There are lots of references in the new R8’s press material to technologies and know-how borrowed and adapted from Audi’s racing machines.

Some of that transfer from track to road, we fear, may have been misplaced. The driving experience here feels like the effect of too great an emphasis on bald speed, responsiveness and grip – in outright terms, on track and in the split second you flick a paddle or flex a pedal.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
It grips and goes even harder but wants for the previous R8’s delicacy

The car is a visceral, singular tribute to power and performance, noise and revs, grip and traction. It’s hugely exciting to drive but not quite rounded, communicative or usable enough for the kind of everyday driving to which super-sports cars are put.

We applaud Audi’s apparent ambition with this car and a lot of its execution. But we also regret that sight has been lost – or at least temporarily obscured – of what made the original R8 so great. And it wasn’t launch control or lateral g.

We are impressed overall with the second generation Audi R8, especially with its looks, performance and sound, however, it still falls short of the BMW i8, Porsche 911 Turbo S and the newest addition to McLaren’s Sport Seriesthe 570S.

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Audi range

Driven this week

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Audi range

Driven this week