19th Nov 2018

The Audi R8 has been one of the world’s most appreciated super sports cars since its inception back in 2006, thanks to its supercar credentials, such as: sleek exterior styling, a great sounding powertrain, genuine performance, a high level of opportunity for customisation and relative affordability. It is no surprise then that we at EV Hire are fans. We don’t currently have an Audi R8 on our roster, but a new version has just been unveiled that may change that...However let’s first explore the R8s history.

Since 2006 the R8 has gone through face-lifts, the launch of limited special editions and further iterations, but it started with a naturally aspirated 4.2L rear mounted V8, that produced 415bhp and 430nm of torque which was offered with both manual and automatic transmissions. This engine is actually a modified version of the engine found in the RS4 of the time, but in the R8 it produces a 0-62mph time of 4.6s and a top speed of 187mph. This very first R8 started the trend of R8s being 4WD, but with a 70/30 bias towards the rear. This was the only engine option available until 2009 when Audi transplanted the 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 from the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 into the R8. The car held onto its 4WD system, but it’s enhanced power-train increased the R8s performance considerably, with it now producing 520bhp and 530nm of torque. However, to not put the Lamborghini to shame, this power-train was de-tuned by around 30bhp before it was bolted down into the back of the R8. Regardless of this, its 0-62mph time still dropped by over half a second to 3.9 seconds and its top speed increased by 10mph, to 197mph.

In 2010 the first roadster version of the R8 was unveiled, in V10 form, with the V8 Roadster coming a year later. Going back to 2010 briefly, this was also when the first limited edition road variant of the R8 was produced, the ‘GT’. This edition was limited to just 333 models and featured 3 main difference when compared to the standard cars. The first is it’s output, increased from 520-552bhp and 540nm of torque. Secondly, it’s weight was reduced by 100kg to 1525kg. Finally, it was given front canards and a fixed rear wing. These changes meant it more closely matched the performance of it’s cousin, the Gallardo, with a 0-62mph time of 3.8s and a top speed of 197mph.

In 2012, the R8 received it’s first facelift, with, amongst many other things: less lateral grille sections and a more angular central grille, LED’s as standard for the V8 and a new 7-speed R-tronic gearbox.

The second generation R8, or the current model (at time of publication) brought a significantly more angular aesthetic, both inside and out, decreased weight, stiffer chassis and increased performance. Unveiled in 2015, this new version maintained the 4WD drive layout but ditched the manual gearbox and V8 of the previous generation in favour of all auto transmission options and 2 version of the 5.2L V10 that is now shares with the Lamborghini Huracan. The first is simply known as the V10 and comes with 533bhp and 540nm, the higher performance variant is known as the V10+ and comes with 602bhp and 560nm (more comparable to it’s Italian cousin). The performance figures are 3.5 and 3.2 seconds to 62mph and 197mph and 205mph respectively. Later, in 2017 Audi unveiled their very first rear-wheel drive R8, the RWS or Rear-Wheel Series and following on from this their latest limited edition model, the R8 ‘Performance Parts. The ‘performance parts’ is based on the V10+ setup, but limited to just 44 cars in the world and comes in with an aero kit made from lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic or CFRP that produces up to 250kg of down-force. The ‘Performance parts’ also comes with lighter wheels and sports exhaust system that contribute to performance and sound.

As the EV Hire fleet expands, we are always on the look out for new vehicles that our new and loyal customers will love! The R8 has caught our attention for some time and who can be surprised considering the above! The latest version, or ‘model year 2019’ comes in with an even more aggressive, angular and menacing aesthetic, a powertrain Autocar calls ‘one of the best in the business’, an adjustable and tried 4WD system that allows for fun and enhanced safety, dual-clutch automatic transmission and improved output to 611bhp. As the latest version of the R8 is undeniably a thoroughbred supercar you may not have to look any further than EV Hire for 2019 Audi R8 hire in London!





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