We've driven the first-generation Audi R8 several times over the years and have always loved its blend of luxury and super-car performance. Quite simply, the R8 is one of our dream cars. There was no 2016 model, so we were eager to experience the second-generation R8 that debuted for 2017 and in a version — the higher-performance V10 Plus — that we had not driven.
The V10 Plus ups the regular R8's horsepower by 70 to 610 and throws in other go-fast features that include carbon-ceramic brakes, an even sportier suspension and a fixed rear spoiler. There's even an extra "Performance" selectable drive mode.
Inside, the second-gen R8 now employs the Virtual Cockpit infotainment display that we've seen in other new Audis. The display puts everything in front of the driver and frees up the center console. We love having it all — driver information, audio, A/C and navigation — behind the steering wheel and can envision more cars taking this route with interior tech. (But it will be trickier for your passenger to change the radio station.)
It's what the V10 Plus lacks that bothered us. In order to lighten the load — our guess — in the name of performance, the V10 Plus dispenses with little luxuries such as power seat adjustments. Plus, the seats don't recline and are on the hard-and-narrow side. Peter drove the car to Orlando and the seat did his back no favors. Plus, the suspension of the V10 Plus makes for a firmer ride than the regular R8. To us, that's disappointing because, in its regular guise, the R8 is the comfortable, everyday supercar.
Besides the comfort issues, we think the fixed spoiler detracts from the car's lines.
Lyra and Peter say: We still love the R8, especially the 2017's cosmetic overhaul and tech upgrades, but we would opt for the regular model should we win the lottery.