2008 Audi R8

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13 CITY / 19 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:

  • The Audi R8 is a new model for 2008

  • 4.2-liter V-8 engine rated at 420 hp

  • Rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive

  • Audi magnetic ride suspension

  • Top speed of 187 mph

  • LED (light-emitting diode) headlamp system

The R8 is the name of Audi's five-time Le Mans 24 Hours-winning racecar. It is also the chosen designation for Audi's new flagship two-seat mid-engine sports car. Featuring an Audi Space Frame (ASF) aluminum body and a mid-mounted 420-hp V-8 engine with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, the R8 demonstrates Audi innovation and experience learned from years of involvement in motorsports. The two-seater looks, and handles, like nothing ever seen in an Audi showroom-from the forward-mounted cabin for optimal weight distribution, to the \"side-blade\" air deflector feeding and cooling the engine.

Model Lineup
While there is only one model (and one engine choice) available for the 2008 R8, the standard equipment level of the flagship Audi is calculated to please the most discerning buyer. Standard features include Xenon and LED lighting, 18-inch wheels, and an audio system with 7-inch LED monitor. An anti-theft alarm and leather/Alcantara interior appointments are also standard.

Optional equipment on the Audi R8 includes a 465-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system with 12 speakers, exclusively designed for the interior of the Audi. The upgraded stereo includes a microphone-based vehicle noise compensating system to adjust audio levels to the ambient noise changes inside the cabin. Wheels can be upgraded to 19 inches, and a large palette of exterior colors and optional interior trim and leather packages are at the customer's disposal-including the choice of color or material (carbon fiber is available) of the \"side-blade\" air deflector flanking each side of the R8.

The 4.2-liter V-8 engine in the 2008 Audi R8 delivers 420 hp and 317 lb.-ft of torque. No less than 90 percent of the torque is available from 3500 to 7600 rpm. According to Audi, the dry-sump V-8 powerplant is able to propel the R8 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, on to a top speed of 185 mph. Customers may choose between a traditional 6-speed manual transmission or the Audi \"R tronic\" sequential-shift gearbox-complete with a joystick gearshift on the center console and paddles mounted on the steering wheel. The power is sent to the pavement through quattro, Audi's race-proven permanent all-wheel-drive system. In the R8, quattro has been adapted with a rear-wheel bias for the performance application in a mid-engine vehicle. 2008 EPA fuel economy is estimated at 13 mpg city and 20 mpg highway (6-speed manual transmission).

The 2008 Audi R8 is equipped with standard front air bags, seat-mounted side air bags, and knee air bags for both the driver and passenger. Both driver and passenger seat are also equipped with pre-tensioning seat belts. Anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard. LED daytime running lights and a low-tire-pressure warning system are standard. The R8 has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

According to Audi, the R8 is the first series-production car to offer LEDs for all of the vehicle's headlight functions. Using one multi-chip LED and a series of concentrically arranged reflector shells, the LED system offers lower energy use and a longer service life compared to more common incandescent auto bulbs, the company claims. The R8 can also be equipped with an optional magnetic dampening system, Delphi's MagneRide semi-active suspension. Instead of conventional damper fluid, the shocks are filled with a fluid that can vary viscosity based on applied magnetic fields. This allows the dampening characteristics to change from sport to comfort in a matter of milliseconds.

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