyder

    Month 2

    The story so far

    All style, no substance? Le Mans and back will test the R8, asking that it lug all-weather camping gear, cruise long distances and still thrill when required

    + The attention you get; engine, pliancy in Comfort; engine; topless thrills; grip; did we mention the engine?
    - The attention you get; thirst

    Price £152,645 (£169,120 as tested)
    Performance 5204cc V10, 612bhp,
    0-62mph 3.2sec
    Max speed 204mph
    Efficiency 20.9-21.1mpg (official), 22.2mpg (tested), 302g/ km CO2
    Energy cost 30.1p per mile
    Miles this month 3575
    Total miles 7819


    Come on Audi, GTE next year? The R8 couldn’t look happier on Le Mans tarmac
    In the tunnels, the R8’s bassy midrange battles a Porsche 911 GT3 RS’s limiter bouncing howls
    • Ways to start the day come no finer: ? Naturally aspirated V10 ? Spyder for fruity country smells ⭕️ Mid-engined poise for back-road thrills No wondWays to start the day come no finer:

      ? Naturally aspirated V10
      ? Spyder for fruity country smells
      ⭕️ Mid-engined poise for back-road thrills

      No wonder jake-groves turns up to work grinning every day with this as his
        More ...
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    CAR Audi R8 Spyder V10 END OF TERM

    / #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-Plus / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2 / #Audi-R8

    It’s farewell to our drop-top supercar – and its magnificent #V10 . But will we miss having an R8 as a daily driver?

    Knocking about in a drop-top supercar for half a year is likely to sit pretty high up on any petrolhead’s bucket-list. Running an R8 Spyder was, of course, a brilliant experience – one I may never be lucky enough to repeat. And with the Spyder’s £129,990 base price taken up to £167,740 by options such as carbonceramic brakes (£7700), the gloss carbon exterior styling pack (£4900) and the Sport Plus Pack (bringing Audi’s three-mode magnetic adaptive dampers, Dynamic Steering and a sports exhaust, for £3500), this R8 really was deep into supercar territory. But before I get into the many reasons why it was such fun, there are a few (decidedly first-world) irritations I want to air.

    My first complaint relates to the attention a car like the Spyder gets out on the road. Mostly the waves and the thumbs-ups and the friendly comments are all quite fun, but what I could have done without was the steady stream of morons who were determined to lure me into a street-race on motorways and dual carriageways. I’m no saint, and there will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance, but mostly I just let them go.

    You could spot these bargain-bin Brian O’Conners a mile off. They’d approach at speed, then suddenly stand on the brakes when they clocked the R8’s extra-wide rump. They’d sit behind for a little while, too close for comfort, before pulling alongside. I never looked over to make eye contact, instead fixing my stare on the road ahead. From here they might circulate the car once or twice, or sit in front of it, or even flash their lights to try to get my attention. After a short while, once they’d realised there was no sport to be had, they’d disappear, probably to recount to their mates the time they roasted an R8 on the A43.

    Then there was the fact that a car such as this one stands out wherever it’s parked. I was always nervous about leaving it out on the street overnight (living in a city, I had no other choice), a concern that was realised one morning when I found the driver’s window had been smashed. Unless you happen to have secure parking wherever you go, I suspect that underlying nervousness is, sadly, part of the supercar ownership experience.

    There were a few annoyances relating specifically to the R8, too, notably the fixed-back bucket seats (a £3000 option), which I’ve written about far too often already, and the width of the thing, which made certain car parks hell to navigate. It also needed a quiet-start function, as my poor neighbours will attest. Does this all sound a bit moany?

    Perhaps it does. Regardless, in just about every other sense, running the Spyder was utterly brilliant.

    How could it not be? I always smiled to myself when I caught a glimpse of it. I made a point of dropping the little window behind the seats on every single journey, no matter how tedious, and stretching the magnificent engine all the way around to the 8500rpm red line, with the exhaust in sport mode, just to let the V10 howl flood into the cabin. There’s no better way to start the day. Or finish it, for that matter. I suggested when the car arrived that this exercise would be more a case of living with a whacking great V10 engine than running a particular car, and it’s certainly true that the motor dominated the entire R8 experience.

    Once the weather improved, sometime in March, I could actually use the car as its maker intended by getting the roof down. I found that quite a calming experience. I wouldn’t drive the car particularly hard with the hood lowered, but instead would stroke it along and enjoy the sounds and the smells and the fresh air. It isn’t often you can use 533 wild horses to their full potential on the road, so having something to enjoy about the R8 at moderate speeds was a massive boon.

    The car averaged around 23mpg, with high-20s just about achievable on a long, steady run. It didn’t need a service during its time with us, but it did need a fresh set of Pirelli P Zeros (just over £1000 fitted) soon before it went back to Audi. Smashed window aside, the R8 didn’t once let me down in any way – which, of course, is how it should be.

    One final thought. Having run a bona fide supercar as my everyday car, I’m not certain I’d be in a hurry to do it again. Not because the R8 was in any way taxing – given its massive performance and handling ability, it was actually very easy to use – but because I wouldn’t want to normalise what is actually a very special thing. I think I’d keep the supercar for weekends and driving holidays. After all, eating steak every night would soon wear thin.

    Date acquired November #2016
    Duration of test 6 months
    Total test mileage 9667
    Overall mpg 22.8
    Costs £1048 four tyres
    Purchase price £167,740
    Value today £120,000-135,000

    Left: Prosser took the R8 to north Wales for a farewell drive. Where better to enjoy that mighty, 533bhp V10 one last time?

    ‘There will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance’
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    AUDI R8 SPYDER / #Audi-R8-Spyder

    The roof may have gone, but the magic is still there – the new #Audi-R8-Spyder is a truly impressive machine…

    The all-new R8 has been greeted with critical acclaim. It’s dripping with the latest technology, stunningly beautiful to look at and boasts a V10 engine that offers spine tingling performance, as well as a sensational sound track. No surprise, then, that orders have been strong for the Audi supercar. While the Coupe has been going great guns, many have held back, waiting to see the Spyder. Would the loss of the roof dilute the R8’s winning formula? Not on your life.


    Unveiled at the prestigious #2016-New-York-Motor-Show , the #Audi-R8-Mk2 Spyder is another triumph for Audi.

    Let’s begin with the aesthetics. With the hood down, the R8 is a very good-looking machine. The flowing lines, enhanced by the deep, wide flanks look great from every angle. The hood itself has been designed to taper into two fins, to maintain the shape of the #Audi-R8 . An electro-hydraulic system opens the lightweight hood in just 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. Like the Coupe, the glass engine cover has gone and is replaced by a panel featuring cooling vents for the mighty V10. Matrix LED headlights come as standard, while laser lighting technology is available as an option.

    19in alloys are standard while 20s can be specified along with carbon ceramic brakes. The chassis benefits from the class leading quattro drive system and four modes are available, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual. The system draws on the s-tronic, steering, exhaust flap control and control of the optional magnetic damping system. The optional Performance steering wheel offers three further settings, Wet, Dry and Snow for the ultimate in personalising the set up according to conditions.

    The Spyder weighs in at just 1,612kg (dry), giving an impressive power to weight figure of 310PS per ton. This has been achieved using the super-stiff and lightweight Audi Space Frame (ASF), a blend of aluminium and carbon fibre.

    One of the real treats with any ‘soft top’, of course, is the ability to hear the engine properly. And engines don’t come much better than the naturally aspirated 5.2 V10 nestled behind the driver. This 532bhp and 540Nm free-revving unit emits a highly sonorous bark that wills you to prod the throttle more and more. With the roof down, you get to hear every note as you explore the V10’s capabilities. From a meaty, but unobtrusive burble at idle, through to a screaming crescendo when you near the limiter, the fantastic noise is amplified in the Spyder. The V10 is truly one of the great powerplants and so well matched to the R8’s dynamically impressive chassis. Top speed is a heady 197mph, with 0-62mph achievable in just 3.6secs.

    A more powerful Spyder Plus is expected to be unveiled later in the year, offering the same 601bhp and associated upgrades as the Coupe Plus. Inside, the Spyder features the same high-quality, driver focussed cabin and controls as the Coupe. The driver may control important functions via the new Sport or Performance steering wheel. This includes the engine start stop button and Audi Drive Select for altering the engine dynamics.


    The #Audi-Virtual-Cockpit comes as standard with a 12.3in display allowing three screens to be set – classic, infotainment or performance. Add to this touchscreen #MMI navigation plus, and the brand new smartphone interface, which allows selected smartphone content to be displayed in the virtual cockpit. A new B&O sound system with 13 speakers, including two in each head restraint offer amazing sound.


    Sports seats come as standard, but a diamondstitched pattern is an option, while bucket seats may also be specified.

    A brand new colour is available especially for the Spyder, Argus brown, matt, together with five other finishes, including the vivid yellow of the car pictured. Orders are open from late spring, with the first UK deliveries scheduled for late 2016. Prices are yet to be announced, but we’d expect around a £10,000 premium over the Coupe, which starts at £119,500. One thing’s for sure, Audi has absolutely nailed it with the new R8 Spyder – we love it.

    SPECIFICATION 2016 #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-Plus / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2
    Engine 5.2 #FSI #V10
    Power 532bhp and 540Nm
    Transmission #S-tronic gearbox, quattro drive
    Weight 1,612kg (dry)
    Top speed 197mph
    0-62mph 3.6sec
    Price TBC
    On sale Available to order Spring 2016

    Top: Angular front end looks fantastic. Right: Diamond-stitched seats are an option Middle: Looks great with the hood up.

    “THE R8 SPYDER IS A VERY GOOD LOOKING MACHINE”
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    Debonair Audi R8 V10 with Mansory goodies

    Cover Car / #Mansory / #Audi-R8-V10-Mansory / #Audi-R8-Mansory / #Audi-R8-V10-Typ-42 / #Audi-R8-Typ-42 / #Audi-Typ-42 / #Audi-R8-V10-Mansory-Typ-42 /

    Text: Faz&Furiouz
    Photos: Kenny Yeoh
    Model: Chelsea Chil

    There are not too many cars that have made it to production that bore an uncanny resemblance to its concept car perpetrator. How many times have we seen such gorgeously penned artistic rendition, with their sleek lines, ultra large wheels and ultra thin rubbers ended up being paired down more like, looking at best, only a passing likeness to the concept it was derived from. So to have the Le Mans Quattro Concept (back 2003) made into the R8 (in 2006) without so much as a body panel being changed was quite something.


    Quite something indeed, not that it is germane to our matter at hand here but still, the R8’s concept-turned-production genesis had hitherto being proven a stellar success for Audi AG, being among the most popular performance car pretty much in every major car market ours included.

    And of course, they’re pretty big in the tuning scene as well. Utilizing the wonders of Google and you’d see a huge array of aftermarket options for the R8, along with the subsequent tuners and brands. Another key indicator is the R8’s exploits in motor racing which covers not only Europe and Asia but other regions as well.

    Inasmuch as the R8 has evolved into a bonafide legend in its class, with its brilliant run of successes in GT Championships the world over, it is still the production car that makes enthusiasts and even ‘regular’ car folks all flipped up and over, whenever they rumbled pass, or when one is spotted. Little wonder than that Mr. Tony Stark himself, despite having the means to get pretty much any megabucks exotics, chose instead the R8 – both the first and its successor. And yeah I know, the man is a figment of the imagination, unadulterated fiction manifested into cinematic reality. But then again, it is Hollywood after all, and with the global market that Hollywood’s box office flicks catered to, the perpetual hype that a big budget super hero movie entails inasmuch, and its association with Audi was indeed quite a statement and a tribute to consumerism and capitalism.



    Anyway, right here and right now our collective focus falls upon this here 2010 model R8, the Audi R8 Coupe 5.2 FSI Quattro to be exact. Now this car has quite a history of close collaboration with Hypertune. If you recall like a couple of issues back it made an appearance as a matted out black R8 resplendent with quite a considerable selection of Mansory performance and styling products. Now moving forward the ownership of that very same ride has changed and seeing as the new owner is pretty much the same ilk as the previous one, he’d then gone about doing it up for quite a bit, and this fine looking ride is the end result.

    Before I rattle on and on waxing lyrical about the finer personalization that our man had showered upon his exceptional R8, perhaps I could interest you on this preemptive ‘detour’ as per the R8’s place of birth. Well, it is no secret really since we’re all ‘connected’ pretty much 24-7 that we’d still have our squinting eyes fixated upon our handheld devices when we’re relieving ourselves even (a ‘masterstroke’ of progress perhaps). Anyway, as per the R8’s origin, it is not Ingolstadt but Neckarsulm – Quattro GmbH’s state of the art 3,500 square meters plant, which the R8 and its numerous variants and versions shares with Audi’s RS models. Fancy that? Consider how important the R8 is for Audi as a global automotive powerhouse that they’ve invested quite a bit of capital on such facilities. To think that before the R8 came to being, there were those who’d voiced some ‘concerns’ that Audi does not have the conviction as such to produce such superlative performance cars.

    Well that notion has been put to rest the moment the first production R8 rolled out of Neckarsulm back in 2006. That first Audi R8 powered by the brutish 414 hp 4.2 FSI V8 and mated to the benchmark Quattro powertrain registered some truly super performance figures – 4.6 seconds naught to sixty mph, 301 km/h, with handling to match. And of course, the sensational ‘digital age’ looks. Few cars can match the R8 for visual gratification, and even now after a number of aesthetic revisions the original silhouette remained unaltered, as is the imposing façade.

    And that very same DNA resides within this quite spectacular 2010 example. After some four years in production some ‘transplanted’ Lamborghini elements were put in place – the Gallardo LP560-4 derived 5.2 liter V10. Nestled longitudinally mid-ship the normally aspirated 5,204 cc Odd firing V10 40 valve DOHC with some 518 hp at 8000rpm and 391 foot pounds of torque at 6500rpm, takes the standard car through a swift, pretty darn quick 3.7 seconds century sprint, 11.5 secs quarter mile, 196mph max speed. With the APR Direct Port Program, Quicksilver exhaust and Carbonio intake, we’d reckon some pretty major readjustments as per the above figures are required. Telltale hint is that APR tuning program which had been known to yield some incredibly huge horsepower and torque gains.

    With that sorted now we’ve come upon the remarkably done up aesthetics of this APRprepped R8 5.2 FSI V10. The Mansory exterior carbon fiber components (bonnet, front blade, side sigma, rear side mirror, dry carbon side blades) were carried over for the most part from the previous owner, and added on to that were the carbon spoiler, front lip and rear diffuser from the R8 GT. The gorgeous black finish is made even more gorgeous with that final touch – the 19” Y DESIGN alloys. Behind that reside the standard brakes, equipped with aftermarket racing brake pads from Endless.

    Inside the trademark R8 interior (voted as among the best interior recently) has a Mansory carbon interior trim, along with fine Nappa leather, Alcantara head lining, Contour sport steering wheel, Bang & Olufsen sound system along with numerous multimedia gadgets inasmuch. All in all a fine piece of modified R8.


    TECHNICAL DATA Hyperfacts!

    Car: #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-5.2-FSI-Quattro / #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10 / #Audi-R8-V10 / #Audi-R8 / #Audi /

    Engine Modifications: 5.2 #V10 #FSI #Quattro , #APR-Direct-Port-Programming / #Quicksilver Titan Supersport Exhaust system ( #AU230T ), Carbonio Carbon intake

    Transmission: 6-speed #R-tronic automatic transmission

    Suspension: standard

    Brakes: standard, Endless racing brake pads

    Wheels & Tyres: 19” 10-spokes #Y-Design A/W

    Interior: Fine Nappa leather, Alcantara head lining, Contour 3 spoke leather sport steering, multimedia music interface, multifunction steering wheel, electric seat with lumbar adjustments, Audi parking system plus, reverse camera, CD changer, mobile telephone via Bluetooth, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Mansory racing pedals, Mansory carbon interior

    Exterior: Mansory carbon bonnet, #Mansory carbon fuel cap, Mansory carbon a pillar, Mansory carbon front blade, Mansory side sigma, Mansory rear side mirror
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