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2017 Audi R8

Starting at $165,450

2017 audi r8
Chris Amos|Car and Driver

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  • Highs Edgy styling, supercar power, simple but elegant interior.
  • Lows Handling lags behind supercar rivals, minuscule cargo space, guzzles fuel.
  • Verdict The R8 has supercar looks, power, and sound in a comfortable package, but it comes with less-than-supercar handling.


It looks great, sounds fantastic, and goes like an autobahn bullet. The Audi R8 is almost everything you could want from a supercar, wrapped in a comfortable, dead-sexy package that can easily be driven on a daily basis. Are there downsides? Sure. For one, it’s a two-seater, so passenger space is limited. And it's definitely not fuel efficient? It also doesn’t have the same thrilling, razor’s-edge handling of some of its supercar rivals. What the R8 does well, however, is provide surprising comfort along with its ballistic speed. And that may outweigh its flaws for some buyers.

What's New for 2017?

Audi’s halo supercar was overhauled for the 2017 model year and features a more powerful version of its raucous V-10 engine. Unfortunately, the new model ditches the previous R8’s available manual transmission in favor of an updated seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The interior is extensively updated and features Audi’s slick Virtual Cockpit.


Original MSRP:

  • Base: $165,450
  • Plus: $192,450
  • Spyder: $177,650

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The R8’s 5.2-liter V-10 engine is offered in two strengths, both potent enough to knock the wind out of unsuspecting passengers while searing your eardrums with otherworldly exhalations. The base coupe and the Spyder convertible get 540 horsepower to play with, while the V10 Plus coupe is upgraded to 610 horsepower. Both versions of the mid-mounted engine drive through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and Audi's Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Simply put, the R8 is one of the quickest cars for sale today. All-out handling, however, is not its forte. The chassis seems tuned more for long-distance comfort than high-g flogging. The suspension soaks up bumps admirably and provides a comfortable ride that you could tolerate without fatigue on long trips. But in full-attack mode, it simply doesn’t handle corners as confidently or with as much sheer grip as its rivals, and sometimes it feels more unsettled than you’d expect from a supercar.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find & Compare Cars.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

All R8 models come kitted out with comfortable and supportive nappa leather seats that feature 18-way power adjustments and heating elements. Opting for the $3000 Leather package extends the hides to the door armrests, the center armrest, and the kneepads on the center console. Audi allows for quite a bit of customization, with a choice of leather colors in either a flat or quilted pattern and either matching or contrasting stitching. Overall, it’s a beautifully executed cockpit with easy-to-reach controls. Automatic climate control is standard, but it controls just one zone. No one buys a supercar for its practicality, and the R8 doesn’t buck the segment trend by offering much cargo capacity.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The R8 owes its simple and elegant interior design to the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit gauge display. It comes standard on all R8 models and relocates infotainment information from a dedicated screen usually found on top of the dashboard to an all-encompassing digital display in the driver’s line of sight. High-resolution navigation is standard, as is an onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. In fact, nearly every infotainment feature we report on is standard across the R8 range, including a Bang & Olufsen sound system with embedded LED ambient lighting. The only missing pieces are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings

For more information about the Audi R8’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.


Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.


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