2022 Audi R8 Performance RWD Spider Review: Heresy has that place

Audi has built its revival and reputation on the muscular shoulders of the Quattro all-wheel drive. More importantly, the company’s Power at All Corner hardware is why the R8 has been one of my favorite supercars since 2007 and is widely recognized as such an amazingly capable daily driver. It occupies a large part of. Therefore, I made my nose a little crumpled with the limited model R8 RWS of the exclusive rear wheel drive model released in 2017. Yes, it weighs about 110 pounds lighter, yes, it was cheap. It still surprised me as a model beyond the point, a strange heretical way Audi turns its back on the basic techniques that motivated its comeback and performance image.

After absent from the R8 lineup for several years, Germany is once again offering a quattroless version of its flagship 2022 Audi R8 Performance Spider RWD. I just spent a week on it, and I think I understand it now. In fact, I might have been wrong about it. A little..

Regardless of the number of wheels driven, the R8’s drive never slowed down. Audi’s 5.2 liter V10 never allowed it. This naturally aspirated mid-mount masterwork is still one of the best high-performance engines on the market and arguably one of the best engines ever. Yes, there are sports cars that offer more horsepower and certainly more torque for less dollars, but no sports car that offers that power in a more consistent and thrilling way, especially acoustically. ..

2022 Audi R8 Spider V10 Performance RWD is a legitimate stimulant

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Always a party

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a high-performance engine that doesn’t have a turbocharger or supercharger built in, and you’re muzzling the soundtrack in exchange for more power. The Audi V10 does not fail to bristle the hair on the neck when unplugging the throttle. Even if you’re not using all 562 horsepower, or all 406 pound-foot torque, there’s a sense of opportunity that comes with this engine. It’s true whether you’re whipping it around the canyon road or a childish idiot in a tunnel.

Manually shotguning a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox into low-speed gear, sending V10 racing to the pinnacle of 8,700 rpm, and making it a purely entertaining or annoying companion driver is a never-ending temptation. It’s important to note that the underlying gravity is present when you’re increasing traffic, especially if you’re playing with shift paddles. The R8 may be very obedient and easy to handle as a supercar, but it doesn’t turn the wheels without feeling special.

For clarity, this topless rear-wheel drive model is about 0.2 seconds slower than 60 mph. R8 spider with Quattro –3.5 seconds instead of 3.3. It also peaks at 200 mph and 4 mph before the AWD model packs it. But apart from the racetrack, they are only sadly subtle differences by the most pedant of Specs Nobu. On the plus side, reducing the drag of the parasitic driveline increases efficiency. The EPA rates the 2WD R8 with a city of 14mpg, a highway of 23 mpg, and a total of 23 mpg, with gains of 1, 4, and 2, respectively, over AWD vehicles. But, as I did, mercilessly cloud the V10 on race tracks and mountain roads. Then, stare at single-digit fuel economy and donate to the Rainforest Alliance to save guilty decency.

This rear-wheel drive model is also a bit more playful than the last R8 Quattro I drove.The fact that it may be time to do a trick to me, or have Recently moved from Detroit to Los Angeles, I now have some of the most thrilling canyon roads in the world at my back door. In any case, the steering feels slightly sharper, the back end is more lively and ready to step out with the accelerator prod. This is intentional as Audi engineers burn Scoche’s more negative camber into the rear wheel geometry to encourage a more vibrant chassis. But don’t get me wrong. Even with the front wheel yoke removed, the R8 did not become a widow with a sweaty palm. We are talking about the degree of playfulness here.

2022 Audi R8 Spider V10 Performance Express Red Interior

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2022 Audi R8 Spider V10 Performance Express Red Interior

ExpressRed seems to have a proper name.

Chris Paukert / CNET

Prices and options: what you get and what you lose

This latest two-wheel drive R8 spider isn’t a limited edition like the 2018 RWS. This is a regular production model and is available to anyone who has a hole in boutique brand track pants for at least $ 162,395. Its price, including the mandatory $ 1,495 shipping fee and $ 1,300 gas guzzler tax, is actually a relatively good deal compared to Quattro.This saves a whopping $ 52,600-enough spare changes for the midrange Q5 SUV or S4 sedan For those days when you really need an AWD. If you don’t need a convertible, the hardtop R8 Performance Coupe is even cheaper, starting at $ 151,495 all-in.

Of course, you don’t just lose some propeller shafts and front differentials for that money-you lose power (Quattro comes with 602hp and 413lb-ft) and you mean to standard equipment Gives a blow Level from both a visual and actual performance part perspective. Carbon ceramic brakes, carbon fiber side blades, rear wings, laser headlamps, plus vibrant magnetic ride adaptive dampers and electronically controlled limited slip differentials (don’t be afraid, you can use a legitimate LSD instead) .. (Of course, much of this equipment can be returned to a la carte.) Instead, the R8 RWD gains a larger anti-roll bar at the front and uses a rugged rear axle instead of the Quattro’s hollow unit. .. In total, Audi says this car is 67 pounds lighter than its AWD brothers, at least before you start loading options.

And when it comes to stacking, the Spider test model that Audi lent me did exactly that. In addition to the base price, my tester has added an option of almost $ 26,000. The tally included useful performance hardware such as $ 1,400 for dynamic adaptive steering and $ 3,500 for laser headlamps, most of which was dedicated to a visual and luxurious touch. ..These high-priced bundles include a $ 3,600 premium package (B & O audio, extended leather, illuminated sill), a $ 3,600 sports exhaust package (a more throat exhaust with a dedicated performance drive mode and sports steering wheel), and $ 3,400. Included a carbon interior package, a $ 3,500 diamond stitched leather package and its Compassionate blowCarbon exterior package (carbon side blades, air box cover, convertible top compartment lid) is $ 4,800.

2022 Audi R8 Spider V10 Performance Side View

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2022 Audi R8 Spider V10 Performance Side View

The contrasting side blades are an important part of the R8’s visual identity. They are also expensive.

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That last option group will usually hit me as unnecessarily trivial, but I believe those blades are essential to the R8’s visual identity. Those contrasting colors break what would otherwise be an overly long wheelbase and ruin the proportions of the design-especially in a convertible. And when it comes to messed up proportions, I believe the restyled nose introduced in the 2020 refresh didn’t like the look of this car.

R8 is still in the twilight year, but you can’t tell by looking inside. Premium materials and a sturdy switchgear fit the cabin well. In particular, the lack of a large central screen brings timeless quality to the dashboard. Nowadays, in terms of size, resolution, and even how it’s mounted on the center stack, it rarely makes the interior look older than the outdated infotainment displays. The R8 avoids that time trap by running all 12.3-inch virtual cockpit gauge clusters, such as Google Earth navigation and voice chores. This single-screen layout isn’t suitable if you want passengers to play dejays or wayfinders, but on the other hand, it does nothing but enjoy the ride.

Also, features such as adaptive cruise control are usually too practical for weekend and truck day cars, so we won’t talk much about advanced driver assistance systems for supercars. After all, buyers with this kind of cash usually have a luxury SUV or sedan that can be used for everyday chores. That said, the only cruise control system here is conventional and there are no other active safety nets such as lane keep assist or automatic emergency braking.

The day is rarely better than this.

Chris Paukert / CNET

The future is approaching, whether ready or not

Audi has already confirmed it The successor to this car will be battery powered.. I’m confident that it means being kind to future generations and at the same time improving performance. It’s an advance and I’m really excited to experience where the nameplate goes from here. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to miss this 2022 Audi R8 performance and its spinning happy V10. many. High-performance electric cars may be unmatched in accelerating break necks, but EVs, even the most built-in, have the mechanical noise and mechanical noise that many of us buy sports cars. It lacks the tingling vibration of the spine.

I love EVs and consider myself more environmentally friendly than others, but for the R8, I choose to keep the internal combustion engine heresy no matter how many drive wheels it has.

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