• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Video:  Oversteer

Here's Why the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus Now Costs $200,000 (or More)

RELATED READING
See all Audi R8 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2017

Back in 2008, when the Audi R8 first came out, I remember one of the crucial selling points was the fact that it wasn't so expensive. The thing had a V8, it started at something like $110,000, and you could buy an R8 for less money than a 911 Turbo -- even though it was this midengine exotic car.

Well, times have changed. The new Audi R8 V10 Plus now has over 600 horsepower, that V8 isn't even being offered right now, and the sticker price of most R8 V10 Plus models is over $200,000 -- basically double what the car's price was just a decade ago. Double! And this got me thinking: Is the R8 really worth twice what it cost originally? How do they justify charging double what did they did back in 2008?

To find out, I visited my friends at Audi Bridgewater in New Jersey, who also loaned me a Lexus LFA, which is basically the coolest car loan you can give someone. This is a lot cooler than when you borrow a Tacoma from your buddy Jim so you can move. Nonetheless, the R8 V10 Plus was almost as cool, as I quickly discovered after just a few minutes behind the wheel.

I say this primarily for one simple reason: The R8 V10 Plus is monstrously, ridiculously, absurdly, wildly, insanely, massively, incredibly, tremendously fast. And no, this is not an exaggeration. The R8 V10 Plus will do zero to 60 in 2.8 seconds, and if you stick on launch control, and if you actually do zero to go in 2.8 seconds, you'll feel like you're in some sort of time-warp machine that's sending you into a different dimension. I actually felt winded after accelerating that quickly, as if I had just done something.

The speed is truly impressive, and it's owing to three main factors. One is, of course, the engine; the R8 V10 Plus has 610 hp, which is, ya know, quite a bit; it's more than the Huracan and just shy of the Ferrari 488 GTB's 660 horses. More importantly, the R8 V10 Plus has a dual-clutch automatic transmission (so do those cars) and all-wheel drive (the Ferrari doesn't), which helps it really fly off the line. After doing one single launch control start, I believe the R8 V10 Plus is the fastest car I've ever driven. It certainly feels it.

Unfortunately, handling isn't quite the same as the very top-end rivals. The R8 is just a little lazier to turn; the turn-in is a little less precise than with the Huracan and 488, and it doesn't feel quite as nimble. Those cars feel like the little alien ships from "Independence Day"; the R8 is just a half-step behind. I also happen to think the Huracan and 488 look a little nicer than the R8 -- largely because the R8's design, while totally new, simply didn't change as much as it should have from to the outgoing model. The R8, it seems, will never quite look as thrilling as its exotic-branded peers.

But check this out: That $200,000 price tag I alluded to earlier is a bargain compared to the Huracan and the 488. While the 488 "starts" at $250,000, they all go for more than $300,000 -- and some top $350,000 with options. The Huracan starts right around $200,000, but most of them sell for $275,000 or more. The R8 is faster and cheaper -- and it has better technology, too, thanks to Audi's amazing "Virtual Cockpit," which is truly among the best modern infotainment systems I've ever seen; good enough to give Tesla a run for its money.

In other words, the R8 V10 Plus may not be quite as exotic as those cars, and it may not be quite as nimble. But compared to the Ferrari 488 and the Lamborghini Huracan, it's a bargain -- and it's faster, with better technology. Most importantly, the R8 V10 Plus is now so amazing and so stupendously fast that it truly belongs in the same sentence as "Ferrari" and "Lamborghini," possibly for the first time ever -- and that alone justifies the $200,000-plus price tag. Don't be fooled: This is no longer a "cool Audi" that's a more exciting alternative to a Porsche 911 Carrera S. This is now a bona fide supercar.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
Here's What It Was Like to Drive a Ferrari F40 on the Street
I Miss Boxy SUVs
The Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG Is a 500-Horsepower Minivan

Find an Audi R8 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Here's Why the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus Now Costs $200,000 (or More) - Autotrader