2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus Review

I’ve been sitting here, staring at a blank document, waiting for the right words to come. Any words, really. You’d think, writing about a vehicle like the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus would cause a bout of verbal diarrhea that no amount of word-count Imodium could cure… but here’s the thing; there are no words to properly describe this vehicle.

I don’t feel there are words worthy of its presence, its abilities, its emotional unearthings. The English language hasn’t invented them yet; and while I’m tempted to create a few of my own, I’m afraid they’d sound rather dirty and I may get into trouble.

What is the Audi R8 V10 Plus?
Besides being a glorious automobile to behold, the Audi R8 is the German automaker’s answer to the super car segment — and what an answer it is.

True, it may be considered the nouveau riche in a segment that’s rife with history and experience, but the Audi R8 is equipped to play with the big boys. It’s been around for about seven years now, and while its seen very few changes over those years, that hasn’t hurt its appeal.

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus 3/4 view

Besides being a glorious automobile to behold, the Audi R8 is the German automaker’s answer to the super car segment. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus Price and Specs
Prepare yourself for some big numbers when speaking about the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus. While some of those numbers will leave you weak in the knees for a good reason, others will just knock you out from sheer shock.

Let’s start with the shocking ones first: The 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus has a starting price of $187,000. Take a breath and know that my tester (with its three options) tipped the scale at $211,895.

As for the knee-weakening bits, there are plenty of them. As its name would suggest, the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus carries a glorious 5.2L V10 in its midst. With 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque, and only weighing 1,635kgs, the Audi R8 is a veritable street-legal racecar. Fantastic.

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus engine

As its name would suggest, the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus carries a glorious 5.2L V10 in its midst with 550 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

Driving the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus
Full disclosure: In all my years as an auto journalist, I’d never driven an R8 before. This was my first time, and the anticipation, and excitement were palpable when I got the keys. As happy as I was to finally drive it, I was also rather intimidated. This is a lot of car, and it makes that immediately clear the moment you fire up the angry-sounding, visceral 5.2L V10.

Slipping onto the quilted leather seats, wrapping my slightly clammy hands around the small, steering wheel perfectly molded for ideal hand placement, I glanced down at the crowning jewel in the cockpit: the metal-framed 6-speed gated shifter.

That’s right: Three pedals. Six gears. Deep breath.

A bit of an anomaly in the supercar world, this was perhaps one of the best manual transmissions I’ve ever had the pleasure of shifting. From the rather easy-to-manipulate clutch to the fabulous metallic “schlick” as each gear engages, the experience of driving the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is made that much more tangible via this transmission.

As each gear begs to be engaged, while the engine toys with your mind coaxing you to push the revs ever higher as the wail of the V10 echoes through the two-seater cockpit and deep into your very being, the organic growl of the dual exhaust juxtapositions beautifully against the industrial click of shifting gears. As graceful as it is chaotic, driving the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is pure pleasure, if nothing else.

If I’ve got to find a negative point (and trust me, I struggled to find at least one), I’d say the lack of torque is up there. Sure, it’s got enough ponies, but the inability to really throw my head into the quilted leather headrest is a bit disappointing.

Make no mistake, the Quattro all-wheel drive with viscous coupling system is wonderful, allowing the R8 V10 Plus to play when asked. Equipped with ceramic brakes (a $10,900 option worth every penny), the R8 comes to a stop as quickly as it gets going.

Free of any sport, dynamic or plus modes, the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is essentially always fast — no boost needed. With a top speed of 315 km/hr and a 0-100 km/hr time of just 3.9 seconds, this German is quick… Quick to get the adrenaline pumping.

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus shifter

Slipping onto the quilted leather seats, I glanced down at the crowning jewel in the cockpit: the metal-framed 6-speed gated shifter. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)

Inside and Out of the Audi R8 V10 Plus
If another “sore” point can be pointed out, it’s the lack of change the R8 has seen over the years. Some would say a change would be blasphemous, but I’m not sure how much longer Audi can pull off the R8′s look as the world’s other supercars continue to evolve.

That being said, the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is pure sex on wheels. It doesn’t matter what angle you approach it, this car is stunning. Low, wide and perfectly proportioned, there’s very little to dislike. Add a layer of Sepang Blue Pearl Effect with carbon fibre front lip, rear diffuser and blades and I challenge you to say this thing isn’t hot. I dare you.

Inside, the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is a lesson in simplistic sophistication. Memory seat settings? Nope. Digital gauge cluster? Don’t think so. E-brake? Thank God, no. The interior of the R8 is as business as the engine bay, clean crisp and all about the task at hand: driving.

2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus rear 3/4 view

The 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus is pure sex on wheels. It doesn’t matter what angle you approach it, this car is stunning. (Photo: Philippe Champoux)


Comparing the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus

I’m glad I finally had the chance to drive the R8 because it really opened my eyes to just how good Audi can be. They are about much more than luxury all-wheel-drive suburban dwellers. They’ve managed to engineer a supercar that’s as willing and able to play alongside the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Porsche 911 Turbo S, and still survive the winter months.

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