All posts in “Audi R8”

Best Used Sports & Performance Cars ($100K–$200K USD)

Having a 6-figure budget (USD) at your disposal will certainly open the door to some pretty mouth-watering options when it comes to purchasing your next car. Sure, there’s nothing like the scent of fresh leather or Alcantara, along with that near-zero reading on the odometer that only a brand new car can provide. But pre-owned cars—especially ones in this price bracket—should always be part of the equation when cross-shopping between different models or brands.

Even if you do have your heart set on a very specific model, buying used can be a great way to go. If you can save a significant chunk of change by purchasing a used vehicle without taking on any meaningful additional risks, why not?

Cars these days have to pass the most rigorous quality assurance standards, and are more reliable, durable and well put together than ever before. History checks are easy enough to perform on your own, while dealerships often include reasonable short-term warranty coverage (i.e. ‘certified pre-owned’) as part of the sale. Often times, this makes the value of proposition of going ‘new vs. used’, one that is sentimental, rather than logical.

Of course, the current chip shortage and other economic variables have been at play recently; these have set the conditions for an almost-universal ‘hot’ used car market. In rare instances, some pre-owned cars have been going for near, or even over, brand new MSRP as the supply chain continues to be disrupted.

Regardless, here’s our list of the Best Used Sports & Performance Cars you can purchase in the $100K – $200K USD range. In the interest of keeping this list digestible, we’ve also filtered it down to cars produced within the last 10 model years; we’ll save older and vintage cars for another list.

All that being said, a lot of these examples will still have their original manufacturer’s warranty intact—not unlike a brand new car.

Porsche 911 GT3 (991.1, 991.2)

Porsche 911 GT3 991.1

Price Range: $135K – $160K (2014-2015 model years, 991.1)

In an era ripe with 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6 911 GT3 and GT3 RS cars, the 991.1 GT3 might appear to be a bit of a black sheep with its smaller 3.8L unit. Used market prices generally echo this sentiment, but that also presents the opportunity to get into an amazing car at an attractive price.

In fact, this should make it a prime candidate for those who are looking for a capable track car, and would rather put their money where it really matters when it comes to this—more tires, more brake pads, and most important of all, more seat time. Better yet, the car still has a couple years remaining on the car’s 10-year engine warranty.

Porsche 911 GT3 991.2

Price Range: $180K – $200K (2018 model year, 991.2)

The 991.2 GT3 commands significant premium over the first phase model as it is a better all-around car. This is in large part thanks to the use of the more robust and more powerful 4.0L unit. However, arguably more important than that, is the fact that the .2 models could also be had with a 6-speed manual transmission while the .1 models were exclusively PDK.

This has made the car more appealing to a wider ranging audience. Moreover, the 991.2 GT3 is the only 991-gen GT model that could be had with 3 pedals (barring the ultra-rare 911R), and has become a big hit with the purist and enthusiast crowds.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C7)

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Price Range: $150K – $190K (2019 model year)

Before the new Corvette Z06 (C8), the Corvette ZR1 (C7) reigned supreme over all other Corvettes. The ZR1 is responsible for some important milestones for the model and the American automaker. For one, it served as the swan song for front-engined Corvettes—before they became mid-engined in the current C8-gen—and was the final model release in the previous-gen range.

Naturally, it also inherited top spot in the hierarchy as the most powerful Corvette ever produced; this remains a bragging right it continues to boast, even with the release of the aforementioned Z06.

It might be some time yet before we see the ZR1’s 6.2L supercharged V8 engine usurped in terms of output, with 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque at its beckoning. Improved aerodynamics help to provide some semblance of balance to this monster of a car, making it possibly one of the more underrated weekend warrior track cars out there.

Nissan GT-R Nismo

2016 Nissan GT-R Nismo

Price Range: $150K – $200K (2014-2019 model years)

As Nissan’s R35 GT-R platform really starts to show its age, most would agree that the Nismo models have been the only saving grace of what would otherwise be a case of ‘same-old-brand-new-you’. The range-topping R35 Nismo models have only been around since about half-way through the current decade+ lifecycle, first appearing for the 2014 model year.

While the Nismo models (2014-2019) have progressively improved over the years, there isn’t one model year that sticks out as being particularly more desirable at the moment, so you can expect a linear relationship between price and year, with other factors such as mileage and condition coming into play thereafter.

The GT-R Nismo was significantly refreshed for 2020 model year, with anything beyond that point commanding well over $200K new or used.

Mercedes-AMG GT

Mercedes-AMG GT R

Price Range:$135K – $185K (2018-2019 model years)

While we believe that the track-oriented GT R models would serve well as grand tourers for most enthusiasts, we wouldn’t argue that the lower trims (GT and GT C) are better options as an everyday cruiser. Afterall, opting for either of those models also unlocks the choice of having them in Roadster (convertible) configurations.

Stepping up to the 577 hp AMG GT R nets you Mercedes-Benz’ flagship supercar, which is the amalgamation of half a century of motorsports success placed into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis and soul.

For those looking for that extra bit of the apex-clipping good stuff, the limited edition ‘GT R Pro’ is an even more track-focused variant of the GT R. Only the special ‘Black Edition’ model is out of the scope of this price range.

Acura NSX

2021 Acura NSX

Price Range: $140K – $180K (2017-2020 model years)

I am one of those who believes that the new Acura NSX gets way more flack than it deserves. True, it seems to be missing the mark on harkening back to the original model—which most people were expecting, but was likely never really Honda’s intention—but it remains a very impressive car from a performance/outcome standpoint.

The company also recently unveiled a new Type S model, which starts brand new at $169,500; easily within our price range for this list. Well, it is, and it isn’t—the limited edition car is expected to command closer to $200K with options, and will likely go for prices inflated well beyond that when they eventually hit the used market.

Your best bet is to focus your search on the more-than-capable ‘base’ models, which come with the tried-and-tested 573 hp twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid engine assisted by 3 electric motors.

Porsche Cayman GT4 (981 & 718)

2016 Porsche 981 Cayman GT4

Price Range: $110K – $130K (2016 model year, 981)

The Porsche Cayman GT4 models are some of the hottest cars in the enthusiast market, especially amongst track go-ers. With the new 718 GT4 RS being released, demand for the regular GT4 models could go either way depending on how many RS models (and at what frequency) Porsche decides to produce.

In my opinion, I think it’d be safe to assume that it’s going to be hard enough to get one, such that most prospective buyers would end up choosing a GT4 instead—and be very happy with that decision, mind you. First-gen GT4s are the cheaper of the two options, and make for pretty much some of the best weekend track warriors at its price range.

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Boxster Spyder & 718 Boxster Spyder overall review

Price Range: $135K – $150K (2020-2021 model years, 718)

The 981-gen Cayman and the newer 718 GT4 (available in both coupé and convertible configuration) are remarkably balanced cars, and in the right hands, can be just as quick around the circuit as their more expensive 911 stablemates.

The 718 cars are at the higher end of the price range, being newer and all, but also have the more robust and exclusive 4.0L engine versus the 3.8L (and still highly capable) unit in the 981. PDK is also optional in the newer car—the 981 is manual only—which will tickle the fancy of track junkies, much more than the purists.

The 981 is more raw, the 718 is faster. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

22017 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

Price Range: $125K – $165K (2015-2017 model years)

If the deeply integrated electronic systems of other sports cars don’t appeal to you—like those found in the new, tech-laden Porsche 911 GT3—the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S might just have the right blend of speed, style and character you’re looking for. Yet, with the confidence you feel behind the wheel and the chassis’ superb balance, you don’t need to be a GT racer to exploit its full range of performance.

Even at idle, the V12 in the Vantage S will demand your attention just from the way it sounds. Open up the throttle on the 565 hp 5.9L naturally-aspirated AM28-spec engine, and treat yourself to arguably the best sounding production road car on the planet—one which can be had for well under the $200K mark.

Audi R8

2016 Audi R8 V10

Price Range: $100K – $200K (2012-2020 model years)

The Audi R8 has the highest range of prices (and applicable model years) on this list. You can go back as far as 13 years when shopping for a pre-owned Audi R8, so it’s important to discern the differences of each model year, as their technologies and offerings have evolved a fair bit over that time as well.

Our favorite R8 model would have to be the Audi R8 RWD. Now a standard, instead of a one-off offering, the rear-wheel drive version of Audi’s famous R8 supercar is wonderful for so many reasons. Not only does it provide a notably lower price of entry into ownership of a new R8, it also brings about the puristic thrills that its heavier and more expensive all-wheel-drive counterpart can’t.

No doubt the newer models are sharper in both the driving dynamics and looks departments, but being able to get into an older model for far fewer greenbacks has its appeals too.

McLaren 570S

McLaren 570S Coupé Wallpapers

Price Range: $160K – $200K (2016-2018 model years)

There aren’t many opportunities to get into a McLaren for under $200K, but a pre-owned 570S provides one of those rare chances to do just that. While the 570S isn’t anywhere near being the British automaker’s top model, it remains a highly respectable performance car on its own merits, and is certainly one of the stand-out options in this price range.

After all, you’re getting McLaren’s infamous carbon-tub monocoque chassis and a mid-mounted 3.8L twin-turbo V8 powerplant—delivering 562 hp @ 7,500 rpm and 443 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000-6500 rpm to the rear wheels—which is mated to a 7-speed SSG (seamless-shift gearbox) transmission.

The drivetrain has been praised for its linearity, and although peak numbers are achieved after 5,000 rpm, the car also has plenty of low-end grunt and responsiveness too. The end result is a 0-62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 204 mph.

Porsche 911 Turbo & Turbo S (991.2)

991 Porsche 911 Turbo Turbo S

Price Range:$145K – $200K (2015-2018 model years, Turbo), (2018-2019 model years, Turbo S)

While there’s no doubt that the latest 992-gen Turbo and Turbo S are all-around better cars than their predecessors, the most recent run of such cars (991.2) are no slouches either; and in many cases, they can be bargains on the used market when you begin to line up the specs with their respective prices.

For example, the lower-trim 991.2 Turbo model is good for 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds (plenty quick for just about anyone) and can be had for under $140K on the used market. Today’s range-topping Turbo S is unquestionably faster, able to hit that benchmark in a mind-boggling 2.2 seconds—it’s up to you (and your wallet) to decide whether that half-second is worth that extra $70K – $90K, and if having your mind boggled on a daily basis is even necessary.

Of course, there’s newer tech just about everywhere on the new cars too, but there will never be an ounce of shame owning any car that has the word Turbo (or Turbo S) scribed after those legendary 911 numerals.

Best New Sports & Performance Cars ($100K – $200K USD)

Porsche 911 GT3 (992)

Porsche 911 GT3 and GT3 Touring

Base Price: $160,100 USD (GT3), $160,100 USD (Touring)

Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are just starting to trickle in now, making it likely to be designated as a 2022 model. Semantics aside, this new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911 – and the Porsche brand – in a single road car.

The automaker has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing. With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. 

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS

2022 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Base Price: $140,000 USD (est.)

Porsche has confirmed under no uncertain terms that there will be a 718 Cayman GT4 RS model. This comes after many months of testing camouflaged mule cars (with accompanied spy shots) which had long hinted that the GT4 RS was going to be a real thing – we finally know that this will indeed be the case. Porsche has stated that they are in the process of wrapping up the final stages of testing.

The GT4 RS will come equipped with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6, though Porsche has not yet provided any horsepower figures. Besides being obviously more than that of the GT4, many media outlets are predicting that it could make as much as 500 hp, especially considering the measurable gap in their ‘Green Hell’ lap times. Other telling differences can be spotted visually, with the GT4 RS being subject to the customary aerodynamic transformation. This includes a more aggressive front splitter, front fender vents, and a swan-neck rear wing (similar to that of the 992 GT3).

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 / 718 Boxster Spyder

Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Boxster Spyder & 718 Boxster Spyder overall review

Base Price: $101,200 USD (GT4) / $98,300 USD (Spyder)

The first iteration of the Porsche Cayman GT4 made its debut in 2015, drawing a conclusion to the third generation of Boxster/Cayman (981). Since that time, the GT4 has become a cult hero amongst purists with its absence of frills (not to be misheard as ‘thrills’), relative affordability and undisputable demi-god-status as one of the ultimate driver’s car. Shortly after the release of the 981 Cayman GT4, Porsche ushered in the fourth generation of the Cayman/Boxster (982) in 2016 which are marketed as the 718. The most welcome fact about the new 718 GT4/Spyder models is that they marked the reintroduction of the naturally aspirated 6-cylinder into the Cayman/Boxster series, and for the first time into the 982 generation.

With the main difference between the two cars being that the GT4 is a coupe while the Spyder is a drop-top, both cars are mechanically identical and benefit equally from the typical GT-treatment we have all come to adore. Like the inaugural GT4, the new GT ‘twins’ once again infringe on Porsche 911 territory with their stunning performance metrics to rival Stuttgart’s own flagship car.

Porsche Taycan (All Models)

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo

Base Price: Starting at $79,900 USD (Sedan) / Starting at $90,900 USD (Cross Turismo)

Porsche’s first EV was the statement car of 2020, proving that a future with electrification can still embody the soul of a true sports car in the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S. Shortly after their release, Porsche added a slightly detuned version of the Taycan in a trim level known as the Taycan 4S. The company has since expanded the Taycan sports sedan lineup with even more versions, including a rear-wheel drive base model, with a future GTS version rumored to be in the works. Although base prices do start below the $100K mark, the vast majority of Taycan models (even without any options added) certainly meet this threshold.

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models in 2021, we’ve now entered the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover/estate. What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels – 4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S – with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans.

The new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD

Just imagine how much fun you could have behind the wheel of a 570 PS topless Audi R8 … with rear-wheel drive only? A lot, if you know what you are doing, having a car like this that only propels the rear wheels is the most fun possible behind a steering wheel, but it does demand a level of expertise and some respect for the boundaries, with the Lamborghini Huracán EVO RWD as a counterpart, the Audi R8 V10 just had to have an RWD version too, and right from the start buyers were lining up for this special model, today Audi launched the ‘Performance’ edition, adding 30 PS onto the power output, available as a Coupe from €149,000 with the Spyder demanding a mere €13,000 premium.

The new Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD will be available to order starting October 21st, and all units will be built mainly by hand at the Böllinger Höfe plant in Neckarsulm, Germany, the exact same place where the famous LMS GT4 racecar is assembled from roughly 60% the same parts as these streetcars, the front radiator grille with her large air intakes on either side, the front splitter, the rear vents, and even the oval tailpipes on these R8 V10 Performance RWD are inspired by said GT4 racer.

The new Audi R8 V10 Performance V10 can be ordered in ten different colors, even Ascari Blue Metallic that was previously only available for the R8 V10 performance quattro, as standard with the “R8 performance” design package, the interior boasts beautiful black Alcantara leather, with contrast stitching in Mercato Blue and carbon inlays. The Multifunction plus steering wheel comes with four control satellites in these Peformance versions, each for using Audi drive select, to start the engine, to activate Performance Mode and control the engine sound as well as to pilot the Audi virtual cockpit.

Both pilot and co-pilot can be seated in new R8 bucket or sports seats that are available now, either upholstered in luxurious leather or track-inspired Alcantara while a bespoke RWD badge is mounted on the fascia in front of the passenger, just to remind you are being seated in a supercar that has been specifically tuned for ‘controlled drifts’ in Sport mode.

This new Performance model can reach 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds (the Spyder takes 0.1 seconds more due to her increased weight) while the top speed is a staggering 329 km/h (327 km/h for the Spyder) powered by that magnificent 5.2-Liter V10 FSI engine, as already mentioned power has been increased to a total of 570 PS with torque now at 550 Nm, all being driven to the rear wheels only through Audi’s 7-Speed S tronic automatic gearbox.

The Audi R8 is still a lightweight aluminum body built over a spaceframe chassis, but large parts are made from CFRP, carbon fiber reinforced plastic to keep the weight down, the R8 V10 Performance Coupe puts down 1,590 kg while the Spyder version adds another 105 kg to reach a total of 1,695 kg, but despite the weight penalty, I would go for the Spyder all the way, I love convertible cars, and with that impressive V10 just inches behind your head, the sound going through a tunnel with the roof down must be mindboggling.

2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance: Facelift Model as V10 Era Comes to an End

Audi Sport has unveiled a new Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD which is available as a Coupe or Spyder.

The new Audi R8 V10 performance with rear-wheel-drive is derived from the R8 LMS race car with unfiltered dynamics and produces an additional 30hp and 10 Nm of torque. The base versions of both the R8 V10 quattro and the R8 V10 RWD will be replaced by the new performance models.

The Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2 litre V10 FSI engine delivering an output power of 570 hp and 550 Nm of torque. The acceleration from 0-100km/h is achieved in 3.7 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Spyder), the top speed is 329km/h (327km/h for Spyder). The R8 V10 performance RWD coupe version weighs 1590kgs whereas the Spyder version weighs 1695kgs.

The new model further features a balanced suspension and driving dynamics, an electromechanical power steering for maintaining close contact with the road and a Dynamic steering which has been equipped on the RWD R8 for the first time.

The vehicle has been fitted with a set of lightweight 19 and 20 inch aluminium cast wheels which improve the handling of the car and ensure precise lane control in sudden turns. The wheels have been mounted on tires measuring 245/30 R20 on the front axle and 305/30 R20 on the rear axle.

Additionally, the tires fitted are available as option and they provide extra grip and dynamics. The model is also available with an 18 inch high performance steel braking system with a wave design and a 19 inch high performance ceramic braking system as optional.

The Audi R8 V10 performance quattro features a broad, flat Singleframe radiator grille finished in matte black, an R8 emblem on the large air intakes, a front splitter, a rear outlet grid and oval tailpipes. The model is available with a choice of 10 colors including Ascari Blue Metallic and the design package features an interior consisting of black Alcantara leather, carbon inlays and contrast stitchings in Mercato Blue.

In addition, the interior also features a ‘Monoposto’ design resembling a racecar cockpit, a 12.3 inch touch screen display, a multifunctional leather steering wheel, bucket or sports seats and a badge with RWD emblem shimmers on the passenger seats.

The new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD will be available for order from October 21st, the base price for the Coupe is €149,000 and the price for the Spyder starts at €162,000.

Best Naturally Aspirated Cars Ever Made

Top 20 Naturally Aspirated Cars Ever

As a preamble, it is important to note the context and the era in which this list is being created. The automotive industry has already begun its transition towards a future dominated by electrically powered vehicles, with the vast majority of automakers aiming to have their entire lineups at the bare minimum, hybridized, before the turn of this decade.

Going back just a little further, the wheels were already in motion for the sweeping changes we’re seeing today. It can be argued that the first step towards a more fuel-efficient (and eventually, fuel-less) future started with the mass proliferation of turbocharged engines. For long before that, turbochargers were perceived as a centerpiece for many high-performance sports cars, which hardly had a reputation for being eco-friendly. However, with improvements in technology, their application evolved to that of a more widespread and economical nature.

We’ve already crested over the peak of this transition period in recent times; the likes of Ferrari and Porsche forgoing naturally aspirated engines in favor of the more emissions-friendly, forced-fed power plants. Today, we’re seeing the EV and high-performance hybrid taking the stage. The absence of the naturally aspirated automobile leaves a gaping void; one which will likely never be filled.

Suffice to say, the process of phasing out of the naturally aspirated engine has been long and drawn out but hardly subtle nor evitable. Now that process looks to be on a trajectory that is accelerating exponentially with perpetual improvements to EV technology, driven by the acknowledgement and acceptance of this changeover on a global scale.

This has brought us to a stage of reminiscing and nostalgia; our favorite atmospherically-strung power plants are soon to be a thing of the past. There was, is, and always will be, a lot to love about the most iconic NA cars ever produced – astronomically high revs, a satisfyingly linear power delivery, unparalleled aural soundtracks, instantaneous throttle response, underappreciated durability, and some of the world’s most epic displays of technology on four wheels.

Here are some of the best naturally aspirated cars made, ever, in no particular order.

Ferrari 812 Superfast

The Ferrari 812 Superfast is the successor to the Ferrari F12 and is now the company’s fastest front-engined GT Car. Wrapped in a curvaceous Italian body and paired to one of the greatest chassis we have ever experienced, the 812 Superfast is one for the ages.

The 812 Superfast carries a new 6.5L V12 engine that delivers an astounding 789 hp @ 8,500 rpm and a maximum torque of 718 Nm @ 7,000 rpm. The engine is still front-mid mounted, making the car that much more unique in the already crowded luxury grand touring segment. It can reach speeds of 340 km/h and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds.

It features a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, advanced active aerodynamics, and four-wheel steering. Despite the controversy that is sometimes associated with a Ferrari engine sitting in front of the driver, the 812 Superfast remains an absolutely engaging and soul-satisfying Ferrari experience every single time you get into it. The perfect car. The perfect Ferrari.

Porsche 911 R / Speedster

Arguably the purest form of the 911 model range, the 2016 Porsche 119R pays homage to the brand’s epic heritage with the most modern of concoctions. Providing a manual transmission alternative for Porsche’s range-topping-naturally aspirated model is what the 911R is known best for, but it ends up being so much more than just that.

It is the perfect blend of spartanism and elegance that you can call upon in the crowded lineup of 911 models. The absence of outrageous aerodynamics purposes the car more for canyon runs than Nürburgring records, but that’s also the beauty of it. For those who want the absolute best of the 991-gen 911 – without the obligation of having to prove its value on the race track – the 911R is undoubtedly a very proper and special car. 

The 911 Speedster is spiritually the convertible version of the 911R, following the same purist principles as its coupé counterpart. Released in 2019, it has some slightly newer tech and a bit more power too. Its schematic has forged a 911 with a silhouette based on the 4S Cabriolet body, carbon fiber bits borrowed off the 911 R, and front and rear bumpers from the GT3 Touring. That is not to say that there aren’t any unique offerings on the Speedster, with its shorter, more inclined windshield frame and lower fly-line being amongst its exclusive features.

Honorable mention: The 997 GT3RS 4.0, for being the grandfather of these cars.

Honda S2000

For many years, Honda’s beloved roadster held the distinction of producing the most hp per liter of any car on the planet via its F20C engine. Despite being a convertible, the S2000 is renowned for its rigid chassis, which helps to provide one of the most raw driving experiences one can have in a production road car. The slick 6-speed manual – the only choice of transmission – was a perfect match to the car’s 2.0L VTEC powerplant, which produced 240 hp and revved all the way up to 9,000 rpm. Later variants of the S2000 featured a strokered 2.2L engine which delivered more power in the lower rev-range and had slightly shorter gearing to improve acceleration.

Speaking of nostalgia, the Honda S2000 has found a way to tug at many car lovers’ heartstrings, with the used market completely blowing up over the last 10 years. Many examples are going for prices near brand new MSRP, with newer and more rare models (such as the CR) commanding even higher amounts. The Honda S2000 embodies everything that is awesome about a naturally aspirated sports car that is built around the driver; and now, many enthusiasts and collectors alike are seeking to own their piece of its brilliant history.

Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA features a naturally aspirated 4.8L V10 engine which produces 552 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. That may seem rather modest in this age of 1,000 hp hypercars, but the LFA is more of an analog machine than most of those vehicles and is regarded by many as one of the best supercars from the last decade.

Lexus only made 500 units, and I assumed those 500 sold out quickly. I was wrong. Despite the fact that the automaker hasn’t produced the Lexus LFA since 2012, there are still seven brand new LFA models for sale in the US, according to CarscoopsWith all that said, the LFA came with one of the best V8s ever produced by a Japanese automaker. This makes the car ripe for following a similar fate to the Porsche Carrera GT, which didn’t sell well when it was first released before going on to establish a cult following many years later. I would imagine that someday these cars will be worth a lot more than their original MSRP. 

Dodge Viper ACR

Even if the Dodge Hellcat is hogging all the headlines these days, there’s always something you have to admire about the lunacy of having a two-seater sports car powered by a naturally aspirated 8.4L V10 engine. No, the Dodge Viper ACR doesn’t do subtlety very well. Yes, it does happen to fall under the ‘Old Testament’ definition of awesome.

With 640 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque being produced from that colossus of an all-aluminum engine, the Viper has the exhaust note of a semi-dormant volcano. It would make absolutely no sense at all if it weren’t just so damn fast.

Variants such as the SRT-10 and ACR-X took the road-going version of the car to the next level, with the latter being a turn-key, non-street legal race car that participates in Viper racing leagues around the world. The Dodge Viper SRT-10 in particular boasts more of what performance aficionados crave: kick-in-the-pants, throw-back-in-the-seat power, combined with benchmark braking, world-class ride and handling, a race-inspired interior, and bold exterior styling.

Ferrari 458 Italia

Collectively, the Ferrari 458 Italia is one of our most-loved vehicles here at You wouldn’t have to dive very deep to find out why that might be the case, as even just a cursory glance at the car is more than suggestive enough.

Whether it be its sleek and timeless Pininfarina design or its epic 562 hp naturally aspirated V8 engine with a 9,000 rpm redline; the 458 was destined for greatness the moment the first car drove off the production line. It has already become a modern classic. Let’s also mention that its F136-FB V8 engine provides one of the most thrilling soundtracks produced by any road-going vehicle out there, courtesy of an orchestra that octaves all the way to 9,000 rpm. Bellissima!

Such was the car’s influence that it would also go on to serve as the platform for the models which followed – namely, the 488 GTB and F8 Tributo – with the original spirit of the 458 Italia remaining intact and on full display through its successors.

Subsequent models and trims such as the Spider, Speciale and Challenge commanded varying degrees of premium in terms of performance, features, and price, over the original car.

Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06

The C8 Corvette serves as an example of keeping things simple and going back to what worked best. The previous-gen C7 Corvette Z06 was the first of its kind to feature a supercharged version of its V8 engine. While this certainly made it the most powerful Z06 ever produced, the force-inducted unit was widely susceptible to overheating issues on the race track.

Chevrolet has already confirmed that their upcoming Z06 – based on the new mid-engined C8 platform – will be reverting back to a naturally aspirated power plant. This will undoubtedly address most of the shortcomings of the outgoing Z06 and make it much more viable for track use.

While many Corvette enthusiasts were hoping for a return of the monstrous 7.0L naturally aspirated LS7 engine from the C6 generation, we’re currently being told to expect a 5.5L V8 flat-plane crank engine which will redline at close to 9,000 rpm and produce roughly 650 hp – around the same as the C7’s supercharged unit. This smaller, lighter engine will be an essential part of the new Corvette’s mid-ship design, and we can’t wait to see it.

Honorable mention: The C6 Corvette, for reminding Chevy that less can still do more.

BMW E36 M3

BMW has a long history of building amazing cars and an equally long history of powering those cars with awesome engines. There isn’t just one path to producing a great engine, and the folks at BMW have shown over the years that they are adept at trying new things and experimenting with technology to great effect.

The E36 M3 was the model that really launched BMW’s M division to the masses. It targeted the executive buyer who wanted performance but in a tamer package than the original E30 (which was more of a true enthusiast’s car). The second iteration of the M3 brought classiness and refinement that the first generation didn’t deliver.

With a 240 hp 3.0L naturally aspirated inline-6 that was silky smooth and rock-solid, the car had plenty of low-end power and was easy to drive right off the bat. Our pick of the lot is for the 1996 model year cars; the engines were upgraded to a 3.2L displacement, producing the same horsepower but with more torque than the original unit.

Honorable mention: The E30 M3 and E46 M3, for being almost as cool.

Honda Integra Type R

Known for producing legendary naturally aspirated engines and front-wheel-drive cars in its heyday, Honda built the Integra Type R to have both of those things. Nimble like a go-kart and durable like… well, a Honda… the Integra Type R was a popular choice for the weekend racer on a budget. The DC2 platform (1996-2001) is certainly the most popular, with its 4-cylinder B18C5 VTEC engine able to produce 197 hp @8,000 rpm and 130 lb-ft of torque @ 5,700 rpm.  Already a classic because of these inherent characteristics, the Integra Type R is becoming a bit of a collector’s car.

Like the Honda S2000, the aforementioned DC2 ITR has created a bubble in the used marketplace, with many examples currently going for astronomically high prices. The newer DC5 (2001-2005) Integra Type R variants are far less popular as a whole, although their engines (K20A) are often swapped into the DC2 platforms. While the idea of doing so would irk preservationists, the K20A / DC2 combo is widely considered to be an all-around performance upgrade.

McLaren F1

Launched in 1992, the McLaren F1 would go on to revolutionize the supercar industry with many of its core characteristics still referenced in the production of today’s most exotic vehicles. It paved the way for increasingly mainstream use of materials such as carbon fiber, kevlar, and titanium in sports cars and was the first production car to use a monocoque chassis.

Designed by the legendary Gordon Murray, who had one goal in mind, the McLaren F1 was built to be the fastest and best-handling production car in the world. Namely, the ultimate road car – one that is enjoyable in everyday conditions while still at the zenith of road car performance.

To plug Honda and its enthusiasts, Murray has been less than coy when it comes to where he drew his inspiration for the creation of the F1. Indeed, it was the Honda NSX that set the precedence and direction for the F1 and its overall design directive, ultimately having a profound effect on the end product.

Furthermore, Murray initially wanted to leverage McLaren’s relationship with the Japanese automaker and had initially envisioned Honda supplying the engine for the McLaren F1. However, they would end up partnering with BMW’s M Division to commission a power plant exact to Murray’s desired specifications – he wanted an engine with at least 4.5L in a V10 or V12 configuration and without forced induction. 

This collaboration would end up being the catalyst in creating one of the best engines ever made – a naturally aspirated 6.1L V12 with 627-horsepower. Throughout the project, Murray was adamant about not using turbochargers or superchargers to achieve those figures, as he felt that this would help in emulating the resilience of the Honda NSX’s immensely reliable motor.

Ford Mustang GT350

The Shelby GT350 is a powerful yet nimble version of the Mustang that is equally at home on the race track as it is on the city streets. One of its most remarkable traits is its super high revving 5.2L V8 engine which redlines at an astronomical 8,250 rpm. The sport-tuned suspension is very capable on the circuit but refined enough for daily use.

The GT350R is available for those who prefer to have a more hardcore track-toy or weekend warrior via an even firmer chassis and a set of lighter carbon fiber wheels. Arguably better than its faster supercharged big brother, as it is a more balanced unit, with the NA engine making for a better feeling experience.

Our favorite version of the GT350 / GT350 R is the Heritage Edition. Ken Miles is best-known for driving the Ford GT at Le Mans to help Ford beat Ferrari. However, Miles also raced a 1965 Ford Mustang GT350 fastback on occasion. To commemorate this, Ford has rolled out a new Shelby GT350 and GT350 R in the same colors colorways as Miles’ race car. The car features a Wimbledon White paint job with Guardsman Blue stripes. The car also gets GT350 rocker lettering at the rear.

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ

In late July 2018, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ became the latest production car to break the lap record at the legendary testing ground that is the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It would be more than a month later before the car was officially unveiled to the public, during Monterey Car Week taking place in Pebble Beach, California. It was going to take nothing short of special to dethrone the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, and Lamborghini’s new flagship car is something beyond even that.

Becoming a production car lap record holder at the ‘Ring takes a lot more than just a flashy paint job and hype. To power it’s way around this treacherous course, the Aventador SVJ employs a naturally aspirated 6.5L V12 engine which delivers 770-horsepower at 8,500 rpm and 530 lb-ft of torque at 6,750 rpm to its all-wheel-drive system. It is able to do 0-100 km/h in only 2.8 seconds and has a top speed of over 349 km/h.

With the prolific use of carbon fiber and lightweight materials throughout the car, the SVJ weighs only 1,525 kg. Four-wheel steering remains a feature on the SVJ, and it also benefits from suspension upgrades over the regular Aventador to improve overall mechanical grip, rigidity, and driving feel. Production numbers of the Aventador SVJ will be limited to just 900 units (which is includes the special edition SVJ 63).

Lamborghini Huracán STO

No Lamborghini model range would be complete without a healthy serving of special editions and one-off versions, and this is certainly no different when it comes to the Huracán. While it doesn’t yet boast the plethora of uber-rare cars that its predecessor (the Gallardo) can, special edition models are coming in thick and fast as we approach the final 3 years of the Huracán era.

The Lamborghini Huracán STO is the latest of this batch and also functions as the latest track-focused variant of the Huracán. Too hardcore to simply be considered a replacement for the Performanté (of which an Evo version is likely on the way), the STO possesses remarkable aerodynamic features such as a roof snorkel and extra-large rear wing. Carbon bucket seats with race harnesses also come standard.   

The 2021 Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Omologata (STO) is inspired by the Huracán Evo Super Trofeo race car developed by Lamborghini’s motorsport division – Squadra Corse – to run in its own competitive race series. The key difference between the two cars is that the STO is completely street-legal.

The STO has clearly been made to carve up any race track, which is highlighted by a 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 engine that produces 640 hp and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to the rear wheels. Around a lap, the STO will be the fastest street-legal Huracán by a considerable margin. The base price is listed at US$334,133, with the first deliveries expected to arrive later in 2021.

Honorable mention: The Huracán Performanté, for being the basis upon which the new Evo variants and the STO were inspired.

Aston Martin One-77

Probably the least well-known car on this list – as there were only 77 ever produced – the One-77 is considered to be Aston Martin’s ultimate expression of design, engineering, and craftsmanship. The proverbial blank check along with the green light to do as they sought fit…if you will.

After three years of teasers and prototypes, Aston Martin put the One-77 into production in early 2011. This completely hand-built supercar was boldly marketed as an alternative to the Bugatti Veyron. The 7.3L naturally aspirated V12 engine was based on the power plant used in the DB9 and was designed by engine builder Cosworth. Producing 750 hp and 750 Nm of torque, the One-77 was the most powerful naturally aspirated road car in the world when it was first released.

Porsche Carrera GT

The Porsche Carrera GT has become one of the most iconic and sought-after Porsche models in the realm of exotic car idolization and ownership. It is hard to believe that things didn’t really start off that way.

When the Porsche Carrera GT was released in 2004, it was anticipated to stir up plenty of fervor. It certainly had all the attributes to do so. It was a mid-engined V10 hypercar – one of the first to be considered a step beyond supercar status – and introduced a variety of industry-first technologies and features to the production car market.It was hard to argue against the Carrera GT having the performance, appearance, and stature to justify its $440,000 USD price tag when brand new.

Nevertheless, Porsche dealerships would have a difficult time selling them despite costing over $200,000 USD less than a new Ferrari Enzo; the Carrera GT’s intended target and rival. The slower than forecasted sales are likely the cause for Porsche ending production after just 1,270 units. Though a run of 1,500 units were originally planned, the German marque went on record to blame “changing airbag regulations” for their decision to ax the car. Thankfully, this turn of events would not prove ominous for the Porsche Carrera GT over the long run. In fact, quite the opposite.

Interestingly enough, we can thank the ongoing technological advancements taking place in the automotive industry for the Porsche Carrera GT’s resurgence into the limelight. Besides being equipped with a wicked state-of-the-art, naturally aspirated, 612 hp engine which was ahead of its time, the Carrera GT was otherwise an extremely analog machine, and it is this very characteristic that would elevate its appeal over time. This was helped on mainly by the fact that since the Porsche Carrera GT was released, the exotic car landscape has shifted dramatically to the production of more user-friendly, technologically refined, and easy-to-live-with supercars – the fastest for the masses, if you will.

Ferrari Enzo

Branding race-derived technology to road cars is not a new idea, especially to Ferrari. Up until the late 1950s, Ferrari’s road cars and racing cars were essentially the same product. Since that time, safety regulations, manufacturing costs, and practicality have more clearly distinguished the cars we race from the cars we drive on the streets. The goal of the Enzo was to bridge this gap.

Racing-inspired technology lays the foundation of the Ferrari Enzo. As such, the chassis is built from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb panels, forming a rigid tub. At the center of the chassis is an all-new, 12-cylinder naturally aspirated engine. Dubbed the F140, it is one of the largest Ferrari engines, only being eclipsed by the Can-Am units. Having such a large displacement allows the Enzo to deliver a healthy amount of torque; specifically, 137 ft-lb more than the F50 and at 1,000 rpm sooner. Despite the engine’s large displacement, it still manages to achieve 110 hp per liter, thanks to many variable systems.

With no hybrid setup, no turbochargers, and no dual-clutch transmission, the Ferrari Enzo is the last old-school Ferrari supercar before those dang hypercars came around. It is also the last naturally aspirated Ferrari supercar, with a wonderful 6.0L V12 that just screams. With 650 hp, a claimed 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds, and a top speed of 217 mph, the Enzo had performance figures that spoke for themselves. The Enzo’s sharp detailing and Formula 1-derived aerodynamics look just as good today as they did back then. It’s  a tough car to drive fast, and that’s what we love about it – a true old-school supercar.

Honorable mention:  The Pagani Zonda for sharing the same engine.

Ferrari F12berlinetta

The most exciting car to be announced by Ferrari in 2012 was the F12berlinetta. It is the third-gen Ferrari GT which follows the 599 GTB Fiorano and 550 Maranello and would be eventually become the predecessor of the 812 Superfast also mentioned in this list. When released, Ferrari called it the fastest Ferrari ever built and cited a lap time around the Fiorano test track of 1:23.

A highlight of the car is its 65º V12 engine which produces 750 hp without the aid of turbochargers or superchargers. This unit uses variable timing and direct gasoline injection for improved efficiency. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch transmission and an active electronic differential.

In 2015, Ferrari revealed the F12tdf which pays homage to the Tour de France – the legendary endurance road race that Ferrari dominated in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly with the 1956 250 GT Berlinetta which won four consecutive editions in a row. The F12tdf shares the same engine with the F12berlinetta and is the ultimate expression of an extreme road car that is equally at home on the track. Only 799 were built.

Mercedes Benz AMG SLS Black Series

Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 racing version, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG boasts a fascinating mix of breath-taking design, outstanding driving dynamics, and uncompromising lightweight construction. The Black Series features a 6.3L naturally aspirated V8 engine which produces 631 hp @ 7,400 rpm and accelerates the most iconic ‘gullwing model from 0-100 km/h in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 315 km/h.

The Black Series’ engine is an improvement over the one found inside the regular AMG SLS in many key areas; the redline was increased from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm, revised camshafts were installed, restrictions were reduced, and the ECU retuned. As a front mid-engine configuration, the power plant was mounted behind the front axle, which helps to provide a weight distribution that is favorable to high-performance driving.

Audi R8 V10

The Audi R8 underwent a facelift recently. It now has more aggressive styling. It’s the best looking the R8 has ever been. The front fascia is different, and it has new side skirts, a new rear bumper, a new rear diffuser, and a new spoiler. Inside, the cabin looks more or less the same.

For the 2021 model year, Audi has announced that the R8 will be permanently available in the rear-wheel drive configuration going forward. The 532 hp rear-wheel-drive R8 takes its place in the lineup as the entry-level R8 variant; if you want Quattro, you will have to opt for the Performance model. Both variants continue to be powered by a 5.2L naturally aspirated V10 engine. Thanks to the rear-wheel-drive now being the standard offering, the base price of the car is almost $30,000 lower than the previous year – making the Audi R8 as attractive a buy as perhaps it has ever been.

If the regular R8 is not enough, you can make the jump to the Audi R8 V10 Performance and get 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, all-wheel-drive continues to come standard in this trim, although this year makes for a more significant case with the elimination of Quattro in the non-Performance (now known as RWD) version. The power bump and addition of all-wheel drive go a long way to padding the performance figures in a desirable fashion, with the 0 to 60 mph time down to 3.2 seconds and top speed up to 205 mph. The Audi R8 has always been a true performer, and now it looks better than ever, too.

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50

The T.50 represents a culmination of Gordon Murray’s lifetime of aerodynamics, design, engineering, and Formula 1 experience. He was the original architect of the McLaren F1; to this day, still one of the greatest cars, let alone supercars, ever made. Ok, so the T.50 isn’t the F1. However, Murray himself said, “It’s not £20 million, so I point out to customers this is a car that delivers the same experience [as the F1], but better in every way, and with an 80 percent discount.” Well…when you put it that way, the GMA T.50‘s $2.6 million sticker price sounds like a steal.

According to EVO, the T.50 features a naturally-aspirated V12 engine that was built by the well-known engine developer Cosworth. This engine powers the rear wheels through a traditional six-speed manual transmission. It offers a 3.98L displacement, a 12,100 rpm redline, and will act as a stressed member of the chassis. There is, though, a 48-volt mild hybrid system that will work in tandem with the V12, producing a combined output of about 700 hp. While this technically means that the T.50 isn’t naturally aspirated by the letter of the law, the 12,000 rpm redline tells us that we ought to let this one slide.

Best V8 Engines Ever Produced

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-medal”, the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a loud roar – because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

While high-performance V8 engines have normally been reserved for exotics – and muscle cars, in the more distant past – its application has been seen more in the mainstream these days. With the proliferation of automotive technologies, the V8 engine has become a gateway into the world of attainable supercar performance; each new engine is better than the one before it. But if you prefer roaring V10s, or hearty V12s, check these links out. However, if V8s are more your cup of tea, read on.

Here’s the shortlist of 10 such engines, curated for your reading pleasure:

Ferrari F106

Ferrari F106 Engine

Ferrari’s F106 V8 engine dates as far back as 1973, where it first featured in the Dino 308 GT4. Right from the get-go, it produced an impressive 250 hp from a 2.9L naturally-aspirated engine, which featured a flat-plane crank and dual-overhead cams.

Such was the longevity and capability of the F106 unit, that it continued to be used – with significant updates and revisions along the way, including electronic fuel injection and multi-valve heads – for more than 30 years. Notable models which were equipped with the engine include the F355, 360 Modena, and arguably the most famous Ferrari of them all; the Ferrari F40, which fashioned a twin-turbocharged version of the F106 producing 471 hp.

Dodge Supercharged Hemi

Dodge Supercharged Hemi Engine

Dodge’s Hellcat series of cars have really taken the world by storm, offering almost unfathomable power in a non-exotic production vehicle – or any vehicle for that matter. It’s truly a revival of the “American muscle” movement, with the supercharged Hemi able to produce as much as 807 hp and 717 lb-ft of torque via the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Super Stock. Handling, agility, and all that other kind of stuff aside, this makes the Hellcat Challenger/Charger the quintessential American sports car which can be had for well under the 6-figure mark brand new.

The automaker is now offering the 6.2L ‘Redeye’ V8 as a crate engine (aptly nicknamed ‘Hellcrate’) through Mopar. It can be purchased at a starting price of US$21,807. The ‘Redeye’ version comes with a larger supercharger than the previous Hellcrate engine and has been tuned for more boost, a slightly higher redline, and a host of other improvements. These are what has allowed it to improve from 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque to its current 807 hp state. An absolute unit.


BMW S63 Engine

Like other automakers on this list, BMW is no stranger to producing some of the world’s best V8 engines. The latest incarnation would be its masterpiece ‘S63‘ – a 4.4L twin-turbocharged engine that produces at least 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque in the current-gen BMW M5 sedan.

Though it’s true that this grants the quintessential luxury-performance saloon some serious supercar credentials, a look back to days gone by reminds us that engines such as the ‘S62’ and ‘S65′ deserve just as much recognition for their contribution to the Bavarians’ V8 platform. Respectively, each engine displaced 4.9L and 4.0L and were both naturally aspirated.

Lexus 2UR-GSE

Lexus 2UR-GSE Engine

The 2UR-GSE is the latest iteration of Lexus‘ increasingly iconic naturally-aspirated V8 power plant. Currently reserved for the marque’s high-performance models – such as the IS F, RC F, GS F, LC 500, and brand-new IS 500 – the 5.0L engine blends typical Lexus reliability with a high-revving Japanese character. In its most powerful configuration, the 2UR-GSE produces 475 hp in the Lexus LC 500. Amidst an ever-changing landscape shifting towards hybridization and electrification, we hope that Lexus’ legendary naturally-aspirated V8 lives on for as long as possible

Much like our other selections, the 2UR-GSE owes much of its distinctions to predecessors such as the 1UZ-FE which debuted in 1989. This 4.0L V8 engine has proven to be bulletproof over the test of time, in addition to the universal recognition it has received for being smooth, refined, and sufficiently powerful for its intended application. It has served as the platform upon which the formidable GSE would eventually be conceived.

Ferrari F136

Ferrari F136 Engine

The F136 succeeded the legendary F106, first appearing as a 4.3L naturally-aspirated engine in the 2004 Ferrari F430, producing 483 hp. Like the F106, the F136 would see widespread application throughout the Ferrari lineup; however, it was also featured on a number of Maserati models in concert with the relationship between the two marques.

Most notably, a 454 hp, 4.7L version of the F136 featured on the Maserati GranTurismo and is widely regarded as having one of the best engine/exhaust notes to come out of the V8. The F136 would reach its zenith in the Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale, where it cranked out a massive 597 hp from its 4.5L naturally-aspirated power plant.

Perhaps the most significant (and regretful) fact about the F136, is that it is the last naturally-aspirated V8 engine Ferrari would ever produce. It was replaced by the twin-turbocharged F154 V8 engine in 2015, where it debuted on the Ferrari 488 GTB.

McLaren M830T / M840T

McLaren M830T / M840T Engine

Despite only producing V8-powered automobiles since as recently as 2011 (via the MP4-12C), you could argue that McLaren‘s engineers are truly the world’s V8 engine artisans, and few would dispute that. After all, it’s virtually all they know these days, with every single McLaren model – bar the V6-hybrid McLaren Artura – fitted with some adaptation of their M838T or M840T twin-turbocharged V8 motors.

The 3.8L M838T is found in its Sports Series range of cars, which includes the entry-level McLaren 540C and goes all the way up to the indomitable 666 hp McLaren 675 LT. The 4.0L M840T features on all of the Super Series cars, which covers the ‘700 range’ of models, plus the addition of the McLaren GT. In its Ultimate form, the 4.0L unit – dubbed the M840TR – produces 814 hp in the McLaren Senna GTR. The McLaren Speedtail hybrid ‘hyper GT produces some 1,035 hp through the combination of an M840T and electric motor.

GM Small Block LT1/LT2

GM Small Block LT1/LT2 Engine

Introduced in 2014 for the C7 Corvette, the 6.2L naturally-aspirated V8 LT1 engine is part of GM’s 5th-generation small block engine family. It continues to be used on the present-day Camaro, with a new version of the engine – known as the LT2 – carrying on the bloodline via the brand new mid-engine C8 Corvette. The LT2 retains the 6.2L capacity but is more powerful than the LT1, producing at least 495 hp and 470 lb-ft in its latest configuration.

This was achieved by designing more efficient air-intakes sand exhaust manifolds, while also featuring a better lubrication system and more resilient camshaft. While it’s not a monster-out-of-the-box like say, Dodge’s Hellcat engine, the lightweight naturally-aspirated powerplant remains perfectly suited for what the Corvette is the best at delivering – brilliant all-around performance at a fraction of the cost of comparable options. The still-relevant LT1 is now being offered as a crate engine via GM’s performance division, with its 460 hp on tap for under US$10,000. Project car, anyone?

Audi 4.2L FSI

Audi 4.2L FSI Engine

When Audi’s 4.2L FSI V8 engine was introduced, it was a bit of a departure from what Audi enthusiasts had grown accustomed to over the years. As one of the marques which helped to proliferate the use of turbochargers on production cars, the aforementioned engine first appeared in the 2006 Audi RS4 as a high-revving naturally-aspirated power plant.

Over time, it proved to be a fan-favorite in spite of its lack of forced induction and featured on such models as the RS5 and mid-engined R8. As a naturally aspirated unit, the FSI V8 was able to rev up to 8,250 rpm and had a distinctively exotic exhaust note, regardless of the model it was mounted in.

The engine remained naturally-aspirated up until its use in the 444 hp Audi RS5; since then, recent iterations of the engine are now turbocharged and produce up to 600 hp.

Mercedes-AMG M178

Mercedes-AMG M178 Engine

The modern-day Mercedes-AMG line-up is blessed with their omnipotent ‘M178’ 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, which itself deserves all the plaudits and is a shoo-in for selection. While it’s the most advanced iteration of the automaker’s V8, our personal favorite would have to be the ‘M156’ 6.2L V8 first powered the 467 hp naturally-aspirated C63 AMG. Like its successor, the M156 would feature in almost every Mercedes-AMG model of that era, including the SL63.

The ultimate version of this V8 motor would be the ‘M159’, which was equipped in the automaker’s flagship SLS supercar, producing 622 hp. The SLS has since been succeeded by the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which produces 720 hp from its twin-turbocharged ‘M178’, and recently set the new production car lap record at the Nürburgring.

Ford ‘Voodoo’ Flat-Plane

Ford 'Voodoo' Flat-Plane Engine

The ‘Voodoo’ engine produced by Ford is a 5.2L naturally-aspirated V8 which was made especially for cars such as the 526 hp Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R. Suffice to say, the Voodoo was a match made in heaven for the line-up’s most balanced and track-focused Mustang models. By utilizing a flat-plane crankshaft, the engine weighs less and revs faster and higher (to 8,250 rpm) than the otherwise standard engines in other models. Its configuration also gives it an almost-exotic exhaust note, border-lining on ‘un-American’ – but owners won’t mind, as their domestic car hangs just fine with the exotics and other high-end sports cars on the race-track.

Following the template of past flat-plane V8 engines, the Voodoo applies similar principles as engines that once powered hot-rods and muscle cars back in the 20th century – with impressive bang-for-buck, the engines produced big horsepower at a fraction of the cost of what was used in European sports cars and even domestic rivals. This provided owners with a rightfully potent automobile, and extra money left in the bank. It’s hard to argue with that!

2020 Audi R8 Rear Wheel Drive Review

It is hard to believe that the Audi R8 is almost 15-years-old, seeing the first generation V8 on the road is still a treat – few cars have aged as well. Since its inception, the R8 has morphed from a mid-engined sports cars battling the likes of the Porsche 911 Carrera range, into a red blooded supercar with a heart shared with a Lamborghini and a price tag the makes it a very different proposition from the car Tony Stark used to daily. The current R8 range has shrunk to just three options, gone are the V8 or manual options. All powered by 5.2-litre V10 engines and available in Coupe and Spyder forms, perspective buyers can have the full fat Performance Quattro with 612bhp, the semi-skimmed 562bhp V10 Quattro or the entry level model that is the subject of this review, the V10 RWD with ‘just’ 533bhp. The difference is price between the range topper (£144,950) and the RWD (£114,435) is noteworthy and arguably makes the RWD on of the most attainable entry level supercars on the market, but does it make it any less desirable?

To me, the R8 RWD is the most compelling R8 in the current line up. The Performance variant is great, but to me it was too easy to find the limits, something I discovered just a handful of laps into my stint putting it to the test at the fearsome Ascari Race Resort in Spain in 2018. With all of the driver aids disengaged understeer would creep in earlier than expected before suddenly transitioning into snap oversteer. Admittedly, things were much better when pushing the AWD car when fitted with Cup 2 Michelins and not the PS4S.

The first impression of the 2020 R8 Rear Wheel Drive is that the front feels more immediate and communicative than the rest of the range. That being said, the numbness of the steering has not been cured, yes, you can feel a little more of the road, but there is a distinct lack of understanding of how the rubber is interacting with the surface. But let’s be realistic, this is not a Porsche GT3, the R8 is a car with a much broader appeal. Where the GT3 with its (optional) fire extinguisher, cage and harnesses is set to drive to a track day, set immense apex speeds and then drive you home, the R8 is better focused to being the daily driver that will double as the stylish supercar that will turn heads outside your favourite restaurant. There are no adjustable dampers (optional on the AWD variants) so the ride has to be as well suited to a country road as the city centre speed humps. It is well judged but it is a touch unrefined at lower speeds. Anything above 50km/h is well damped, below that it is what I would describe as ‘jiggly’. The interior is well designed and fairly spacious. Whilst the cabin still feels modern, the MMI does feel dated, CarPlay is a bonus but the entire interface does feel a generation old.

But what is it like to push on a fast flowing road? I drove the banana yellow (technically Las Vegas Yellow) RWD for 600 miles, most of which were on some of the best roads in England. Once you learn to modulate the grabby brakes and not expect to be able to feel the surface of the road you can start to find the limits of the 2020 Audi R8 Rear Wheel Drive. The experience is dominated by that mighty 5.2-litre V10 and the transmission. With a redline at 8,500 and no turbochargers in sight (woohoo!) you really have to eke out the revs. Nothing really happens before 3,000 but then things get interesting.

As you reach 4,000 the V10 really starts to come on song. Hang on and relish the bark of the V10 as it reaches peak torque (540Nm) at 6,400rpm and peak power all the way up at 7,900. By the time you’re at 8,500 you’ll be hurtling towards the next corner having enjoyed one of the greatest automotive symphonies in production today. As you hit the brakes (ceramics are not available on the RWD) you’ll pull on the disappointingly small and plastic downshift paddle and enjoy the yelps of the engine as the 7-speed DCT makes quick work of the shifts. When left to its own devices, the transmission is overly eager and seems to constantly be shifting, but the changes are smooth and seamless. Beware of kick down in the auto modes, the gearbox, alarmingly, likes to downshift into the redline.

The Pirelli P Zeros fitted to my test car and mighty and breaking traction is easier said than done. The traction control system is very quick to cut the power and stop any hooliganism so I was forced to set the traction control to its halfway/dynamic setting which was well judged and allowed a little freedom when really pushing on. But even with all of the systems off, this mid engined layout combined with the Pirelli rubber meant that the RWD would usually fire itself out of a corner with little to no drama unless you’ve got a very open space to let the R8 off the leash. Find some space and the R8 feels fast too, 0-100 is done in 3.1 and the 2020 R8 Rear Wheel Drive will keep going until it reaches 324km/h.

The 2020 Audi R8 Rear Wheel Drive is the cheapest R8 in the range, but it offers more excitement and entertainment than the other cars in the range. Day-to-day it is just as usable, practical and enjoyable as the all-wheel-drive models, aside from the jiggly ride. The engine is marvellous and that alone is a reason to seriously consider this car, after all, it seems this and the RWD Huracan are the only two-wheel-driven supercars armed with a V10 on sale. It may not be the most thrilling, driver focused supercar on sale today, but that does not mean that it is not a joy to jump into a drive.

Audi R8 Green Hell Pays Tribute to R8 LMS Success at the Nürburgring

Audi recently announced a limited edition run of 50 Audi R8 Green Hell models. The special edition pays tribute to the Audi R8 LMS and its 5 victories in the 24 Hours on the Nürburgring.

The 24 Hours on the Nürburgring takes place this weekend. Clearly, Audi agree that it is one of the best endurance events. The Audi R8 Green Hell pays tribute in a unique way.

The release colour, the only standard paint scheme, is dark Tioman green. Customers have the option, of ibis white, Daytona gray or mythos black if they prefer something different.

The front hood, A-pillars, roof and rear end are covered partially in matt black foil while the doors get the edition number in large transparent matt figures. They are designed to resemble the 24 Hour starting number.

Green Hell R8 logos are plastered onto the side blade and the windshield. A matt black styling package adds highlights to the front end, sills and diffuser.

Audi R8 Green Hell Side Design

The 20-inch wheels are also painted matt black with red details. Inside, the driver sits on lightweight bucket seats with center panels upholstered in Alcantara.

Red accents are carried across the steering wheel rim, the dash, on the door armrests, knee pads and on the center armrest. Blue-green “Kailash fern” stitching contrasts.

Audi R8 Green Hell Drivers Side Interior

The Audi R8 Green Hell uses the R8 Coupe Performance as its base. It gets a 5.2 litre V10 engine, rated at 620 hp, capable of a 100 km/h sprint in just 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 331 km/h.

The Audi R8 LMS will be well represented on the Nurburgring this weekend with three factory entrants alongside two Phoenix Racing entrants, two Car Collection entrants and a sole Audi of RaceIng.

Audi R8 Green Hell and R8 LMS Rear

It will compete against a packed grid of seven Porsche’s (less the factory entrant forced to pull out through positive Covid-19 tests for 3 pit crew), seven Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos, five BMW M6 GT3s, two Ferrari 488 GT3s, a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and a brand new Glickenhaus SCG004c.

The 50-car Audi R8 Green Hell production run will retail at 233,949.59 euros in Germany.

Watch the Porsche 992 take on the Audi R8, Nissan GT-R Nismo, and BMW M850i in a Drag Race

The Ultimate AWD Drag Race

The website Carwow wanted to see just how the New Porsche 911 Carrera 4S stacks up against the other all-wheel-drive high-end sports cars out there. That meant the company had to stage a serious test, and that led the testers to the drag strip. The company took the new Carrera 4S and put it up against an Audi R8, Nissan GT-R Nismo, and a BMW M850i. 

The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six engine. That engine produces 443 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. When compared to the cars it was racing, the Porsche might seem a little outmatched. However, it’s all about how the car can put that power down to the wheels and then transform that into acceleration. The guys doing the video also did a rolling start race and a brake test, which proved just as entertaining as the drag race. 

I’m not going to ruin the video results by discussing them here. I will say the results are somewhat surprising. You might not expect to see what happens. Some of the results can be attributed to the drivers, but it really appears that everyone does a good job of driving the cars to their fullest. Check out the video below to see just how impressive all of these cars are. 

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Audi prices 2020 TT RS, R8 V10, and R8 V10 Decennium

Audi nipped and tucked the skin of the 2020 TT RS while maintaining the fundamentals. That means the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder with 394 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque holds steady. The price, however, doesn’t. The damage comes to starting price $66,900 plus $995 for destination, totaling $67,895. That’s $2,020 more than the previous generation for finer lines and more colors.

The standard 2020 R8 V10 coupe starts at $169,900 before the $1,250 destination fee and the $1,300 gas guzzler charge. Those two line items bring the total to $172,450, whereas the Spyder goes for $184,650 after tallying everything up. Those models put out 562 hp and 406 lb-ft, increases of 30 hp and 7 lb-ft. They’re rated to go at least 200 miles per hour: 201 mph for the coupe, 200 for the Spyder. Both MSRPs represent a $5,000 increase over the 2018 model.

The R8 V10 Performance, which changed its name from R8 V10 Plus, doesn’t add any more puissance, staying on 602 hp and 413 lb-ft. They open the bidding at $198,450 for the coupe and $210,650 for the Spyder. As the two additional members in the lineup’s 200-mph club, the coupe will do 205 mph, the Spyder 204 mph. The new Performance coupe price has gone up by $1,500, but the Performance Spyder is the same price as the 2018 model.

At the top of the heap comes the limited-edition R8 V10 Decennium, which celebrates 10 years of the 5.2-liter V10 engine. Production is capped at 222 examples, only 50 of them coming to the U.S. If there are any places left in line, a buyer would need $217,545.

The TT RS and R8 series production models are due in showrooms in spring. Before then, we’ll see them at next week’s New York Auto Show.

Audi R8 V10 Decennium: 10 Years of Uninterrupted V10 Engine

Rumours continue to circulate about the viability of a third generation Audi R8. Clearly though, there remains a strong demand for the current generation model. To celebrate 10 years, the special edition Audi R8 V10 Decennium has been revealed. The central focus of these 222 models is the V10 engine!

The Audi R8 V10 Decennium uses the 5.2 litre V10 engine. For this special model, Audi Sport have tuned the engine to generate 620 hp and 580 Nm of torque. The 100 km/h (62.1 mph) sprint takes just 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 331 km/h (205.7 mph) is also possible.

In terms of styling, the Decennium gets matt look Daytona Gray paintwork. Alternatives include pearl effect Daytona Gray, metallic Suzuka Gray, metallic Floret Silver, metallic Mythos Black, metallic Ascari Blue, or metallic Kemora Gray. The wheels and the intake manifold are finished in contrasting bronze. The front spoiler, the side sills, the diffuser and the badging are painted in gloss black. The side blades and exterior mirrors are finished in carbon fibre.

Inside, the Audi R8 V10 Decennium gets a complete black interior with accenting carbon fibre inserts. The quilted rhombus pattern stitching is finished in black with copper contrasting stitching. The steering wheel, center armrest, the door armrest and the door rail all feature contrasting copper stitching. A “Decennium” logo is to be found on the centre console, carbon door jambs, and the door lights.

The Audi R8 V10 Decennium will be available from Spring 2019 with a 222.000 euro price tag in Germany.

Audi R8 V10 Decennium Is an Homage to the V10

It’s Quite the Tribute

The Audi R8 you see here is the V10 Decennium. It’s Audi’s homage to the V10 engine and, as Audi says in its press release, “ten years of fascination on the road and success in motorsport.” The car is available only as a coupe and comes in a Daytona Gray paint job with some milled matte bronze wheels. The intake manifold comes in the same beautiful bronze color. The front spoiler, side sills, diffuser, and some other small accents come in a gloss black. Altogether, it’s one sinister-looking package. 

The interior of the car is just as dark, featuring all-black materials. There’s diamond-quilted stitching on the seats, plenty of carbon fiber inlays, and contrast copper stitching on the gear shifter and steering wheel. The car also gets special badging that shows it is a V10 Decennium.  It all comes together elegantly and works well with the exterior of the car.

This limited edition V10 Decennium is based on the top-spec R8. The car gets a 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces 620hp and 428lb-ft of torque. The car can do the 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.1 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph. It’s just as much of a performer as any other version of the R8.

This special limited edition R8 will go on sale with the updated regular R8, but far fewer models will be produced. Audi said it would make only 222 units of the car, which will make it a rare version of the vehicle, indeed. It will cost 222,000 euros or about $253,000. 

Audi R8 Refreshed for 2019

Earlier this quarter, Audi unveiled the 2019 R8 amid reports that the iconic supercar will be discontinued as early 2020.  The upcoming iteration of the second-gen R8 features facelifted versions of both the coupe and spyder, which are expected to go on sale in Europe early next year.

When it comes to aesthetics, ‘facelift’ accurately depicts the extent of the changes, with the new models benefiting from a redesigned, more aggressive front bumper. The new bumper also incorporates a wider grill, new front splitter and more menacing air inlets.

Significant styling changes elsewhere are forgone, although Audi has introduced new optional exterior packages which add “various highlights to the front splitter, the side trims and the diffuser” for a more bespoke touch. Redesigned 20” ultralight milled wheels are available as an option and two new paint colors are also on offer – Kemora Gray and Ascari Blue.

In the cabin, new upholstery options have extended the catalogue and include the likes of “pastel silver with rock gray contrasting stitching, palomino brown with steel gray stitching and black with utopia blue stitching.” The top of the line R8 V10 Performance will also be available with specially designed leather/alcantara upholstery and unique carbon fiber trim pieces.

The refreshed Audi R8 will also feature performance upgrades for both its engine options, with the V10 now producing 562-horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque –  an increase of 29-horsepower and 7 lb-ft of torque over the 2018 engine, respectively. The V10 will do 0-100 km/h in 3.4 seconds with a top speed of 324 km/h.

The V10 Performance engine receives more modest upgrades, now producing 611-horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque – an increase of 9-horsepower and 14 lb-ft of torque over the 2018 engine, respectively. The V10 Plus will do 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds with a top speed of 331 km/h.

With a renewed focus on driving dynamics, Audi has reworked the suspension to provide “even more stability and precision”. The reprogrammed Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) system improves braking distances while the standard power steering and optional dynamic steering systems have also been improved to enhance driver feedback and response.

All the new 2019 Audi R8 models remain naturally aspirated and all-wheel-drive, and there is no word yet on whether Audi will release a ‘RWS’ version of the refreshed car. Pricing has not yet been officially revealed for either the Euro or US-spec R8, with this information likely to be available closer to the release date.

Audi R8 2019 Image Gallery

2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition Package is a hardcore, ultra-rare R8

While the the Audi R8 RWS was a pretty rare beast when it was revealed, Audi has released yet another, even rarer R8. It’s the 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition Package, and only 10 of them will be sold in the United States.

There are a few things that differentiate the car from a regular R8 V10 Plus. Immediately noticeable are the various aero aids appended to the Audi. They include a front splitter, canards, rear diffuser, and a big rear wing. They’re very functional, doubling the regular R8 Plus’s downforce at 93.7 mph (150 kph) for a total of 114.6 pounds. At the car’s top speed of 196 mph, the aero parts provide 220.5 pounds of downforce.

The Competition Package R8 is lighter than a normal V10 Plus. Audi says it’s 28.6 pounds lighter in total, with 2.2 pounds coming from lightweight carbon ceramic brake pads with titanium backing plates, and 26.4 coming from the milled aluminum wheels. To flesh out what is basically an extreme handling package, Audi also gives this model three-way adjustable coilover suspension.

All 10 of the R8s will be painted Suzuka Gray, which looks like white to us. The interior is kept plush with full leather trim, an Alcantara steering wheel, carbon fiber shift paddles and even a 550-watt Bang and Olufsen sound system. It’s certainly a different approach than the ultralight R8 RWS.

Also different from the R8 RWS is the price. While that rear-drive special was the most affordable R8, this Competition Package model is more, a lot more. It rings in at $238,750 with destination fee, which is a $43,100 premium over the standard V10 Plus it’s based on. It’s also $98,800 more than the R8 RWS.

Related Video:

Audi Sport unveils 2019 R8 LMS GT3 in Paris

Audi Sport took to the Paris Motor Show Tuesday to unveil an updated R8 LMS GT3, its fourth new model in as many years, with elements borrowed from the production version of the R8 and what Audi says is a more customer-focused evolution.

Engineers opted to make moderate changes and focused on four areas: aerodynamics, brake cooling, the clutch and transmission. There’s a new splitter at the front to give it a modified face but also greater downforce, and varying ride heights due to suspension setups, driving conditions and different driving situations now have smaller effects on the airflow, leading to higher aerodynamic stability. There’s also improved airflow to the rear brake system and more efficient release of heat from the ventilated disc brakes to prevent the wheels from overheating in race situations, plus better airflow through the front bumper to help cool the front brakes.

Audi Sport also says the car’s three-plate racing clutch, gear teeth and bearings have all been made more durable, while engineers found a way to reduce wear and tear on the locking differential, which simplifies handling. There’s also a new carbon fiber-reinforced plastic crash element at the rear that fulfills the crash test requirements for Le Mans prototypes.

Though it rides on the same chassis as before, it’s now about 66 pounds lighter at 2,700 pounds empty weight, thanks to the use of aluminum in the space frame, structural carbon fiber in the center tunnel and back wall and steel roll cage, yet the supporting frame also boast 39 percent additional torsional stiffness. And Audi says the manufacturing process of the production and race versions of the car are more interlinked than ever at its plant in Heilbronn, with the racing chassis integrated in the production process up to and including the point of roof assembly and cathodic dip painting, a type of priming. That’s despite the racing variant’s use of cast-aluminum nodes and steel roll cage.

It also borrows the same 5.2-liter V10 that makes up to 585 horsepower in racing guise. It is also produced on the same assembly line as the R8 Coupe production version and is nearly identical, with a service interval of 6,213 miles and 12,427 miles for the first rebuild. The power is sent through a sequential six-speed performance transmission with paddle shifters.

U.S. pricing wasn’t announced, but Audi Sport said it will deliver the first customer race cars in November at 398,000 euros, which translates to about $460,000, not including Europe’s value-added tax. An evolution kit for retrofitting older models goes for 28,000 euros.

The R8 LMS GT3 will hit the international race circuit following FIA homologation in January.

Related Video:

Third-gen Audi R8 to be an all-electric, high-horsepower supercar?

Schroedinger would be proud of the impossible-to-know state of the Audi R8. In March we heard that there’d be no third generation for one of the most well-known sports cars of the era. Most, however, did expect an R8 V6 to bow this year at the New York Auto Show. If the downsized coupe actually exists as a production proposition, it skipped out on NYC. But three months later, a report said the six-pot two-door would come with the 2019 R8 refresh. While we await provable info on that, Autocar reports that a third-generation R8 is on the way around 2022, and it will be an all-electric offering aiming its rings at the genuine supercar crowd.

Autocar, going on what “senior company sources have hinted,” said we could be looking at “perhaps as much as 1,000 bhp,” and a return of the R8 E-tron badge on a rocket “likely to have a 0-62 mph time of about 2.0 sec.”

A third-gen, electric R8 would mark the third attempt at a battery-powered halo car for Audi, and — if this is the rumor that becomes fact — would be the first one with a genuine chance for success. The Ingolstadt carmaker developed an electric first-gen R8, canceling the project in 2013 before going to market. Audi tried again with the second-gen coupe in 2015 and got all the way to showrooms, but the car was handicapped by an output of 376 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of torque, and a 204-mile range — performance that couldn’t surpass the Tesla Model S — attached to a seven-figure price. Company execs pulled the car from the market after one year and fewer than 100 sales.

The recent PB18 concept from Pebble Beach is a good place to start thinking about a potential R8 EV. The PB18 contained three electric motors, 764 horsepower and 612 pound-feet of torque, and a simulated 62-mph sprint of “scarcely more than two seconds” on the way to a 186-mph top speed. Coincidentally, the PB18 fit the same dimensions as the current Audi R8, though the PB18’s body was shaped into a two-door shooting brake. Autocar wrote that the “E-tron GT will feature a two-door, four-seat design and offer more than 800 bhp,” and that its technology could be ported to the third-gen R8.

This raises a bit more confusion. Peter Oberndorfer, Audi’s global head of product and technology communications, told Motoring in March that the E-tron GT would be “a very sporty four-door car, not the successor to the R8.” Our guess is that even though the PB18 was a two-door, that it contains more clues about the E-tron GT, expected to arrive in 2020, than any R8.

Yet the PB18 featured a 95-kWh solid-state battery pack, and Audi’s known to want solid-state juice for any sports car. As Oberndorfer told Motoring in that same interview, “[If] you go very fast you need a lot of battery and don’t want to spend three days going from the Nürburgring to Munich or the other way around. …” Solid-state power could get the R8 the output and recharging times to make sense, and an R8 EV could provide the same halo service for the new E-tron division as the original R8 did for the regular Audi lineup.

We’re still not ready to put any faith in this yet. In March, the carmaker’s R&D boss said Audi Sport hadn’t come up with any plan for a next-gen R8. If Audi’s really settled now on an all-electric R8 to bow in just four years, we think Audi Sport would have had a roadmap laid out in March; look at how long the Porsche Taycan has been publicly under development, and how long we still have to wait for it. When Slashgear queried its sources, the outlet said, “So we’re hearing, things are still very much at the discussion phase as to what Audi might do for the new R8’s powertrain,” including the possibility of a V10-powered coupe and an electric R8 E-tron.

At this rate, we’re going to run out of our monthly allotment of salt to use on other rumors before September’s out.

Related Video:

Audi R8 Spyder spied with updated look

Recently, the updated Audi R8 appeared wearing little camouflage and reworked front and rear fascias. Now the Audi R8 Spyder convertible has emerged. It too is wearing minimal coverings and features similar visual updates to the coupe.

Up front, the biggest changes compared with the previous model are in the shape of the grilles. The tallest sides of the main grille have more of a slant, making the front look lower and wider than the old model. This is aided by new outboard grilles that don’t merge with the headlights and also have more slanted sides.

The flanks exhibit virtually no changes, but the tail is significantly revised compared with the old model. There’s now a full width grille below the taillights that’s bifurcated by the license plate alcove. The integrated, rectangular exhaust tips have given way to RS-style oval tips. All of this is effectively the same as the updated coupe we’ve seen. Differing from that coupe are the roadster’s additional grille between the taillights that pokes through the camouflage and the large lip spoiler on the rear deck.

We expect the new Audi R8 will be shown sometime this year, going on sale early in 2019. Rumor has it that it will also be offered with a V6 of some sort. Odds are the V10 will continue to be available, though.

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2018 Audi R8 RWS – Limited Edition And Rear-wheel Drive

The First Ever Rear-wheel Drive Audi

Yes, you read that right. It is widely known that Audi is recognized as a manufacturer that specializes in the production of all-wheel drive vehicles. Dubbed ‘Quattro’, it’s their schtick and they’re very good at it.

However, something that is less common knowledge and more difficult to imagine is that Audi has not produced a single rear-wheel drive vehicle since being acquired by Volkswagen in the 1960s – not one in almost 60 years and after millions of cars produced.

All of that changes with one car. The 2018 Audi R8 RWS. A car that no doubt intends to be a game changer for the model it is based on, and also the brand that breathes life into it.

2018 Audi R8 RWS

The ‘RWS’ moniker could be misleading to those who don’t already know what it represents on this new R8. It could be confused as being an acronym for ‘rear-wheel steering’, a feature in production cars where the rear wheels are engineered to turn and assist with steering the car in certain situations. This technology has seen some proliferation lately, which may further add to the confusion.

However, the ‘RWS’ simply stands for Rear Wheel Series. According to Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winklemann, the Audi R8 RWS is a “limited edition rear-wheel drive R8, made for purists”. He has made this as clear as what we now know the ‘S’ stands for.

With that in mind, Audi has forgone the Quattro system for the R8 RWS which means that the front driveshafts and other all-wheel-drive-essential components were removed from the regular model. Not only does this convert the car to rear-wheel drive, it also sheds about 50 kg of weight.

Although Audi is only producing 999 examples of this vehicle (320 for North America), the RWS is hard to differentiate from the standard R8 aside from some ‘Audi Sport’ badges (which replace the ‘Quattro’ ones) and a numbered dash plate to designate its exclusivity.

The most welcoming fact about the car is that despite being a limited production model, the RWS is actually priced a fair bit less than a standard R8, making it the cheapest R8 available off the showroom floor. Starting at just $139,950 USD, the Quattro-less R8 RWS is more than $26,000 USD less than its more complex and heavier variant.

Features And Highlights


The RWS employs the same power plant as the base R8 – a naturally aspirated mid-engine V10 which produces 540-horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. Built in Hungary, the 5.2L engine is also shared with the Lamborghini Huracán.

Touted as a proper sports car engine, it makes peak power at 7,800 rpm and smoothly revs all the way to a euphoric 8,700 rpm redline, all the while providing a delightful symphony of sound via its howling engine note. The absence of forced induction means that the engine is perpetually responsive and reacts to throttle inputs instantaneously.

In a 0-100 km/h sprint, the RWS achieves a time of 3.7 seconds, which is about 0.3 seconds slower than the base model Quattro R8. This should be expected, as off-the-line-traction is something that the Quattro system greatly enhances; in any case, the RWS isn’t about raw power. Being the lighter car, it should make up that time over a longer sprint anyway.


The engine remains mated to the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission equipped on the standard R8. While the DCTs are undoubtedly the best piece of machinery for handling the power of a modern-day sports car, perhaps Audi should have considered a manual transmission option which would have shed more weight and leaned even more in favor of the purist demographic they are targeting.

The steering ratio remains the same at 15.7:1 and was not a hugely popular trait in the Quattro-equipped variants. However, the suspension geometry has been modified to accommodate the new layout and weight reduction – as a result, the RWS responds faster to steering inputs, provides better feedback and the turn-in is much sharper than before. The brakes are the “regular” steel fanfare but work in a balanced harmony with the car as a whole. Carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option.


With only 320 examples headed to North America, it will be very difficult to spot an RWS in person. Even if you are so fortunate, telling it apart from a Quattro R8 will prove to be just as challenging.

At first glance, the RWS will appear to be no different than the other variants; a gloss black upper side blade, body-colored lower side blade, matte black grilles, gloss black wheels and optional red vinyl stripe being the only distinguishing factors.

The RWS will be available in just coupe form for North America, but will also have the added choice of a convertible in other markets.


Nappa leather sport seats come standard as does an infotainment system with navigation. A Premium package is offered which provides more leather and Alcantara finishes along with an upgraded sound system and 18-way power-adjustable seats.

The Carbon packagewhich can only be optioned on top of the Premium package – adds carbon fiber overlays on the center console and instrument-panel surround.


A rear-wheel drive Audi-anything is certainly something special; add an R8 to the equation and you’ve got something like no other.

In my opinion, it would be hard to imagine how someone wouldn’t see the massive appeal that the Audi R8 RWS provides:

  • It’s the very first and only rear-wheel drive Audi – and it will be exclusive
  • It has a wailing, naturally aspirated V10 with an 8,700 rpm redline
  • It benefits from a lighter and meticulously balanced chassis

Also, don’t forget that you get all of this for almost 20% off the sticker price of the base level Quattro (and it is more than $60,000 USD less than the top-of-the-line V10 Plus model).

The experts say that the RWS remains as easy to drive and is as compliant as its Quattro versions. This they say, makes the cars feel virtually indistinguishable, until at the race track or during inclement weather conditions.

While it’s not the life-altering change that would be experienced from something more akin to say – going from a Porsche 911 Carrera (4WD, in this case) to a 911 GT model – the RWS is really a great buy for anyone considering an R8; or a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive supercar in general.

Specifications And Performance Summary

Pricing And Model Info

Make Audi
Model R8
Generation 2018 – Present
Car type Coupe, Convertible (only outside North America)
Category Series Production Car
Built At Neckarsulm, Germany
Units Produced 999
Base Price (US) $139,950

Chassis And Powertrain

Curb Weight 1,610 kg (3,550 lbs)
Layout Mid-engine
Driven wheels Rear-wheel drive
Engine DOHC 40-valve V10 with aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Aspiration Naturally Aspirated
Displacement 5.2 Litres
Transmission 7-speed DCT

Engine Output

Power 540 hp @ 7,800 rpm
Power / litre 103.8 hp / litre
Power-to-weight ratio 6.57 lb / hp
Torque 398 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm


0-100 km/h 3.7 seconds
0-60 mph 3.5 seconds
0-100 mph 7.6 seconds
¼ mile 11.6 seconds
Top Speed 199 mph (320 km/h)

Photo Gallery

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Video Reviews

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Audi R8 spied with a refreshed face

We recently heard that the Audi R8supercar doesn’t have a bright future, with no new generation on the horizon. But it seems like we’re still going to have plenty of time with the current generation, and Audi isn’t going to just let it sit. As the spy photos above show, the company is working on an update of the current model.

The changes are subtle, but together they make a significant change to the car’s look. The hexagonal center grille at the front has had the lower sides brought in toward the bottom, and the upper sides have been widened. This gives the main grille a bit more shape than the old one, which in contrast looks like a beveled rectangle. The grilles that flank the center one no longer meet the headlights and are a little smaller and diamond-shaped. Along the side, the skirts now seem to have a bit of a scoop in contrast to the closed-off version on the current model. Together, these changes make the nose of the new R8 look lower than it does now. They also give the car a look closer to its more mundane cousins such as the A8, A7 and A6.

The back of the R8 has some significant tweaks, too. Instead of only having vent grilles directly below the taillights, the grille stretches across the entire backside. The taillights and rear diffuser look mostly the same. The rectangular quad-tip exhaust outlets are gone, though. Instead, this R8 has two enormous oval tips that almost don’t seem to fit the rear bumper. A move back to oval tips wouldn’t be too strange since Audi has used them on every RS model, which are handled by Audi Sport.

We’re expecting to see this updated Audi R8 sometime this year. This is based on a leaked product plan that showed a new R8 appearing in 2018, but also the fact that this is a fairly light facelift. If that plan is to be believed, which considering that it predicted the recent reveals of A8, A7, RS5, A6 and E-tron (C-BEV) Audi will offer a V6 powerplant with the car, too. We doubt the V10 engines will go away, though.

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No Audi R8 planned after current generation ends

Another Volkswagen Group icon looks headed for the River Styx. A few days after Autocar reported that the VWBeetle won’t live past the current generation, Car and Driver reports “there are no current plans for a direct replacement” of the Audi R8. That information came after chatting to Audi R&D boss Peter Mertens at the Geneva Motor Show. Responding to a suggestion that the carmaker didn’t have a next generation planned for the striking supercar, Mertens replied, “I would say so.”

That doesn’t mean imminent demise. Audi just released the rear-wheel drive R8 RWS, and there’s a V6-powered R8 on the way. That car will use the 2.9-liter, twin-turbo six-cylinder already working for the RS4 Avant, RS5, Porsche Panamera and Cayenne. That’s why Mertens also said, “It has a long life, and it’s doing OK.” The sales success of the V6 trim might decide the definition of the word “long,” but no matter what, “long” probably won’t mean the same 10-year span of the first generation. Audi has a bunch of other plans to flesh out and pay for, and a fading star that can’t spread development costs doesn’t make sense.

This isn’t the first account of the R8’s demise. Last December, Automobile reported that the R8 would be “phased out in 2020” as the new Lamborghini Huracán arrives; the R8 and Huracán share the same platform and are built alongside one another in Audi’s Neckarsulum, Germany, plant. Then, the 650-horsepower RS Q8 would take over as the new conventional flagship for Audi Sport, while the E-Tron GT four-door due in 2020 will make all-electric waves.

The R8 moved 772 units in the U.S. last year, placing it only just ahead of the more expensive and more exotic McLaren 570S, and just behind the more expensive and more exotic twin-brother Lamborghini Huracán. In the competitive set, the Mercedes-AMG GT sold 1,609 units. The Porsche 911 Turbo drubs them all.

If any car can be said to have done its job as a halo offering, though, the R8 is that car. The first R8 put all eyes on a brand that sold half as many cars in 2006 as it does today. The V8 coupe mixed everyday manners with supernatural high-speed handling, the V10 gave up a few tenths in suppleness in return for bonus payouts of sound and fury. The coupe was also stupendously efficient at winning races the world over, both for factory teams and privateers who might soon struggle to find an equivalent replacement. And we wouldn’t have the word “sideblades” without it.

Mertens did make sure to caution, “Never say never; performance cars are good for Audi.” But if you look at the sales numbers and Audi’s planned future, and then look at the wall … you’ll probably see some writing.

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