Home / Social media / News / We love all the Audi R8 models ever created - now we can see which one's fastest in a drag race!


As a lifelong VAG fan, the most aspirational car ever produced by the clever engineers at the Ingolstadt head office of Audi AG just has to be the Audi R8. It's the range-topper of performance Audis and even shares components with a Lamborghini or two, over the years the car evolved from an awesome roaring V8 powerplant to a more aurally pleasing V10 lump that sings the song of my people. Even though I’m not the target market for one of these mass-produced supercars, I was a little sad to hear that the much-loved nameplate would be retired. I really thought we’d be seeing the R8 stick around until it was given hybrid power like its Lamborghini brethren, but alas it was just cancelled. While many know the R8 as the sleek-looking supercar-like Audi, not many know more than that. Here’s some background on the car. The Audi R8 is a mid-engine, 2-seater sports car with roots that trace back to the early 2000s, drawing inspiration from Audi's rich motorsport heritage, particularly its dominance in endurance racing, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The Audi R8's journey began with the Audi Le Mans Quattro concept car, unveiled at the 2003 Frankfurt Motor Show and it was a direct reflection of Audi’s technological advancements and successes in racing, notably the Audi R8 LMP (Le Mans Prototype) that secured multiple victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 2000 to 2005. The then-new concept aimed to translate this racing prowess into a road-legal supercar. Audi's design and engineering teams worked meticulously to ensure the R8 would not just be a supercar in appearance but also in performance. The design was led by Walter de Silva, Audi’s then-head of design, who envisioned a car that exuded both elegance and aggression. The R8’s exterior featured a distinctive single-frame grille, LED headlights, and a prominent sideblade design that added to its aerodynamic efficiency, not to mention the nice and flat supercar shape. A look at the underpinnings reveals the R8 was built on the Audi Space Frame (ASF), an all-aluminium monocoque that provided exceptional rigidity and lightness which was crucial to achieve the desired performance and handling characteristics. The first version we saw in real life was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Auto Show and it came with a 4.2-litre V8 sourced from the Audi RS4 and it was rated at producing 313 kW. It was mated to either a gated 6-speed manual transmission or an R-Tronic automated manual transmission and power was sent to all four wheels as is the norm with a range-topping Au

Over the years the car evolved and got better and faster, and stayed popular among those who can afford these kinds of toys. In 2009 things changed a lot on the powerplant side of the car, this is when the 5.2-litre lump from the Lamborghini Gallardo was used, and it has an extra pair of cylinders. This version was rated at 329 kW. In 2010 we saw the addition of the R8 Spyder, an open-top version that retained the coupe's structural integrity and performance characteristics. Audi also started to experiment with more specialized versions, including the R8 GT in 2011, which was a lighter, more powerful version limited to 333 units worldwide. The 2nd-generation Audi R8 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2015 and it featured sharper lines, a more aggressive stance, and updated LED headlights with optional laser high beams and a whole load of new tech and spec throughout the car. The V10 Performance was also added into the lineup, now with 455 kW, as well as a new 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission

Performance and Motorsport Heritage. We also saw the R8 LMS, a race car version designed for GT3 competitions which achieved considerable success in various racing series, including the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the Blancpain GT Series. The R8 evolved from a concept car inspired by motorsport success to a celebrated supercar known for its performance, design, and technological innovation. Its journey from the Audi Le Mans Quattro concept to the 2nd-generation R8 saw it being rather popular. It didn’t set any sales records, but it gave people the option of having a Geerman Lamborghini of sorts. In 2023 it was announced that the iconic nameplate would be retired, and in typical automaker fashion, there were a few last special editions announced. If you’re a fan, you’re likely keen to know which Audi R8 is faster, and that’s where Mat Watson and the Carwow crew enter the picture. They’ve managed to assemble what they say is every R8 made and they pit them against each other in a good old heads-up drag race. We don’t care about the outcome, we’d take any of them.

Take a look at the YouTube video that does a great job of making us want to buy lotto tickets so we can win and buy more than one Audi R8 before their values rise by ridiculous amounts: Audi R8 Generations DRAG RACE | carwow

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