2020 Audi R8 Spyder review: It never gets old

Top up or best down, the R8 is a looker.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel fairly significantly every single iteration of the Audi R8 because it hit the scene a lot more than a ten years in the past and all I can say is, it never ever will get old. Do I pass up the first V8/handbook coupe? Heck yeah I do. Is this 2020 Spyder V10 Functionality design an absolute peach? Heck yeah it is.


  • Powerful, fantastic-sounding V10 motor
  • Sharp handling chops
  • Effortless to travel day to day
  • Virtual Cockpit tech is some of the most effective

Don’t Like

  • Styling tweaks really don’t make improvements to the in general structure
  • Lacks some driver-guidance functions

Little tweaks for 2020

The R8 obtained a couple updates for 2020, most notably a couple cosmetic adjustments that I wait to simply call updates. The very little non-useful fangs on the sides of the fascia are styling for styling’s sake and about again, the honeycomb mesh around the air retailers spans the entire width of the car or truck. I’m not seriously a fan of possibly tweak, but I will say I adore the large exhaust pipes and the black badges are neat, as well. Style is obviously subjective and hey, people however quit and gawk at this matter when it drives by.

Audi’s Virtual Cockpit tech is exactly where you can expect to find all the infotainment functions and significantly like the R8 alone, VC is however a handle after all these yrs. Some people complain about the absence of a central multimedia monitor in the dash, but that would destroy the cockpit’s structure. You can take care of Virtual Cockpit by way of buttons on the steering wheel, but there are redundant controls on the middle console, so your passenger can however screw with your songs decision even if they are unable to totally see the screen.

The R8 is an uncomplicated car or truck to invest time in it is considerably a lot more relaxed than other supercars. The seats are supportive, you will find a great deal of area for two grown ups and many thanks to the lower hood and dash, you have a fantastic check out of what is in advance. All of the local climate controls are in uncomplicated access and are intuitive to function and the 2020 R8 has a wireless charging pad for your cellphone in a cubby just in advance of the digital gear shifter.

This V10 is ten/ten

I are unable to say it enough, I adore Audi’s 5.2-liter the natural way aspirated V10. Mounted amidships and connected to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission, that major, free-breathing motor creates 602 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque in this Functionality design. (Audi utilized to offer a fewer-strong model with 562 hp and 406 lb-ft, but that one’s going away after the 2020 design 12 months.) The rear-biased all-wheel-travel program sends torque entrance and again as needed and when I however give the pre-refresh, rear-wheel-travel R8 RWS the nod as the most effective-handling model of Audi’s supercar, you are unable to argue with the completely unflappable AWD prowess of Quattro.

The R8’s cabin is thoroughly clean and relaxed.

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Never carry off the throttle and the R8 will access speeds over two hundred mph. Hit it really hard off the line and this V10 Functionality Spyder will hit sixty mph in three.three seconds, while Audi admits its acceleration knowledge is considerably conservative. Figures aside, launching the R8 is a blast — and most effective experienced in the Spyder. That major V10 is nestled proper guiding your ears and the louder it will get, the further you can expect to dig into the throttle. This is Audi’s most effective-sounding motor by a very long shot.

I am going to constantly preserve the R8 was at its most effective with a handbook transmission, but supercar purchasers really don’t want to change for on their own any more and the S-Tronic automated is seriously fairly good. You can move through the gears with steering wheel-mounted paddles, but they’re smaller and not just enjoyable to use, while at minimum they’re created of metallic now as a substitute of plastic. Switching between Convenience and Dynamic modes alters the transmission mapping a bit, while it is often a very little as well keen to drop a gear in the latter setting. Actually, just depart the powertrain in Car for the most effective practical experience. Even when the motor is at a simmer, it is however a freaking 602-hp V10.

The V10 Functionality can be optioned with a carbon-fiber sway bar that saves 4.4 pounds of body weight, which you can expect to never ever really recognize except if you happen to be the sort who likes to choose supercars to truck scales. A a lot more significant upgrade for the 2020 R8 is the retuned variable-ratio steering program, which is mentioned to have a a lot more progressive experience not compared with that of the aforementioned R8 RWS. The all-wheel-travel R8 is swift to turn in and features an acceptable sum of feedback. The steering is a very little gentle for my tastes in Convenience mode, but just operate the R8 in its Person setting and you can have it default to the heavier Dynamic setting. There, I mounted it.

Terrific car or truck, fantastic street, fantastic climate.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Weirdly, the V10 Functionality takes advantage of a mounted suspension set up as a substitute of the adaptive, magnetic-trip dampers utilized on the foundation R8. Which is not a criticism, essentially — the steel springs are smooth enough to produce a compliant trip around damaged metropolis streets nevertheless they’re also agency enough to offer fantastic handling when you happen to be enjoying a spirited travel. I experience like Audi could probably trick a couple purchasers out of some additional money by providing the adaptive dampers on the Functionality car or truck, but if the best-degree R8 is set up this beautifully from the get-go, why complicate factors?

The each day supercar

All of this delivers me to what I’ve constantly cherished most about the R8: It really feels like the most effective definition of the “each day supercar,” as esoteric a section as that might be. It really is beautifully delighted to just operate a couple errands at gradual speeds or sit in site visitors on the freeway. (Which reminds me, adaptive cruise command would be a wonderful addition.) It’s as relaxed and techy as any other fashionable Audi, but has no difficulty retaining up with the world’s very best sports activities autos — some of which, really don’t forget, have appreciably larger value tags than the 2020 R8 V10 Functionality Coupe’s however-incredibly-pricey $198,850 starting off value (which includes $1,250 for location and a $1,seven-hundred gasoline guzzler tax). With a couple critical choices like the carbon fiber entrance spoiler, Bang & Olufsen seem program, diamond-stitched seats, red brake calipers and a lot more, the 2020 R8 Spyder found right here costs $225,945, additional service fees bundled.

On that note, significantly as I dig the Spyder practical experience, I would be really hard pressed to choose it around the Coupe. Never head the $twelve,two hundred value increase for the privilege of going topless, I consider the R8 Coupe appears to be like way cooler and you can see the motor through the glass rear window, which is sweet. Then again, all R8s are good R8s. And they’re just as satisfying now as they’ve at any time been.