Kelley Blue Book: The 2022 Audi R8 is packed with power and exotic performance
Styling may not be sufficiently extroverted for some
Lacks advanced safety features
“Base” models gain 30 horsepower and a little more torque
Price: The 2022 Audi R8 starts at $148,700.
The 2022 Audi R8 is the unlikely supercar. It doesn’t have the outrageous Lamborghini Huracán looks. Nor does it have the pedigree of the Porsche
911. Instead, it puts tremendous power and exotic performance into a lightweight, well-considered package with styling that’s arguably attractive yet generally understated. It comes as a coupe or a convertible, which is called a Spyder.
The Audi R8
As technical innovations and engineering improvements have made their way into car manufacturing, even wildly powerful cars have become civilized to drive on public roads. The R8 is definitely easygoing and enjoyable. It doesn’t really matter when there’s the inevitable Toyota
Prius in front holding things up. Get the R8 on a track, though, and it delivers a whole different set of thrills.
We’re now in the second generation of the R8, which debuted in 2015, and this year is probably the last. Another R8 may come along, perhaps with electric or hybrid power, but if anyone has their heart set on a new R8 with this amazing V-10 engine, now’s the time to head for the Audi dealership. We’ve loved the R8 and will be sorry to see it go.
The 2022 Audi R8 goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and achieves a top speed of 204 mph.
2022 Audi R8 pricing
A Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $146,500 is applied to the 2022 R8 V10 Performance Coupe RWD, plus a destination charge, then a gas guzzler tax of $1,700.
It’s $199,800 for the 2022 R8 V10 Performance Coupe Quattro with all-wheel drive and the more powerful engine.
The premium for a soft-top versions is about $14,000. A metallic or pearl-effect paint is $595. On Audi’s retail site configurator, we were able to push the Spyder AWD’s price to nearly $232,000.
The main rival to the 2022 R8 is that perennial driver’s choice, the Porsche 911. To get the same kind of power (or more) means looking at the 911 Turbo, in the $172k region. The McLaren GT starts at $210,000. A Lamborghini Huracán Evo starts at $200k and zooms up quickly from there. The Acura NSX hybrid supercar (definitely being discontinued) is about $170,000, and a version of the Mercedes-AMG GT with comparable power to the R8 could be in a similar ballpark.
Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to find out what others in your area paid for their new R8. Like fuel costs, an R8 buyer is probably not too concerned about resale values, but the 911, R8, and Huracán all do quite well.
Driving the 2022 Audi R8
That earlier question about reliability? We’ve driven an R8 from Los Angeles to the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, just above San Francisco. Did a succession of hot laps and drove it all the way back again. It performed admirably over every mile. Given the chance, we’d do the same thing right now.
Its demeanor on public highways is unruffled and about as discreet as a low-slung, mid-engined 2-seater supercar can be. On clearer, more interesting roads, the R8 begins to show some of its wonderful talent for acceleration and corner-conquering. That’s when the engine sounds also start to tingle the spine.
Mid-engined cars have sometimes been tricky in the past. If the back end snaps into oversteer, it hasn’t always been easy to catch and control it. The R8 is not like that at all, especially when all-wheel drive is present. On a track, the R8’s benign handling inspires a lot of confidence. It will ease through bends and blast down straights, making the driver feel more talented than ever before.
The Audi R8’s platform is shared with the Lamborghini Huracán, including the V10. This engine is naturally aspirated and thrives on high revs, making it especially responsive to throttle inputs. Even the least powerful version is capable of rocketing the 2022 R8 from standstill to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and achieving a top speed of 204 mph.
We won’t gripe about the smallish cabin or the limited outward vision. It’s the same kind of thing with a lot of mid-engined supercars and comes with this particular kind of territory.
Two adults can still fit. The seats, upholstered in Nappa leather, are comfortable, while holding their occupants in place through fast corners. And the driving position should be fine for the majority of people.
Audi offers the option of sport seats with a carbon fiber shell, but they have a fixed back. So they appeal more to a dedicated track warrior. The flat-bottomed steering wheel allows drivers to slide their knees under more easily than if it was completely round, while the red ignition button — just a thumb-stretch away from the quarter-to-three position — never fails to spark a shiver of excitement every time it’s pressed.
Buyers can also specify an extended leather package, diamond stitching, and a headliner of Alcantara (simulated suede).
It still looks like a supercar from a sci-fi movie, doesn’t it? Even more so with the LED engine bay lighting in the coupe version, visible through the rear window. The convertible 2022 R8 Spyder retains the same kind of pared-down elegance, but adds 97 pounds of extra weight because of its motorized roof — which needs just 20 seconds to perform its duties.
Standard alloy wheel size is 20 inches in diameter. Various elements (like the front and rear spoilers) are finished in black, but the exhaust tips are chromed. The R8 has full LED lighting exterior lighting, with the option of laser technology for the headlights.
It’s two cylinders better than a V8. Seriously, this is a glorious engine, muscular yet smooth, only sounding raucous when revved hard. It delivers its power with an easy progression. A minor change this year is that the erstwhile 532-horsepower version now makes 562 horsepower, prompting Audi to tweak the full name. Every new R8 is now called the 2022 Audi R8 V10 Performance.
Audi was one of the first to use a configurable digital driver information display in place of the traditional instrument cluster. Although they’re much more common these days, this one still looks cool and contributes to the R8’s high-tech feel.
The most affordable rear-drive 2022 R8 coupe still comes with heated/18-way power-adjustable seats with pneumatic bolsters, automatic climate control, Virtual Cockpit, self-dimming mirrors, stainless steel pedals, front/rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, and a sport suspension.
The infotainment system includes Wi-Fi, satellite radio, navigation, wireless charging, phone signal boosting, a microphone set into the seat belt for voice control and phone calls, plus Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.
Conspicuous by their absence are driver assistance features like forward-collision warning or blind-spot monitoring. Many other supercars are the same in this respect. There’s the philosophy that someone driving a machine like this is less liable to be distracted and extra features add weight. But supercars in the future will no doubt have more driver aids because of safety regulations.
There’s the choice of fixed roof or folding fabric top, all-wheel drive (known as “quattro” in Audi’s world), nicer leather, carbon fiber exterior and interior elements, sport exhaust package, and a 13-speaker/550-watt Bang & Olufsen
Specialized options include ceramic disc brakes, carbon fiber front anti-roll bar (saving almost 4.5 pounds over the standard metal item), and variable-ratio steering.
The quattro/602-horsepower combination also brings a Performance setting to the selectable driving modes, plus more carbon fiber (a fixed rear wing, for example), ceramic brake discs, and the laser-enhanced headlights.
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Engine and transmission
One day, perhaps sooner than we think, we’ll look back on powerful naturally aspirated engines like these (no turbos or superchargers) with longing and nostalgia. Never mind that the best it can squeeze out of a gallon of premium gasoline is an average of around 17 miles.
This 5.2-liter V10 develops 562 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque (up from last year’s 398 lb-ft) when deployed in a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) configuration. With all-wheel drive (AWD) it’s tuned to produce 602 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque.
In both cases, the transmission is a dual-clutch 7-speed automated setup with paddle shifters mounted beneath the steering wheel.
5.2-liter V10 (RWD)
562 horsepower @ 4,475 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 6,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/23 mpg (coupe & convertible)
5.2-liter V10 (AWD)
602 horsepower @ 8,100 rpm
413 lb-ft of torque @ 6,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/19 mpg (coupe & convertible)
How much is a 2022 Audi R8?
It goes from $148,700 to $211,300. So, you know, quite affordable for the average billionaire.
Is the 2022 Audi R8 reliable?
The cliché about cars like the R8 and Porsche 911 is that they’re supercars that can be driven every day. Well, clichés become clichés because they’re true. Looking at R8 owners forums, there are many happy people with this car in their garage.
How long do 2022 Audi R8 models last?
With regular maintenance and not subjecting it to an overly harsh life (hard not to drive the wheels off it, admittedly, when there’s a V10 to enjoy), the 2022 R8 should not only last a long time, but could become an appreciating classic. Remember this an exotic car, though, and replacement parts could be expensive.
This story originally ran on KBB.com.