Audi R8 V10 Buyers Guide (Second Generation)

The introduction of the 2nd generation Audi R8 V10 arrived in 2017.

It marked a new era for Audi’s halo car, replacing the much-loved original first generation Audi R8 that has been around since 2008. The task of creating a new R8 was daunting for Audi, given the outstanding success of the first generation.

Many of its features are shared with the Lamborghini Huracan, these feature the 5.2L V10 engine, AWD system, and carbon-and-aluminum structure.

Although the 2nd generation R8 has a more angular and aggressive design, it has departed from the original R8's iconic side blade. But make no mistake... the shape and silhouette are still unmistakable as an R8.

The interior of the R8 was also  re-designed to prioritize new technologies, comfort, and performance.

With its advanced technology and ergonomic design, the new R8 has become a supercar that is not only usable for high-performance track experiences, but also for everyday driving.

Slotting it between the McLaren 570s, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Acura NSX, and Porsche 911 Turbo, the R8 has cemented its place as one of the most formidable sports cars in its class.

Like the original, it remains intensely close to the Italian car. The Huracán is aggressive and sharp, while the R8 is graceful and sophisticated.

One standout feature that sets the R8 apart from its competitors is its screaming V10 engine, which produces a sound that is unmatched in comparison.

Driving Experience

The R8 driving experience provides an even more dynamic than the original it replaced. Most notably the improved Quattro AWD system and increased horsepower.

It no longer comes in manual transmission and doesn’t utilize the sluggish R-Tronic transmission (phased out in 2014), which was something enthusiasts avoided and has now been upgraded to feature a fantastic 7-speed dual clutch transmission that delivers seamless shifting.

Press the red button on the steering wheel, and you’ll instantly be greeted with the roar of the V10 engine. 

Also new for the R8 is Audi Drive Select. Pressing the Drive Select button on the steering wheel offers the driver several driving modes:

  • Comfort: Results in a comfort-oriented setting with automatic shifting and a smoother ride and driving dynamics.
  • Auto: Provides an overall comfortable yet dynamic driving feels that adapts to your driving habits.
  • Dynamic: Gives the driver a sporty driving feel and is suited to a sporty driving style.
  • Individual: Allows drivers to select the custom settings they want.

The available driving modes in the R8 modify the behavior of the drivetrain for a more tailored driving experience.

In Dynamic mode, the transmission switches into S, rev matching is enabled, and the gears are held longer into the red line, while the bias of the Quattro system is also adjusted.

The Performance button, on the other hand, allows drivers to adjust the level of traction control based on their preferences.

Additionally, a rotary knob is provided around the Performance button to select the dry, wet, and snow traction programs for even more control in different driving conditions.

While the original R8 has rightfully earned its place in automotive history, the 2nd generation is no slouch.

Driving an R8 is sure to turn heads and an experience itself, as there are fewer and fewer cars on the road these days with a V10 engine.

Model Changes (Breakdown by Year)

2017 Audi R8 V10

The 2017 model is the first full year of production for the 2nd generation R8, which replaced the original R8 from 2008 to 2015.

The base price for the R8 V10 was ($165,000), R8 V10 Plus was ($192,000) and R8 V10 Spyder was ($177,000).

Featuring a 5.2L V10 engine that is shared with the Lamborghini Huracan. There were 2 versions:

  • R8 V10: 502hp and 398 lb.-ft. of torque
  • R8 V10 Plus: 602hp and 413 lb.-ft. of torque

Other differences between the two include:

R8 V10

  • Matte Anthracite Gray grille
  • Body-color side mirrors
  • Mythos Black or Ice Silver side blades
  • Matte Anthracite Black front lip spoiler and rear diffuser
  • Glossy Anthracite Black front air intakes
  • Adaptive integrated rear spoiler
  • 19-in. 5-double-spoke Silver wheels
  • Twin-trapezoidal exhaust outlets

R8 V10 Plus

  • Glossy Anthracite Gray grille
  • Carbon fiber side mirrors
  • Carbon fiber side blades
  • Carbon fiber front lip spoiler and rear diffuser
  • Glossy Anthracite Black front air intakes
  • Rear air outlets
  • Carbon fiber fixed rear spoiler
  • 19″ 5-double-spoke design forged wheels, titanium finish
  • 15.0″ (380mm) front Ceramic disc brakes with 6-piston calipers
  • 14.0″ (356mm) rear Ceramic disc brakes with 4-piston calipers
  • 73 liter fuel tank (-10 liters)
  • Audi sound system (5 speakers, 140 watts)
  • Carbon fiber matte door sills, illuminated
  • Power seat height adjustment only, manual longitudinal adjustment
  • Racing shell seats in Fine Nappa leather (no backrest angle adjustment or storage nets)
  • Sport exhaust system with black exhaust tips
  • Sport steering wheel with 4 satellite buttons
  • Sport suspension, fixed (replaces magnetic ride)

At the same time, the R8 V10 Plus Spyder was also released. Mechanically, it is the same as the coupe version, the main difference is an open-top roof to experience the full symphony of the V10 engine. 

2018 Audi R8 V10

R8 V10 RWS (rear-wheel drive) was introduced in 2018 as a rear-wheel drive version and offered as a limited edition with only 999 produced.

Compared to the standard R8 with all-wheel drive, the RWS version has a more rear-biased weight distribution, which gives it a more playful and dynamic handling character.

The V10 engine in the RWS produces 540 horsepower (62hp less than the R8 V10 Plus) and 398 lb-ft of torque.

Although it was an option, the most noticeable giveaway was the off centered red stripe.

Other notable changes for the 2018 R8 V10:

  • Apple CarPlay now standard.
  • A newly available Black optic package includes 20-inch, 10-spoke Y design forged wheels in a high gloss Anthracite with summer tires, gloss black exhaust tips, Mythos black side blades (V10 models only) and a Black optic exterior trim.
  • Standard Anthracite high-gloss inlays on V10 models (formerly Anthracite matte)
  • Standard Carbon sigma high-gloss inlays on the V10 Plus (formerly matte)
  • Standard 19-inch 5-double-spoke design forged wheels with silver finish (V10 models)
  • Audi sport badge on front grille replaces quattro badge on all R8 models
  • Audi Sport puddle light logo (with driver or passenger door opened).
  • Full LED headlights with Audi laser light are available on V10 models and are standard equipment on the V10 plus.

Base prices for 2018 were as followed: 2018 R8 V10 Coupe ($164,900), 2018 R8 V10 Spyder ($177,100), 2018 R8 V10 plus Coupe ($194,400).

2019 Audi R8 V10

No Audi R8s were sold for the model year 2019.

That is because the R8 was not produced in 2019 in anticipation of the mid-life cycle update that came in 2020.

2020 Audi R8 V10

In 2020 the new facelifted R8 V10 coupe and spyder was released.

The R8's top trim changes its name from V10 Plus to V10 Performance. These changes include new exterior and interior colors, styling tweaks, and a power upgrade (the standard R8 V10 Coupe achieves 562 horsepower – 30 horsepower more than the previous model).

The standard 2020 R8 coupe costs $172,000 ($7,000 more than the 2018 model), R8 V10 Performance costs $198,000 ($6,000 more than the 2018 model), R8 V10 Spyder costs $184,000 ($7,000 more than the 2018 model), and V10 Performance spyder costs $210,650.

Every R8 can now hit 200 mph (starting with the spyder, followed by the coupe at 201, the Performance spyder at 204, and the Performance coupe at 205 mph).

The Audi R8 Decennium was also released as a limited edition, with only 1 of 222 units worldwide (50 allocated to the USA). It came with exclusively in Mythos Black metallic with dark accents, matte-bronze wheels, and commemorative badging.

Meanwhile the one-year-only RWS, formerly the least costly entry into the R8 fold, is not offered in 2020.

Other notable changes for the 2020 R8 V10:

  • Ascari Blue is a new color limited to Performance models.
  • Metallic Kemora Gray is a new color for all R8 models.
  • New option: Performance models offer the option to black out all the Audi badges and paint the brake calipers red.
  • New option: Two new types of leather available in Pastel Silver and Palomino Brown, plus a wireless phone charger.

2021 Audi R8 V10

Everything remained the same for 2021, except Audi has replaced its base offerings from last year with a new setup for 2021.

The entry-level versions of the R8 V10 coupe and Spyder now come standard with rear-wheel drive and produce 532hp.

Audi has also discontinued the entry-level R8 models that do not feature the Performance package.

This implies that if you desire an R8 equipped with Quattro AWD, you'll need to invest in the R8 V10 Performance model.

2022 Audi R8 V10

Not much has changed since the 2021 R8, but the base R8 V10 model gets a power bump up to 562hp (a 30hp increase from last year's model) is called the R8 V10 Performance Coupe RWD.

In addition to the power bump, these options were available for the V10 Performance Coupe RWD:

  • Sports Exhaust package that adds race-inspired sound to the R8.
  • Dynamic Package that includes ceramic brakes, unique 20-inch wheels, and upgraded racing seats with nappa leather upholstery.

2023 Audi R8 V10

Many have anticipated for this to come, but the naturally aspirated R8 has finally come to the end of an era and will be discontinued after 2023.

For the last hurrah, Audi decided to give the R8 a proper send-off for its mid-engine marvel with a final high-performance Audi R8 GT variant that starts at $249,000.

Not only is the R8 GT a lighter version (44 lbs less) of the coupe, but it also generates 413 lb-ft of torque, and to further differentiate the 602 hp V10 engine from the 562 hp version, the intake manifold is painted black, something exclusive to the R8 GT.

A new 7 speed dual clutch transmission with modified gear ratios is offered to match the track orientated nature of the car.

Outside, you will visually find many differences separating it from the other R8s including:

  • Carbon Aero kit- Front splitter, "flics," side skirt covers, rear bumper side elements, a rear diffuser, and a gooseneck (aka swan neck) type rear wing.

And just like the original R8 GT, the 2023 R8 GT will be a limited run of just 333 units worldwide.

Gen 2 Audi R8 Common Problems

The Audi R8 proved to be a notably dependable vehicle, which is not typically the case for most high-end or flagship cars. This may be due in part to the R8's lack of complex electronic features and innovative gadgets, as it is actually a fairly straightforward car.

Many people have driven theirs to very high mileage without any significant issues. 

Keep in mind, it is essential that all cars, even supercars, can have issues and it is crucial to perform a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) from an authorized dealer or experienced independent mechanic to reveal all issues.

  • Brake clicking noise: Many owners have reported that brakes click at slow speeds usually when going from forward to reverse or vice versa such as in a parking lot. There is a TSB (technical service bulletins) for the pads clicking: TSB#2047140/3. The fix is basically double-stick tape on the back of fresh front pads. It's the same part number pads you already had so nothing is different other than the tape. When the tape breaks down from heat it will start happening again.
  • Control arm: Some owners have noticed that their control arm has worn out quickly, and when it does you will notice a judder that comes from the steering wheel.
  • Mag ride suspension leak: On the R8 V10 Plus came with fixed dampers which are reliable, but on the non-Plus models, many of them were spec’d with the optional mag ride system which is known to fail and includes worn bushings and leaking suspension components. These issues can lead to a less comfortable ride and reduced handling capabilities. It is essential to have any suspension components inspected prior to purchase and to address any issues that may arise as soon as possible. A common fix for this issue is to replace with factory or aftermarket coil over kits which can run anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 plus labor.
  • Paddle shift selector faulty: A few owners have reported that their R8 has encountered issues where the transmission will not hold its selected gear while downshifting, and it will jump back up to the previous gear that it was on. The problem is the issue with the paddle.

Recalls

2017 and 2018 Audi R8 V10

Air Bags Frontal/Driver Side Inflator Module (Recall no. 19V014000)

Upon deployment of the driver's frontal airbag, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator to explode.

Powertrain (Recall no. 18V639000)

Transmission fluid may leak from the gearbox ventilation hose after certain high-speed and maneuvering situations.

2021 and 2022 Audi R8 V10

Transmission Lubricant (Recall no. 3701)

The gearbox may have an insufficient amount of transmission oil, which can lead to clutch slippage, and in certain driving situations, a transmission oil leak.

Gen 2 Audi R8 Maintenance and Ownership Costs

Compared to other high-performance supercars, owning an Audi R8 is considered to have relatively low maintenance requirements.

However, it is important to remember that regular maintenance and repairs will still be necessary, and the costs can vary depending on whether you take your car to a dealer or an independent mechanic.

Here are the suggested service schedule and intervals per Audi:

1 YEAR OR 10,000 MILES

  • Replace engine oil and filter at least once a year
  • Comprehensive Inspection of Factory Specifications
  • Complete Factory Diagnostics

2 YEARS OF 20,000 MILES

  • Replace Engine Oil and Filter
  • Replace Gearbox Oil
  • Replace Battery
  • Engine Oil and Filter
  • Inspect and replace V-belt and Tensioner
  • Pollen Filters
  • Brake Fluid

3 YEARS OR 30,000 MILES

  • Replace Engine Oil and Filter
  • Replace Gearbox Oil

Here is a rough estimate of typical service costs associated with the Audi R8 V10:

  • Oil Change - As low as $200 for independent mechanic and starting at $300 for dealer.
  • Minor Service - Typically includes oil change, cabin filters, and engine filters. The cost from a dealer is around $1,000.
  • Major Service - Typically includes all the above plus spark plugs, brake flush, and trans flush, expect about $2,000 from a dealer.
  • Tires - A set of high-performance tires like Michelin PS4 will cost about $2,000.
  • Brakes - Rotors are carbon ceramic which should last forever. Aftermarket brake pads that are OE equivalent will cost about $800 for a full set.
  • Clutch - Dual clutch transmission should last the lifetime of the car so expect zero additional expenses for clutch or flywheel service.

Gen 2 Audi R8 Options List

The second generation R8 offered a few options to choose from.

On the standard V10, some of the more popular options included an upgraded carbon fiber package which included carbon side blades and upgraded mesh-style wheels. 

For the R8 V10 and V10 Plus (later Performance), another attractive option was the racing shell seats or the sport seats with diamond stitching. It added a touch of sportiness and luxury to the car interior. 

Other popular options was the better Bang & Olufsen sound system, exterior carbon fiber, black emblems, and full leather package.

A handful of R8 customers also went through the Audi Exclusive program which was a factory-in-house customization program, that allowed customers to personalize their R8 with unique exterior and interior colors, materials, and features that were not available on regular production models. 

Because of the strict approval requirements, cars that went through the Audi Exclusive program are considered highly desirable. 

These cars usually command a higher premium in the market due to their exclusivity and uniqueness. 

Here are some examples of option changes:

2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Options List

Exterior Options for 2018 Audi R8 V10

2023 Audi R8 V10 Performance Options List

Some of the more desirable options to look for on the V10 Plus:

  • Bang & Olufsen® Sound System
  • Sport Seat Package with Diamond Stitching
  • Full Leather Package
  • Black Optic Package

Some of the more desirable options to look for on the V10 Performance (AWD) include same as above including:

  • Exterior carbon fiber
  • Red brake calipers

Gen 2 Audi R8 Price and Values (V10 Plus and Performance)

The best Gen 2 Audi R8 to buy

When it comes to buying an R8, there are a few key factors to consider that can affect the car's long-term value.

The only R8 models that are likely to be considered good investments is the limited-edition R8 GT of which only 333 units will be built.

Regular production R8s that will most likely depreciate the least will be the premium variants such as the V10 Plus, and V10 Performance.

Although they are slightly more expensive than the regular non-Plus and non-Performance variants, they include many significant changes and upgrades that justify the premium.

In terms of best R8 to buy and hack, our suggestion would be to go after a 2017-2018 R8 V10 Plus or the 2020+ R8 V10 Performance (AWD) in coupe form first, and then Spyder.

There's two main reasons:

  1. The V10 Plus and V10 Performance came with carbon ceramic brakes standard. Meaning they should last the lifetime of the car.... crossing off a potential expense.
  2. The V10 Plus and V10 Performance came with sport suspension, not the problematic magnetic ride suspension offer on the base model.

With the 2017-2018 starting to show it's age design-wise, if your budget allows, the 2020+ facelifted R8 is an excellent choice considering underneath it's skin was mechanically identical across all the years.

With Audi being known for it's signature AWD, there tends to be more of a desirability for those models over the RWD variants. 

Overall... these vehicles have a demonstrated track record of being mechanically sound with very few problems, making this the perfect entry level supercar for anyone.

The noise the V10 engine makes is truly an unforgettable experience. And collectors and enthusiasts in today's market are showing great interest in naturally aspirated V10s as hybrid technology increasingly dominates the automotive industry.

Apart from limited edition models, the condition and mileage of the R8 are significant factors to bear in mind while purchasing it. Many R8s have undergone modifications and hard driving.

However, a well-maintained R8 with low mileage is more likely to retain its value and command a higher price in the future.

Therefore, it's important to do your research, compare prices, and look for well-maintained cars if you are considering purchasing an R8 with the goal of not losing any money.

Conclusion

In conclusion, if you're looking for a reliable first supercar that falls in the price range of around ($150,000), the Audi R8 is an excellent option to consider.

Although you may find other cars in the segment like the McLaren 570s, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Acura NSX, and Porsche 911 Turbo, none of them can match the outstanding features of the vehicle with the glorious V10 engine, exceptional technology, unparalleled comfort, user-friendly design, and dependable performance.

To sum up, if you're looking to purchase a supercar, whether it's your first or next, the R8 is an excellent option that you will not regret choosing.

Car Hacking Shortcuts

  • 2017-2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus or 2020+ V10 Performance are better bets.
  • Spec matters: Audi Exclusive colors, carbon fiber side blade or exterior, B&O sound system.
  • Diamond-stitched sport seats.
  • Special editions like R8 GT are future collectibles.
  • Go for AWD models over RWD.

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