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Old 12th April 2013, 22:28   #1
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Default Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Audi has launched the R8 V10 Plus in India. This is the flagship sports car from Audi's stable and is priced at Rs. 2.06 crores, ex-showroom Maharashtra.

The V10 "Plus" is powered by a 5.2L V10 engine pushing out 550 BHP. That is 25 more than the standard V10. Additionally, kerb weight has been reduced by 25 kgs...the V10 Plus tips the scales at a little under 1600 kgs.

Other changes include a sportier suspension which, honestly, is too stiff. Every minor crack on the surface in the pit lane could be felt, and the suspension has a distinctly edgy character.

However, those looking for speed have no reason to complain. This baby does 0-100 in 3.5 seconds and the ceramic brakes provide ample stopping power too. The S-Tronic 7 speed gearbox is quick shifting; in sport mode, it's absolutely delightful to approach a corner, let go of the throttle and then see it downshifting almost maniacally.

As far as the looks go, the R8 is relatively subtle.

LED headlights are now standard on the R8 range:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-i9mzmrnxx3.jpg

Not much clutter. Simple and clean:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-i9vnsxzdx3.jpg

Monster V10 sits at the back:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ixp6b5kvx3.jpg

Without the racing stripes, there is a tendency to get lost in the crowd. She isn't as flamboyant as its Italian competition:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ijh6fbflx3.jpg

But our track cars had all the flare you'd ever need:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-iscsndrjx3.jpg

At the rear, large cooling vents and LED tail-lights dominate. The indicators are also LED and have an interesting lighting pattern:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ixvhpbnbx3.jpg

The stiff suspension, edgy throttle response and 'bite-to-kill' brakes offer a tremendous driving experience. Prod the throttle and the R8 is eager to leap forward. There is no hesitation from either the engine or the gearbox. For those of you who thought manuals rule, get this : 0-100 in the MT takes 3.8 seconds, while the S-Tronic box does the dash in 3.5 seconds.

The box shifts in a lightning quick manner. In sport mode, even the downshifts are extremely aggressive. If you lift off the throttle in a corner approach, the gearbox will ensure adequate engine braking by downshifting hard. And if you do lose it a bit, don't sweat. The Quattro works as intended, as does the stability program. In the hands of a total newbie like me, the R8 behaved impeccably and even at very high speeds, its nearly impossible to lose it (unless you do something silly). Switching off the traction control may result in a different story, but I refrained from doing so.

On the braking front, the ceramic brakes have a sharp bite. After multiple laps, there was no fade whatsoever. Add the precise steering and chassis to that recipe and you have a great track car.

But herein lies one weakness. On the seemingly smooth surface of the pit lane, we could feel every bump. In a country like India, every minor joint or line of concrete expressways would be felt inside.

I'm told that the standard R8 V10 has a softer suspension. Maybe, if you don't want to hit the track everyday, that variant makes more sense from a practical point of view.

The Surprise - Audi RS5

Audi will soon be launching the RS5 at a price close to 1.0 crore. The RS5 is powered by a 4.2 liter engine pumping out 450 BHP. 0-100 is rated at ~4.5 seconds. For those who want practicality with Supercar performance, the RS5 is a great alternative. The suspension is very compliant, especially in comfort mode. That said, if you are an aggressive driver, make sure you get the ceramic brake package. The car I got to drive suffered serious brake fade after abusive laps by the others.

The RS5 has a more "family car" look:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-irnlrpxvx3.jpg

Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ifhbw87sx3.jpg

Take away the stripes and she is your true-blue sleeper. You'd never know the monster lurking under the hood:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ih3ntfwvx3.jpg

Exact pricing and trim levels will be revealed at the time of launch. I hope Audi does some more work on the car, as the air-conditioner on the demo vehicle was woefully inadequate. At 35 degree C (which is tame by Delhi standards), we were sweating it out.

Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2013 at 18:46.
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Old 12th April 2013, 22:29   #2
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Default Audi R8 V10 Plus drive - Audi Sportscar Experience

At the press conference, it was announced that prices for the Audi Sportscar Experience have been reduced to Rs. 30,000 (from the earlier Rs. 98,000). The experience involves a half day training session at the BIC.

We were given a demo of the track experience using 3 cars. The Audi TT, R8 V10 Plus and RS5:
Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ifnfwxgmx3.jpg

Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ihjsqvhrx3.jpg

Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-ixf2xtmxx3.jpg

Our session started with an instructor who briefly explained the concepts of oversteer and understeer.

We had 3 laps in each car. The first lap would be the training lap where we go through a slalom section, followed by a braking session to get familiar with the machine. At the end of every lap, the car right behind the instructor would move to last position.

For the purpose of the demo, we were divided into two groups of 5 each. Our group had an RS5 (instead of the RS4), an Audi TT and the R8 V10 Plus.

Thankfully, the first car I got to drive was not the R8. Its best to start with a slower car on track. Being my first time on a circuit, I was quite nervous. The Audi TT, though one of the slower rides here, was faster and more powerful than anything else I'd ever driven before. However, the first corner itself made it clear that things aren't going to be difficult. These machines are built for speed, and the instructor was taking us through at a safe pace.

The slalom section had me impressed, although I didn't have any benchmark to compare the experience with. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Soon after the slalom, a warning sign lit up on the information display. It showed something which resembled a cooking tyre. I guess, all the pounding was making the tyres way too hot!! Surprisingly, I didn't see this on the RS5 or the R8.

Next up was the braking section. We were asked to accelerate to about 100 kph, slam on the brakes at a set point and then, at the end of the section marked by a cone, take a sharp right while still on the brakes. This exercise was to make us familiar with braking, and also how we can retain complete steering control while standing on the (brake) pedal.

Familiarization done, it was time for the actual lap. We were taught to go as wide as possible, kissing the lines on the edge. Each corner, we followed the instructor taking the optimal racing line. If I could take such racing lines on my mountain trips, I guess travel time will be cut in half, but then, there is that pesky oncoming traffic

No such restrictions here.

On the second lap, I got moved to the end. On the long straight, I decided to hang back, build some gap and hit a higher speed. Soon enough, the instructor's voice came crackling on the radio "Car number 5, please catch up".

Time to hit the throttle and in no time, the Audi accelerated past 220 kph. Frankly speaking, 220 kph felt incredibly tame in this car. Oh well, the last "sports car" I'd driven was a V6 Mustang with an oldschool pushrod engine.

At the end of three laps, we switched cars. The moment I took the driver's seat of the R8, I knew she was something special. The functional cockpit, the hugging bucket seats, the closely placed pedals, all screamed 'Supercar'. It was time to press the little button marked sport.

As we started out of the pit lane, I felt the road. The only time you can feel a road like this is in a suspension-less tractor trolley. Only here, it's by design. As soon as we exited the pits, the bumpiness vanished. As the instructor took off, I too punched the throttle. That's when it hit me: The Audi TT was like a mere commuter machine in comparison. The R8 is a monster, eager to get away! The car is almost scary. The slalom was taken far more aggressively. Every muscle in my arm ached, and my body was already complaining from the rapid G forces. This car requires your fullest involvement.

After the first lap, the hard driving laps started. Even without full throttle, I was able to effortlessly keep up with the lead cars on the long straight, going well over 220 kph again. The TT was good, yet the R8 was insane through corners with its leech-like grip. At the 2nd last corner, I nearly lost it, but the electronics ensured that I was back on the line (after a minor drift). This is one sports car you can go crazy with, and she'll still come back to toe the line without drama.

When the 3 laps ended, I was sad to let the R8 go. Next up was the RS5. I was very curious about how this "sleeper" would behave on track. The first thing I noticed was the sheer amount of space. The second? The totally ineffective A/C. As we started out of the pits, I realized how soft the suspension was on the RS5 (relatively, of course). Gone was the edginess of the R8. The handling was softer and the engine lazier. I guess my mind was still in "R8" mode. The RS5's mid to top end performance was mind blowing. This car can go fast and mask speeds like nobody's business. Because all the road bumps were soaked up, I didn't realize how fast we were. The 200+ kph felt much slower in the RS5 than the R8 or the Audi TT. It may not have the R8's horses, but from a practical point of view, this car is the all rounder of the group.

That said, I was disappointed with the braking. The braking hardware had some amount of fade. Maybe, our example had one too many hard laps in the morning, or wasn't carrying the ceramic brake package.

Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report-iwbf8s3px3.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2013 at 21:37.
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Old 16th April 2013, 09:39   #3
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Supercars Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th April 2013, 10:00   #4
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

WoW!
Thanks for sharing . I really hope you guys can get us a full in-depth review of these exotics someday, where you would be allowed to take it on the road perhaps after spending a few days with them and give us a proper 'real-life' review rather than one based on track day.
Nonetheless a very nice surprise to wake up to in the morning!.

Last edited by Maky : 16th April 2013 at 10:01.
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:09   #5
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Audi will soon be launching the RS5 at a price close to 1.0 crore.


Did you mean Audi will launch the FACELIFTED RS5?

Brakes in the RS5 pretty precise I don't think it needs ceramic brakes. However I don't doubt that the car you drove might have had brake fade issues as this car has been the official test car since 2011. Been thrashed around by every journalist and hundreds of enthusiasts over test drives.
They ought to have replaced this test car by now or atleast replaced the brake pads before a track day.
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:18   #6
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sahil View Post


Did you mean Audi will launch the FACELIFTED RS5?

Brakes in the RS5 pretty precise I don't think it needs ceramic brakes. However I don't doubt that the car you drove might have had brake fade issues as this car has been the official test car since 2011. Been thrashed around by every journalist and hundreds of enthusiasts over test drives.
They ought to have replaced this test car by now or atleast replaced the brake pads before a track day.
Thats where ceramic brakes come into play. If you are on the track, you will use the brakes extensively. For example, the ceramic brake equipped R8 had no fade.
Though I agree, for the road, ceramic brakes are an overkill.

Coming to the facelift, nothing was revealed at the event, but considering Audi is releasing their latest and greatest in India, the V10 plus, there is a good change they go for the facelift at time for launch.
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:22   #7
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Quote:
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there is a good change they go for the facelift at time for launch.
What I meant was that the RS5 is already launched since 2011 hence there is one in my garage
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:29   #8
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus drive - Audi Sportscar Experience

Fantastic report there, Thanks

Sadly no pics of the cars in action.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
For the purpose of the demo, we were divided into two groups of 5 each. Our group had an RS5 (instead of the RS4), an Audi TT and the R8 V10 Plus.
You meant the S4 right ? Coz there is no RS4 in/for India
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Old 16th April 2013, 11:41   #9
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus drive - Audi Sportscar Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Fantastic report there, Thanks

Sadly no pics of the cars in action.



You meant the S4 right ? Coz there is no RS4 in/for India
Oops my bad. S4 it was

As for in action pics, I was alone on the track driving, so no chance of getting action shots.

@Sahil - If you already have a RS5 in your garage, this means that the facelift RS5 is going to be launched. However, Audi will share the details at a later date.
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Old 16th April 2013, 20:01   #10
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus drive - Audi Sportscar Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
this means that the facelift RS5 is going to be launched. However, Audi will share the details at a later date.
A white facelifted RS5 with the racing stripes was present during this event, how did you guys miss it! I believe the S6 is also slated for launch sometime later this year.
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Old 16th April 2013, 20:27   #11
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus drive - Audi Sportscar Experience

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A white facelifted RS5 with the racing stripes was present during this event, how did you guys miss it! I believe the S6 is also slated for launch sometime later this year.
Yes, it was there at the launch, but Audi has specifically told us that all details will be shared later.
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Old 18th April 2013, 14:31   #12
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Nice!

The R8 is a hot favourite with the ladies it seems. I've heard so many women say that the R8 is their dream car (based almost entirely on the looks).

Personally i find the looks a bit too "round", but i still wouldn't complain if one magically showed up in my garage

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I'm told that the standard R8 V10 has a softer suspension. Maybe, if you don't want to hit the track everyday, that variant makes more sense from a practical point of view.
Are the R8 V10 and R8 V10 Plus sold side-by-side? Or will the plus replace the old V10?

Here's some ear candy for those who haven't seen (/ heard!) it :


cya
R
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Old 18th April 2013, 14:46   #13
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

Brilliant report there Tsk. Rightly said that these cars are built for speed and only when you glance at the speedo, you realize what speeds you're clocking.

Kid in a candy store is the right punchline given such exotics you had to play around with.

Must have been an obscene amount of fun pushing these cars on the track. Lucky you.
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Old 20th April 2013, 10:23   #14
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Default Re: Audi R8 V10 Plus : Launch & Drive Report

@tsk - Great report !

Since you were there with the Audi guys all day i wonder if you managed to find out if the v10 Plus will remain the R8 flagship i.e the replacement for the previous gen 560hp R8 GT ??? Or is an even higher powered R8 GT replacement on the way ?
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Old 20th April 2013, 14:48   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post

The R8 is a hot favourite with the ladies it seems. I've heard so many women say that the R8 is their dream car (based almost entirely on the looks).
That is so true! The only other car after the Range Rover than ladies seem to love is the R8.
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