An ode to the Audi R8 Coupe V10 performance RWD : Last Hurrah

By davidkhoo, 05 January 2023

Audi R8 Coupe V10 performance RWD : Last Hurrah

Singapore - The Audi R8 has come a long way in both ability and street-cred since it was introduced some 15 years ago.

Unfortunately, all great things must come to an end (no thanks to strict emissions laws) and it is with no small amount of sadness that we bid adieu (although we're still hoping it is Auf Wiedersehen) to the four-ringed upstart that shook, rattled and eventually rolled with the sportscar establishment.

(Read our retrospective with the original R8 V8 and the R8 V10 RWD HERE)

Some brands (and people, for that matter) have strange filters in their heads – they think everything is about them and criticisms undergo a 美图 transformation into praise, so they keep plodding on, mainly because they don't know how/where/what to begin to change.

Thankfully, this was never the case with the R8 and this is exactly why Audi's mid-engined sportscar had more than its fair share of fans.

As a newcomer to the exclusive sportscar club, Audi already knew it had its work cut-out when it first showed the world the original R8 in 2006, a veritable 'thinking person's sportscar'. 

However, the brand worked smart, was engaged with feedback and managed to stamp its authority credibly enough to become an automotive icon and a card-carrying member of an exclusive league of cars.

It also didn't hurt the original R8 to take a few pages from the original NSX's playbook (from way back when Honda had a compelling sportscar programme): fun, (reasonably) functional and frisky performance wrapped up in a stunning shape and sexy silhouette that remains timeless to this day.

Both nat-asp V8 and a V10 were offered in the first generation (it is just V10 today), which allowed the R8 to admirably straddle the divide between Porsche to Ferrari, as well as everything else in-between.

With its ever-growing group of fans that appreciated its blend of driving fun without too much flash, the R8 even faced-down the inevitable comparisons with the V10-engined Lamborghinis with which it shared engine/platform – the Gallardo first, then the Huracan.

Sure, it too had its share of special edition models, but the one that always stood out for us was the first gen R8 V10 GT in 2010, a low-key, low volume, lightweight, track-ready weapon that we savoured on both road and track.

Not only did the R8 GT demonstrate just how committed Audi was to the sportscar game, but more crucially, its ability to technically engineer a machine capable of taking the fight to the establishment... and walking out with its head held high.

(Click HERE to read about the R8 V10 GT Spyder)

You wouldn't have imagined it, but Audi's dynamic tweaks across the different R8 iterations are tangible to enthusiastic drivers and this final 'R8 V10 RWD Performance' (we hear the final GT version is unlikely to make it into Singapore officially) is no exception.

We still recall our first drive in the V8 and V10 original many years ago and then recently again in various retrospective features.

(Click HERE to read about how Audi Sport takes its sportscars seriously!)

All the flavour and goodness of the original R8 quattro is retained in this 'final' rear-drive R8, except its killer instincts have been polished and honed to a keen edge for it to really go out with a big bang... and such respect the iconic R8 has been accorded is well-earned and well-deserved.

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