Audi India have recently launched the Audi R8 V10 in India, earlier on this year. Moreover, they also put up the R8 Spyder variant on sale very soon. Not only does the Audi R8 present itself as a desirable car, it also shows Audi’s finesse in making their machines perfect. But I will have to tell you something. I am actually scared of driving super cars. It would come as a surprise for many but I am not afraid to tell my inhibitions in front of everyone. Especially these ones pertaining to the automobile field. So when I was asked to check out Audi’s all new launch for the Indian market and especially with a test drive, I was a bit apprehensive. The immense power that these machines make is something which people cannot handle and I am one of them. Anyways, since my job profile entails me to review or test drive cars which are present in India, I would have to do it. I guess I have a Rs 3 lakhs insurance policy. One very good gentleman ( he didn’t want us to name him) agreed to lend us his car for the test drive.
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To start off, the looks of this car. Its like any other Audi out there but with a fatter and lower profile. An A8 with a low ground clearance would look something like this. The head lamps give out a sinewy look with their all LED configuration whereas the air dams feel a lot more deep set than any other Audi in India. The grille is also made of aluminium whereas the 4 interlinked circles sit proudly atop the hood of this car. The 20 inch alloy wheels look superb while the curvy outside rear view mirrors are a work of art. The diffusers at the sides of the doors look cool while the rear end with its shark fins and twin tail pipes along with the all LED tail lamps lend it a sharp look normally reserved for only Lamborghinis. It is a known fact that most of the components are shared between the Lamborghini and also Audi, both being sister concerns.
Done with the exteriors, now comes the time to get inside the interiors. Not only does the Audi R8 V10 in India impress with its exterior styling but it also casts a spell on onlookers with its interior. The minimum fussy approach by Audi is what usually supercar interiors are all about and the R8 doesn’t try to break this mould either. The interiors however are no different from the regular R8 and Audi could have done their bit in getting the R8 a little more distinguishable than the standard one. There is finely stitched leather seats which cosset one more comfortably than how estranged lovers would hug each other. There is little of storage space available but no one would be using their R8 for carrying around luggage, or would they? There is a multi information display nestled between the egg shaped meter dials which gives out a plethora of information to the driver. The touch screen audio system also features an inbuilt navigation system. Not only does the music system sound fantastic but it is also a very crisp unit. As they say, “some things money can buy and some it cannot”. Well, the Audi R8 V10 is more of the former and for the money that one pays, the R8 delights its occupants. The metallic gear lever looks more like a joystick in its operation.
As far as ride quality is concerned, the Audi R8 remains one of the better riding cars. It has got a variable load sensing setup in its suspension. The magnetic dampers that come with it only heighten the sense of this car being a very special one, one that money can buy. The Aluminium Space Frame that forms the basis of the chassis of this car, I personally feel, wouldn’t stand upto the rigors of time and the Audi would show some signs of rattling with the times. This chassis has been used to ensure that the Audi R8 V10 weighs less so that its performance doesn’t get hampered. The steering is also a sweet unit which delivers appropriate feedback. The handling in the meanwhile is stellar as can be expected from a supercar. However piloting it in traffic can be quite a nightmare (it was atleast mine) with many of the reckless bikers zipping past it and trying to catch a photograph of it. Moreover, rear view visibility is severely hampered and were it not for the parking sensors, the reversing chore would be as hard as hell. I don’t know how old time people used to reverse a Lamborghini. NVH is something which no one would complain in a supercar. While the R8 soundtrack remains like a bass thrum, it changes immediately to an angry but distant roar once one steps on the gas peda.
The 5.2 liter 90 degree V10 engine weighs just 285 kgs which is far lesser than what the chassis of this car weighs (210 kg). This massive motor pushes out 525 Bhp of power at 8,000 rpm while the torque of 54 kgm comes in at 6500 rpm. The R-tronic gearbox shifts with a clunk but upshifts are smooth whereas down shifts are a bit jerky in nature. Moreover, the metal gate shifter clangs while shifting but I got used to it once on the move. There is launch control which one can engage by pushing a button and by pressing the brake pedal and accelerator all upto 4500 rpm mark. Once done, release the brake and the R8 would give you the scare of your life with its frenzied acceleration. In this mode, the car would do 0-100 kmph in only 3.8 seconds. Top speed is close to 300 kmph, which given the short time that I had the car with me, wasn’t possible to achieve and I really lacked the nerves to even reach there. Brakes are fantastic and shed speed rapidly, which anyways in a country like India, you have to be applying more than the accelerator. All the electronic aids which one would require are present in this car as also safety aids.
Fuel efficiency is something which one wouldn’t want to ask a Audi R8 customer but then still for the sakes of letting our readers know, the Audi R8 V10 returns 6.1 kmpl on the highway. City figures hover around 3.5 kmpl.
Now comes the most important part. How much does this car cost? The Audi R8 V10 price in India stands at Rs 1.35 crores. This price is ex-show room, Delhi.