The 2012 Audi R8 is Audi's halo car: A low-slung, two-seat supercar derived in part from the Lamborghini Gallardo (Lamborghini is owned by Audi's parent company). The R8's big V-8 and V-10 engines and quattro all-wheel drive offer blistering performance on the track, but are still docile enough to cruise Rodeo Drive in style, all at a price more accessible than the average supercar.
Keeping the R8 fresh, Audi added a V-10 engine in the car's second model year, in its third model year the convertible Spyder was added, and new for the 2012 model year, Audi takes its more powerful R8 engine and, well, makes it even more powerful. The 5.2-liter V-10 adds 35 hp, and now totals a mighty 560 hp. Sleek exotic styling, an ultra-premium interior, performance at the ready, the R8 is a must consider for anyone looking at this top-tier segment.
The 2012 Audi R8 is a driver's car through and through. Luggage capacity is minimal, though a storage package adds netting behind the seats to make the luggage shelf more usable. Though capable, the R8 is tuned more as a grand tourer than a street-legal race car. Fuel economy remains on par with its racier brethren, but that really isn't the point, is it?
Bodystyles: Coupe, convertible
Engines: 4.2-liter V-8, 5.2-liter V-10
Transmissions: six-speed single-clutch automatic, six-speed manual
Models: R8, R8 5.2, R8 Spyder 5.2
Among the numerous changes to the 2012 Audi R8 GT is added power to the already beastly 5.2-liter V-10 engine. It now produces 560 hp, compared with the previous 525 hp. The GT will have limited colors available for this model year. Also, this supercar will feature a carbon-fiber stationary rear spoiler, bumpers, and side mirrors.
The 2012 Audi R8 is an exotic and eminently styled coupe with strong Coke bottle curves and near-perfect proportions. The V-10 and Spyder models receive unique wheels, grille, headlights and side scoops. Standard on the 4.2 coupe are 19-inch wheels, LED lights are an option. The 5.2 model includes many of the 4.2 model's optional features as standard, such as carbon-ceramic brakes.
The German automaker has earned a reputation for producing top-notch interiors, and the 2012 Audi R8 is a good example of this. Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) utilizes a control knob on the dashboard, but compared to newer systems, this isn't the most convenient or user-friendly infotainment system. Aluminum accents on the multi-function steering wheel, vents and console offer a premium touch. Sporty leather-wrapped power seats are standard, as is climate control, navigation, Bluetooth, and a premium stereo. An optional convenience package adds a rear view camera, hill hold and heated, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors.
Performance & Handling
The 2012 Audi R8 is already a potent street and track machine with its 4.2-liter V-8 developing 420 horsepower, but the truly power-mad will opt for the updated 560 horsepower 5.2-liter V-10. Both engines are mated to either a six-speed single-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual and Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system, which makes handling and cornering capability excellent. Despite its impressive performance, the R8 is a relatively practical supercar, boasting a comfortable ultra-premium interior, good visibility, and relative comfort.
Both passengers get front, side thorax, side curtain and knee airbags. Antilock brakes, electronic traction control and stability control are standard, as is Audi's Crash Sensor, which unlocks the doors and turns off the engine and fuel pump.
EPA Fuel Economy
R8 4.2: 11-13 mpg city/19-20 mpg highway
R8 GT: 12-13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Great styling
- Great engines
- Great handling
- Did we mention that styling?
You Won't Like
- Not much storage space
- Supercar fuel economy
The (not all that) extreme everyday supercar.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Lamborghini Gallardo
- Ferrari 458 Italia
- Nissan GT-R
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- Porsche 911