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Audi R8 Coupe Singapore Review 2022 - 5.2 FSI RWD S tronic (A)

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

The latest and very last Audi R8 coupe ever to be produced will come with a v10 engine and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission that drive the rear wheels only. As with its predecessor, the car is mid engined for improved ride and handling. The car produces 532 bhp and 540Nm of torque, going from 0-100 km/h in 3.7 seconds.The Audi R8 V10 is equipped with a multi function steering wheel with paddle shifters, as well as an extendable rear spoiler, with steel brakes.

It's hard to believe that the Audi R8 has been around for 15 years, with the very first version of it launched in 2007. I remember how my first apartment overlooked the landed property owned by an uncle who used to garden all day with a cigarette in his mouth, before heading out in his R8 when the sun went down. I thought he was the most badass uncle ever. Even on days when I did not see him leave, I would hear the roar of the R8's engine upon startup.

Fast forward to 2022, and I'm behind the wheel of the last ever Audi R8 - that's what we hear at least. The feeling is surreal and bittersweet, because although the R8's history is considered short when compared to other icons like the 911 or the GTR, it is one that has seen it become a household name and a crowd favourite. Arguably, some also consider it to be one of the most beautiful supercars ever made, or at the very least, one of the most unique. It is therefore somewhat sad that this will be the last R8 ever built.

With one last hurrah comes one last surprise, as this R8 is rear wheel drive, as opposed to the R8's more frequently employed all wheel drive format - a move that is accompanied with the inclusion of a new dynamic steering system, as well as a recalibrated Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) which has been adapted for the R8's RWD setup and will allow for controlled drifts - a drift mode of sorts. This all feels quite new and techy for an R8 that is RWD instead of AWD, and naturally aspirated instead of turbocharged.

The retention of the 5.2L naturally aspirated feels more familiar though, and is tuned for 30 bhp and 10Nm of torque more than in its earlier applications, and is paired with Audi's seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. The result? - The Audi R8 will cover 0-100km/h in 3.7 seconds, also in part thanks to its light 1,590kg frame, which is largely made up of aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Interestingly, the joy and pleasure of driving the Audi R8 coupe doesn't really lie in its speed or amount of shove - after all, there are quicker supercars out there today as well as cars with way more torque than the 550Nm of torque delivered by the R8. Rather, the beauty of this R8 must lie in its naturally aspirated V10, which when stoked, delivers a raw, linear power that rises up in a crescendo - except it never seems to end. To a motoring purist, there is no adulteration of the power delivery and certainly no turbo lag, as the R8 coupe does not have one. Everything you feel, comes from the organic power of the power unit - and there is a creaminess to the acceleration as it builds and builds and builds in a way that is just so satisfying.

As the perfect accompaniment to the R8's naturally aspirated creaminess, the R8's exhaust note does an excellent job at telling the world that you are coming up on their tail. Although it doesn't sound anywhere as iconic and poignant as other V10 legends like the Porsche Carrera GT and the Lexus LFA, there are moments, such as when you're in 3rd gear and gunning past 5,000 rpm where you'll be able to extract hints of that high pitched greatness - a V10's "Spreog Note" if you may.

As I have never driven the Audi R8 on track, and because I don't drive like a maniac on local public roads, I will sadly not be able to verify much of the race related technologies and improvements that have been made to the car. However, I have a sneaky feeling that the R8's appeal goes beyond its specifications - and it possesses the uncanny ability to appeal intangibly to the petrolheads as well as the next wealthy person. There is something extremely likeable about the R8 coupe, and I think it may well be one of the most endearing supercars out there today. While most supercars out there receive dirty looks and sour comments, its hard to hate on the R8, and while I could be mistaken, people seem quite happy to see the R8, especially a yellow one. For that reason, the R8 coupe will be missed after it is gone. However, while we say goodbye to the end of this era, we also have one eye on the next, and it would be exciting to see if a fully electric e-tron R8 will make its way to consumers around the world.


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