I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such good friends. Last year my wife I went to the Audi Sportscar Experience and we met a great guy who just loved his V8 R8 and was waiting for his new V10 R8. Of course we kept in contact and when he told me he had decided on Velvet Purple, an Audi Exclusive I got excited. Here we are and the Velvet Purple Exclusive R8 V10 has arrived and I have a comparison article between his previous V8 R8 and the new V10… Enjoy!
A comparison of a 2008 R8 V8 (6MT) vs. a 2010 R8 V10 (R-Tronic)
I entered the R8 fold back in February of 2008 when I was fortunate enough to find a Phantom Black manual transmission R8. I had just spent a day at Infineon Raceway at a intro to the Audi Sportscar Experience. It was my very first track experience and was totally bitten by the bug.
From there, I attended several more sessions at Infineon Infineon all driving the V8 version. The V8 was certainly what you would call a “hero car.” The car seemed so well balanced that it made you a better driver. About the only complaint I had (and complaint is a strong word here) is that it felt like it needed a little more power in certain situations – like exiting some corners where you have a longer straight ahead. Part of this problem went away when we were given the chance to drive the cars with the first level of traction contro (ASR) turned off. Suddenly the car could get a little sideways, and the throttle wouldn’t cut back as much when the car thought you were out of control. The electronics would still make sure you don’t get totally in trouble, but it really seemed to open up the car.
Fast forward 2 years and now the V10 version is out. When I first learned this version was coming, I really didn’t think I would be interested. The V8 has more than enough power for an around-town car, and for the occasional track use, still perfectly adequate. And without too many other changes, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to have the new version. No such luck.
Back to Infineon we went, as the new V10 fleet had just arrived. Immediately the car sounded quite different. Much more formula-car sound compared to the deeper rumble of the V8. Our day started with an exercise “anatomy of a curve.” Now I had done this exercise a multiple of times in the V8, so I figured I knew what I was doing. The initial acceleration of the V10 was instantly noticeably more than the V8 and upon accelerating out of the apex, I nearly spun the car out as the power is significantly more than what I was used to in the V8. Wow, what a difference. It became very apparent that the V10 is a completely different setup than the V8 – in a very good way. Went home, called the dealer – time to order a new car!
So, the power is a major difference as well as the suspension/electronics. I am convinced that the level of electronic intrusiveness in the V10 is less than in the V8. When driving with the full electronics on in the V10 it seems to give the freedom that the V8 did with the first level turned off. Now this makes the V10 a car you need to give a little more respect to as it can get away from you. Take the electronics off and you need to give it even more respect. In day-day driving, it still retains all the civility that the V8 did. It’s still a comfortable car to drive around town, on a long drive, or on the track.
As far as the transmission goes, there has obviously been much debate on the R-tronic vs. the manual. Many have their own personal preferences and both transmissions are great. I will say that the 2010 V10 R-tronic is MUCH smoother than the early versions of the R-tronics I drove in the V8′s. For me, I am absolutely happy having gone to the R-tronic for my V10. It gives me the option for being lazy when driving in traffic and the quick shifting options for track or spirited driving.
All in all, the V10 is a great enhancement to an already incredible car. Both engine versions are a blast to own and drive.