Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic (2023)

Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic (1)

The R8 is Audi’s halo car with technical prowess, a show of strength and technology

Audi UK transported around 20 right-hand drive UK registered R8’s to the South of France in the hope of getting better weather to drive this super-sports car. But on arrival it was raining, although the sun did finally come out later on. Even in the poor weather this car brought a smile to everyone’s face though.

We landed at Le Castellet and the cars were lined up on the airport’s apron, they werefueledup and readyto go. It wasn’t long after setting off that it started to pour down, and rain it certainly did. But this wasn’t a bad thing, as we now had a great chance to try the enhanced traction from the newly-developed Quattro drivetrain with significant improvements in all-wheel control through Audi Drive Select.

Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic (2)

Despite the very wet roads, with flooding in places, this system proved beyond any doubt just how good it was. The power can be transferred fully to the front or rear in a fraction of a second to ensure traction where it is needed.

The R8 Plus is powered by a 5.2 litre V10 FSI petrol engine that produces a massive 610ps, it accelerates from 0-62mph in an incredible 3.2 seconds and there is a ridiculous top speed of 205 mph – where permitted of course, which is nowhere – except on a race track.

The CO2 figure is 287g/km which is a 4% improvement on the previous R8. The official combined fuel consumption figure is 23.0 mpg and during the time we drove the car in France we achieved 17.3mpg. I did have a look at a few trip computers on other cars on the event and the average was between 16mpg and 18mpg, not bad for so much power.


Around 30 R8’s are built per day at the Audi factory in Germany and they are almost entirely hand built by a small team consisting of about 175 craftsmen and women and therefore the cars are up to a very high standard throughout. The interior quality is very Audi and as such is just perfect. When you are sat in the cabin you know instinctively that it is an Audi, all the controls are in the right place and look familiar, you could be sat in virtually any Audi and this is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. There are no quirky buttons, levers, switches or dials. Everything is there for a reason and works perfectly well, everything is easy to use and intuitive. But some might say it is too Audi and needs to be different to other Audi models. But it does have some unusual and different items on board, such as a large red-button on the steering wheel for starting and stopping the engine, which is still easy to use versus one on the dashboard.

Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic (3)

When you press the red button the engine jumps into life and the roar from the exhaust is fantastic, maybe a bit loud for early mornings when all your neighbours are still in bed and even if the sound doesn’t wake them up, then the vibration of the ground and rattling windows will. The noise is glorious and by pressing a button the sound can be turned up even more.

We only drove the car on normal French roads and in and amongst other French motorists so we had to be very careful and comply with all the rules and regulations of French roads, but the power was immense and so much of it, the acceleration was unbelievable – but then it should be pretty good with 610ps and all-wheel drive. On the other hand just tootling around the small villages at 5mph it was so docile and happy to go at such low speeds. It did not want to be off trying to get you to go at high speeds all the time, racing anything in sight.

This V10 engine now has dual injection and Cylinder-On Demand (CoD) which shuts down half of the engine when it is not needed, which improves fuel consumption and reduces emissions. You really cannot tell when CoD is in operation and when it is not – it’s so smooth.

The R8 Plus has a large fixed rear spoiler which is none retractable. It also has 19 inch 5-Arm Twin-Spoke alloy wheels in matt titanium with diamond cut finish. Both derivatives have fine-nappa leather bucket seats and trim. It also has the Audi Virtual Cockpit with 12.3’’ TFT display that is so easy to use.

Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus Quattro S Tronic (4)

The R8 also has all-LED headlights with high-beam assist and rear indicators with sweeping-dynamic function that look so good in action. An option offered on the R8 Plus is LED Headlights with Audi Laser Lights. We took a car out with them fitted after it went dark and to say they are fantastic is an understatement. They work automatically and detect what sort of light or dark is in front. It will “see” other traffic and adjust accordingly, but when it was completely dark, no other traffic or street lights. The Laser Lights shine up, then after a couple of seconds light up again, but even brighter. Even the darkest of road, in the hills around Le Castellet were lit up, as if it was a sunny day, brilliant – in all senses of the word.

(Video) Audi R8 V10 PLUS POV Test Drive 610 HP 5.2 FSi

Due to lack of interest in manual gearboxes by customers, only 1% ordered them. Audi UK has now done away with them and only a 7-speed S Tronic dual clutch automatic in now available, and what a smooth change it is, and I can fully understand why 99% of buyers choose this gearbox.

Audi only had the R8 V10 Plus available to drive in France and not the “non-Plus” version. This version is the lower power output model with only 540ps and a sluggish 0-62mph time of 3.5 seconds. The main thing that this version doesn’t have is ceramic brakes and these normally cost £7,700 and with the Plus version costing £15,000 more than the “base” it’s very much down to the individual as to whether they want to pay the extra money for the Plus.

The R8 is a strict two-seater, with a tiny boot at the front due to the engine being mounted at the rear. There is hardly any room for luggage or shopping, but that seems to be a fair trade off considering what a driver’s car it is. The R8 is the halo car in the Audi range, it has technical prowess and a show of strength and technology. It has been designed alongside the race-car version and lots of features of the race car are present in what is effect the road version. There are very few manufacturers who can offer such a diversity of cars, from superminis to large SUV to Supercars.

The R8 is full of standard specification, as you would expect at this level, it is full of technology and full of quality, but it does come at a price. The R8 V10 Plus costs £134,500 OTR, but add on a few more options and this can easily rise to £150,000. The “non-Plus” R8 costs from £119,500 OTR.

I loved every minute of driving the R8 in France, in rain and sun, on any type of road, on the open road, or in traffic – what a car.

Martin Ward, Manufacturer Relationship Manager

UK press Launch, Le Castellet

Summary stats:

(Video) Audi R8 5.2 FSI V10 Plus S Tronic Quattro - Walk-around with Oliver

·On the road price £119,500 to £134,500

·Petrol: 5.2 540 PS or 610 PS

·CO2 272 to 287g/km

·Combined MPG 23.0 to 24.8 MPG

·Gearbox 7 Speed S-Tronic

New options and features:

·Dynamic steering – £1,200 option on both derivatives

·Exclusive paint – £2,400 option on both derivative

(Video) USED Audi R8 Coupe V10 Plus 5.2FSi 610HP Quattro S-Tronic 2DR

·LED headlights with Laser beam – £3,000 option on Plus

·Gloss Carbon engine bay trim – £2,950 option on both derivatives

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