2021 Audi R8

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2021 MODEL
$169,900 - $195,900
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2021 Audi R8 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 10, 2020

The 2021 Audi R8 carries forward the lineage of being the quintessential Audi SuperCar with all the valor. Although the first-generation R8 was based on the Lamborghini Gallardo, this R8 which is part of the second generation of the R8 introduced in 2017 finds its underpinnings from the Lamborghini Huracan.

See detailed review »

Pros

Glorious Naturally Aspirated V10

Comfortable Daily Driver

Renowned Quattro System

Minimalist But Focused Interior

Cons

Fuel Gulper

Lacks Modern Active Safety Features

Pricey R8 Performance Trim

What's New?

No major changes expected for the 2021 Audi R8


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 Audi R8 in Ara Blue Crystal Effect color 2021 Audi R8 in Daytona Gray Pearl Effect color 2021 Audi R8 in Florett Silver Metallic color 2021 Audi R8 in Ibis White color
Ara Blue Crystal Effect

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Audi R8 Base

Base

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$169,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (5.2L 10cyl 7AM) Starting at $169,900 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

2021 Audi R8 Performance

Performance

power
TBD
fuel
TBD
mpg
TBD

$195,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Performance quattro 2dr Coupe AWD (5.2L 10cyl 7AM) Starting at $195,900 MSRP TBD TBD
TBD TBD TBD

Expert Review


The 2021 MY doesn’t change much from the previous years and in our honest opinion why mend what isn’t broken. The Audi R8 is the last of a breed of naturally aspirated high output engines that are soon going to bid us farewell but till the time they are here. Let’s just celebrate such pieces of art.

In 2008, it wasn’t the Iron Man Armor that was the most striking piece of metal on-screen, NO! It was an Audi! An Audi that people had not seen before and certainly felt out of this world. It was breathtaking to look at and was the perfect accompaniment to Tony Stark. This huge rush was created by none other than the Audi R8 and fast forward 12 years, it still manages to make us gulp at its very sight.

2021 Audi R8 Front
2021 Audi R8 Rear

2021 Audi R8 Features

The 2021 Audi R8 Coupe is going to be offered in just two trims similar to the 2020 iterations, namely the R8 Quattro and the R8 Performance Quattro. The Performance trim of the R8 replaces the famed R8 Plus moniker and is now the faster and more hardcore version out of the two. The R8 comes very well optioned out and deservedly is one of the best ownership experiences in its segment. 

Trims

R8 Quattro

R8 Performance Quattro

MSRP (AWD)

$170,900

$196,900

Key Features

5.2L FSI V10

Adds/Upgrades to R8 Quattro

 

562 hp

Upgraded 5.2L FSI V10 engine

 

406 lb-ft of torque

611 hp

 

550-watt Bang and Olufsen sound system as standard

417 lb-ft of torque

 

Multiple drive modes

Optional Carbon fiber exterior panels

 

State-of-the-art infotainment system

Optional carbon fiber seats and gear

   

13-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system

The base R8 trim comes in at $170,900 and is certainly our pick as even though it has a lower state of tune than the R8 Performance, it still knocks your socks off fast while not offering the ride quality compromises that one has to endure due to the stiffer suspension and sportier seats on the more expensive offering. The R8 Performance would set you back about $196,900 which is a sweet jump up from the price of the base R8 which in our opinion is the better car anyway. 

We Recommend

Even the 562-hp version of the V-10 engine provides incredible acceleration and the same drama as the 602-hp version. So we would suggest you to stick with the base variant.

Release Date

The 2021 R8 is just a carry forward Model Year for 2020 R8 and should be in showroom in the fall of 2020. Cars in this segment don’t really see a lot of changes year over year when compared to normal family cars. This is due to the fact the introducing any updates in supercars cost a ton in development costs.

2021 Audi R8 Engine and Performance

The 2021 Audi R8 features the glorious 5.2 Litre Naturally Aspirated V10 that was derived from Lamborghini Huracan and pushes out 562 hp of power and 406 lb-ft of torque coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission which makes the R8 a wild ride. The R8 manages to hit every bit of your soul the moment you get behind the wheel and stomp your right foot because it takes off like a tactical missile. The car pulls and pulls and is relentless with that sweet-sounding 10 cylinder symphony. There are just a handful of vehicles that can go toe to toe with the brand new R8 because let’s face it, it is a purpose-built machine that is tuned to bring out unearthly performance. 

2021 Audi R8 Engine

Models

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX AWD

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

MSRP

$169,900

$161,800

$159,300

$157,100

Engine

5.2L Fsi V10

3.8L Twin-Turbo Flat Six

3.5L Twin-Turbo V6

3.8L Twin-Turbo V6

Drivetrain

AWD

RWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

7-Speed S-Tronic Automatic

7-Speed Dual-Clutch PDK Automatic

9-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic

9-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic

Power

562hp@8,100rpm

540hp@6,400rpm

573hp@6,500rpm

600hp@6,800rpm

Torque

406lb-ft@6,400rpm

486lb-ft@1,950rpm

476lb-ft@2,000rpm

481lb-ft@3,600rpm

The Nissan GT-R was brought to life to be a supercar slayer and it continues to prove itself here as well. Even though Nissan has a V6 it manages to outperform the entire pack and is the most well-performing out of the bunch. The R8 does come back strong with the highest top speed of the lot even though it is the slowest to 60, we do believe at these performance numbers, acceleration feels almost identically mind-numbing in all of the mentioned vehicles and the overall experience is what one should value.

Ride and Handling

Many might go and jump at the sight of the R8 Performance, but we would certainly pick up the Base R8 for it’s much better on-road manners. Not only does the Base R8 have more comfortable seats that are supportive enough, but the adaptive suspension that gets chucked out for a stiffer setup in the R8 Performance also produces a sublime combination of comfort and sportiness. 

2021 Audi R8 Handling

There are few vehicles that can be deemed actual daily driver friendly even though they are performance beasts, but the R8 certainly deserves to sit atop the entire fleet. The Base R8 has one of the best packages of handling, stability, and comfort that one can find in modern supercars and it is difficult to replicate. The famed Audi Quattro system makes the R8 glue to the road like a train on rails and comes in especially handy when you want to carve out some canyon roads on a rainy day. 

Acceleration

The R8 manages to go from a dig to 60 in about 3 seconds flat in its performance trim and 3.2 in its base trim which is just ballistic. The R8 features some amazingly swift shifts and a locomotive like a thrust that is definitely going to make your stomach scream.

The brute acceleration and orgasmic exhaust sound gel together to give you an aural and physical sensation that makes you gasp for air. 

2021 Audi R8 Accelerate 0-60 MPH in just 3.4 sec

Model

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

0-60 MPH

3.4 sec

2.9 sec

2.7 sec

2.7 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

11.1 sec

11.2 sec

10.8 sec

Top Speed

205 MPH

198 MPH

191 MPH

193 MPH

Engine

5.2L Fsi V10

3.8L Twin-Turbo Flat Six

3.5L Twin-Turbo V6

3.8L Twin-Turbo V6

The Acura NSX and GT-R  are quick by one tenth of seconds when compared to the other two and this does not make huge difference.

Braking

The braking setups on the 2021 R8 are nothing short gasping! Don’t you dare stomp on the brakes because you would most definitely pop your eyes out of your sockets and break a couple of ribs because the R8 stops like it hit a wall? 

The level of effectiveness is something to experience and God Forbid if you opt-out the carbon ceramics, you are going to have to overcome a steep learning curve because they are grabby as anything. The Audi R8 is an exceptional sprinter, but it stops just as well if not better.

2021 Audi R8 Brake

Model

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Brake Rotors Front

14.4"

16.1"

14.5"

15.0"

Brake Rotors Rear

14.0"

15.4"

14.2"

15.3"

Curb Weight

3737 lbs

3517 lbs

3878 lbs

3911 lbs

60-0 MPH

96 ft

99 ft

103 ft

97 ft

The Audi R8 has the best braking distance among all the rivals while the GT-R is not far behind. The Porsche 911 stands at third while the NSX stands at last despite being so lightweight.

2021 Audi R8 Fuel Economy

When cross-shopping V10 supercars, miles to the gallon are always second to smiles to the gallon as you don’t really save up to buy a fire breathing performer to tiptoe the accelerator. I personally feel that a consumer should genuinely avoid being phased by the fuel economy numbers of cars of such caliber as it robs away the essence of fun they have but to each his own. 

There are alternatives that are more frugal than the R8 on paper, but are you really going to keep your right foot limped in a vehicle like this?

Model

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

MPG (City)

13

19

21

16

MPG (Highway)

20

24

22

22

MPG (Combined)

16

21

21

18

Fuel Capacity

21.9 gallons

17.6 gallons

15.6 gallons

19.5 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

285/438/350 miles

334/422/370 miles

328/343/328 miles

312/429/351 miles

The R8 loses out big time in the fuel efficiency department due to the naturally aspirated nature of its engine while the Hybrid NSX manages quite respectable figures.

2021 Audi R8 Interior

The interiors of the Audi R8 feel extremely well built and project a vibe of great personalization. For people that pose a medium build, the R8 is going to wrap around them like an appendage and feel just like an extension of their body. The R8 features a cabin that oozes German precision but also has a hint of Italian flair underneath, like a nice tailored Italian Suit if you will. The materials and touchpoints are right up there with the best in the business and the vehicle feels and looks every bit worthy of its price tag. 

The one thing that might take some getting used to for some is the lack of a central touch screen or any form of display for the infotainment due to the entire cockpit being so driver-focused that everything is right within his or her comfort. The automatic climate control coupled with temperature-controlled seats makes the R8’s cabin one of the best in the segment.

2021 Audi R8 Interior

Model

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Seating Capacity

2

2+2

2

2+2

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.0/55.0/40.9

39.4/55.6/39.2

38.3/57.7/42.9

38.1/54.3/44.6

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

-

-

-

-

Trunk Space(cubic feet)

8

5.8

4.4

8.8

Plenty of cars in this segment have the 2+2 configuration, however, it is just not practical. The rear seats are way too cramped to be used by any average-sized human being.

Some of the key interior features are:

  • Audi's Drive Select variable drive modes
  • Magnetic shocks
  • Audi’s Virtual Cockpit
  • Audi’s MMI infotainment interface
  • Audi Connect
  • Power-folding side mirrors
  • Auto-dimming
  • Spoiler
  • 13-speaker Bang and Olufsen sound system

Infotainment System

Unlike traditional infotainment setups, the Audi MMI system in the Audi R8 does not rely on an additional screen apart from the gigantic 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster Audi calls the Audi Virtual Cockpit. Everything and Anything that the driver could want to adjust pertaining to the vehicle is right at his fingertips as they do not even need to let go of the steering wheel to perform the required task. 

2021 Audi R8 Infotainment System

The passenger might feel a little short-handed when he finds out hat he doesn’t really have control over the music, but anybody traveling in an R8 is going to be all smiles anyways. It is surprising to note how minimalism can feel so rich as even though the virtual cockpit requires you to use steering controls or the MMI touchpad, stuff like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay still feel easy to operate. The Bang and Olufsen system is undoubtedly a banger that is going to keep the passengers entertained as even though it is a majestic system, when alone, we found the driver would choose it over the V10 noise.

Below is the list of infotainment feature that is tagged along with the new Audi R8: -

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth
  • AUX input
  • Navigation
  • USB
  • Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Cargo Capacity

The R8 is a bit disappointing when it comes to storage capabilities as its tiny 8.0 ft of cubic space detracts from the R8's everyday usability. You have to just live with its cursory trunk capacity as it can only take in two soft overnight bags into the snout, and maybe to some extent a working case which is only good enough for the daily commute.

2021 Audi R8 Cargo

Model

Audi R8 Quattro Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Cargo Capacity

8.0 cu.ft.

5.8 cu.ft.

4.4 cu.ft.

8.8 cu.ft.

Inside the cabin, you can have a shallow glove box, two small door pockets, a decent-sized bin ahead of the shift lever and two cup holders behind the occupants' elbow cover among others.

2021 Audi R8 Side Interior View
2021 Audi R8 Side Interior View
2021 Audi R8 Interior View
2021 Audi R8 Interior View
2021 Audi R8 Interior Cabin View
2021 Audi R8 Interior Cabin View
2021 Audi R8 Drive Mode View
2021 Audi R8 Drive Mode View
2021 Audi R8 Steering View
2021 Audi R8 Steering View

2021 Audi R8 Exterior

The second-gen R8 let go of the carbon side blades and curvy exterior in favor of an angular and edgier design language. Completely transparent, We amongst many others weren’t big fans of the new design as it seemed a bit to busy initially but as the years have rolled by, the R8 manages to look prettier by the day. Yes, the original still has a charm that the current can never match, but by modern design standards, you are bound to attract a crowd everywhere you park this beast.

2021 Audi R8 Side View

While we are talking about the exterior design, let’s briefly mention the durability of this very exterior. 

Model

Audi R8 Coupe

Porsche 911 Turbo

Acura NSX

Nissan GT-R Track Edition

Curb Weight

3737 lbs

3517 lbs

3878 lbs

3911 lbs

Length

174.3"

177.4"

176.1"

184.6"

Width

76.4"

74.0"

87.3"

74.6"

Height

48.8"

51.1"

47.8"

53.9"

Ground Clearance

4.3"

4.2"

3.7"

4.3"

Wheelbase

104.4"

96.5"

103.5"

109.4"

2021 Audi R8 Front
2021 Audi R8 Front
2021 Audi R8 Rear
2021 Audi R8 Rear
2021 Audi R8 Side
2021 Audi R8 Side
2021 Audi R8 Side Angle View
2021 Audi R8 Side Angle View
2021 Audi R8 Wheel
2021 Audi R8 Wheel

2021 Audi R8 Safety

Supercars are seldom subjected to the stringent crash testing that most consumer vehicles go through as they are ultra-low production vehicles and crashing one for testing isn’t very financially viable.

Going by Audi’s amazing track record we can certainly put down our money on the R8 being one of the safest supercars you could buy today without a doubt. Yes, the R8 misses out on quite a number of modern active safety features, but it is a nature of the very segment to offer as little driver aids as possible so as to not corrupt the entire driving experience. 

Safety Features aboard the Audi R8

  • Electronic Stability Control(ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact beams
  • Dual-Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Airbags
  • Audi Parking System with Front And Rear Parking Sensors
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Dual-stage Driver and Passenger Front Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Curtain 1stRow Airbags
  • Driver and Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts
  • Back-Up Camera

2021 Audi R8 Competition

Porsche 911 Turbo vs Audi R8

Since the Porsche 911 Turbo carries a powerful flat 6 engine, it delivers exceptional acceleration and sounds amazing while doing so. It advanced and highly communicative steering not only implants plenty of driver confidence but also assures a smooth and comfortable ride without being too aggressive. The Porsche has garnered much praise for its beautifully crafted and well thought out interior. For an exotic sports car like 911 Turbo, it has a relatively usable cargo space but you cannot expect a golf bag to fit in easily. 

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo 

However, the front passenger may find the tech interface tad bit confusing. The 911 also has compromised outward visibility which can be a hindrance while driving around narrow spaces and parking lanes. The seats are very thinly padded and lack sufficient adjustments which makes it unsuitable for longer hauls.

Acura NSX vs Audi R8

The Acura NSX delivers a potent performance punch along with a symphony of the engine and exhaust noise which gives it a feel of the perfect hybrid luxury car. Its predictable handling and super powerful brakes instill confidence in the driver to drive around the city. The coupe has been very well designed both inside and out giving it a complete gorgeous makeover. 

2020 Acura NSX

In order to raise its standard on performance there's a noticeable compromise on comfort level done to the car. It's not so generous either when it comes to having a good amount of storage space. It also lacks the user friendly and intuitive technology interface that some of its competitors boast of. Only the higher trims would give you desired performance level.

2021 Audi R8 Final Verdict

The 2021 Audi R8 is the last amongst a breed of vehicles that are destined to be shot behind the barn soon because the ever-tightening stringent emission norms are making naturally aspirated vehicles obsolete. In a world where Electrics are gaining popularity by the minute, it is tough to explain why a naturally aspirated gas-guzzling V10 makes sense but it does. The R8 is every bit a celebration that we would have hoped it to be and it brings out the child within us to laugh and cackle gleefully. Audi has certainly created a vehicle that is worthy of being called a driver’s dream and even more, Iron Man’s preferred mode of transportation!