Audi R8 Second Generation Buyers Guide

This is the R8 that we have all known to come and love when discussing modern day supercars. An evolution of Ironmans whip that took the world by storm in 2008, and one powerful yet affordable beast.

In 2015 the Second Generation of the Audi R8 was released and given the model code: Type 4S. In this generation of R8’s there are a few changes to the make and model.

For example there are no manual variations, only automatic. Which of course stands to reason why the first generation R8’s that are manual still command a strong dollar in the age of extinction for manual transmission.

Also the entry level V8 engine trim has been dropped from the line completely and the only engine offer is the V10, which is the engine that is also shared with the Lamborghini Huracan, released in 2015 as well.

This generation still does have the coupe or spyder option for those who enjoy feeling the wind through their hair, and of course there is a stronger more powerful variant of the V10 engine that is dubbed the V10 plus. Giving the base V10 562 horsepower and the V10 plus 612 horsepower.

Driving Experience

This is a car that I believe anyone can drive. It is a great starter exotic or a happy medium exotic for someone who is looking to be able to take something fun to and from the local hot spots while not fearing a $20k mistake by hitting a curb or a $8k mistake by nailing one of the wheels.

The V10 engine inside of the second gen R8 is literally the exact same V10 engine that is inside the base model Huracans. This caused a bit of a kerfuffle at the time of release, but now over a half decade later, the brands still share a lot of the same performance components between Lamborghini and Audi, thanks Volkswagen.

The drive is easy in the sense you don’t have the transmission kicking you in the chest like it would in an Aventador, and that the tech is upgraded and easy to use unlike a Ferrari F430. The dash is simple and easy to navigate, and if you have ever owned or been in an Audi model car before, you will be familiar with the interface of the R8 V10.

The space inside the cabin is just enough for the two passengers, so don’t go expecting to be able to fit more than a laptop bag or large purse, and the front trunk is deep but it is not long, so groceries are a yes (though limited you’d need to be), but golf clubs and suit cases are a no.

Audi R8 Common Problems

So there are a few common issues that we have seen with the second generation R8’s. I wanted to lay them out for you, point by point, so be sure to go through and make notes of these, but don’t forget to read the final paragraph in this section as it is quite honestly one of the golden rules of exotic car hacks.

Brakes are something to get used to if you’ve never owned a supercar before, not as smooth of braking as you’d expect.

MAG ride failure. This is unfortunately a rather expensive but slightly common problem that happens with these second gen R8’s. The seals become weak within the system, causing a leak which leads to the suspension failing as a whole.

Control arm bushings can wear out and create a bumpy braking sensation you feel when steering at low speeds.

AC compressor has been known to fail due to leaks in the lines.

The interior dashboard leather has been known to peel and bubble up, especially on cars that are kept in hotter climates. This will require, in most cases, and entire reupholstery job on the dash which can be costly and time consuming.

All of these issues are things, thankfully, that a well preformed PPI would catch and bring to your attention. You want to ensure no matter what exotic or luxury car you are looking at, you always get it inspected by a reputable shop (not the dealer it is being sold at or even at the dealer the car is made from), to ensure you aren’t incurring someone else’s problem child. Spend the $400-$500 and save yourself thousands and a lot of headaches.

Best Audi R8 To Buy

The 2017-2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus is going to be the car you want to look at, ensuring its mileage to year ratio is in a good place (rule of thumb is 3k miles per year of existence, so 3k x 6 would be 18k miles).

Sure it can be over, but ensure the pricing reflects that and of course get a PPI performed as all of these model examples are out of warranty solely from a time standpoint.

As for colors, obviously if you can find a special order option, snap it up quick. But otherwise Audi’s are generally pretty limited on the color combination that their cars are available in. So just ensure you are getting an example that is relatively hot, like a white on black spec, a black on red spec, a black on black spec, red on black spec, yellow on black spec, etc. If you ever need help and wonder if the color combo is strong, just ask yourself: “would PJ drive this car?”

The Plus variant usually comes stock full of options like Bang and Olufsen sound system, carbon fiber options inside and out, multi spoke mesh wheels, diamond interior stitching, but ensure that your perspective R8 boasts these options too. They will serve you well on the resale.


These are impressive points for an exotic I like to think anyone and their mother could get behind the wheel and drive without feeling terrified.

These cars look great stock but also benefit from some light modification like wheels, drop, and maybe even an exhaust.

When asked what one of the best sports car hacks is, the answer usually includes the second gen Audi R8, given its performance upgrades, sleek design, and strong value hold over the last 6 years (written in 2023) it is an easy choice.

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