The 2022 Audi R8 Performance RWD Spyder is excellent and we’re sad to see that it’s time with us is almost up. Audi is already making its transition to an electric lineup, which means that the V10-powered R8 will sadly soon disappear. But before it goes, Audi is making sure that its iconic sports car goes out with a bang.
While electric cars are the future and several of them have already proven that they can bring even more performance to the table than a combustion powered vehicle, there’s one thing that can’t be replaced. Simply press the red start button and the V10 comes to life with a sweet sound that will easily put a smile on your face. The V10 sits just behind you and with the top down, the R8 Spyder’s soundtrack is a joy to your ears.
The R8 is powered by a mid-mounted 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine. Thanks to its dry-sump lubrication system, Audi was able to mount the engine low. The engine also features direct injection, titanium springs and rocker arms, and sodium-filled valves. The V10 generates 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque and it’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Traditionally the R8 has only been offered with the Quattro all-wheel drive system, but the addition of the new rear-wheel drive version is nice, since it’s about 100 pounds lighter. The RWD version does have a little less power than the all-wheel drive version, but who cares?
Push the throttle to the floor and the R8 comes alive with fervor. The R8 is insanely quick and its V10 screams to its 8,700 rpm redline. For its send off, Audi is closing out the second generation R8 with the rear-wheel drive version that’s an enthusiast’s dream. Thanks to launch control, the R8 V10 Performance Spyder RWD can reach 60 mph in…
Although the R8 is powered by a V10, Audi has some tricks up its sleeve to not make it guzzle too much gas. The V10 is equipped with a cylinder-on demand system that can shut down one bank of cylinders when they aren’t needed to save fuel. The good thing is that you don’t even notice when this happens, but the end result are some pretty good mpg specs at 14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway.
The second-generation R8 arrived for 2015 and although that is quite a long time ago, the R8 is still a striking, attention grabbing sports car. If the sound of the V10 doesn’t turn heads, the styling will. What’s also rare for a convertible is the fact that the R8 looks good with the top up or down. Speaking of the top, it can be raised or lowered in a mere 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.
With the roof up, the R8’s cabin is quiet with the only sound coming from the V10 behind you. With the top down you can easily drive at highway speeds with little wind buffeting.
The R8’s cabin is top notch, which is something we’ve come to expect from Audi over the years. The brand continues to make some of the best interiors in the industry. The cabin is wrapped in high quality materials and the customizable, fully digital gauge cluster lets you know that you’re behind the wheel of something exciting.
The only downside is that the R8 doesn’t have a center screen, so the vehicle info, navigation and other pertinent info is only displayed in front of the driver. The system is also operated via an MMI interface on the center console. This makes it difficult for your friend next to you to read the display.
The R8 is about the same length as a Porsche 911, but it’s also wider. You would think that, that wider footprint would make the R8 less fun to drive than a 911 or any other top notch sports car, but you would be wrong. The R8 feels nimble and eager to tackle any corner that you can throw at it. The quick steering and powerful brakes add to the fun. And since the extra weight has been removed from the front, the R8 RWD feels more agile. Its suspension does a great job of eliminating even the tiniest amount of body roll.
The pricing for the 2022 Audi R8 Performance RWD Spyder starts at $162,395, which includes destination and a gas guzzler tax.
At the end of our week with the R8 we were sad to see it go. The R8 checks all the right boxes with its stunning exterior, luxurious and sporty interior and excellent driving dynamics. The V10 is pure joy and we’re heartbroken that the R8 is nearing the end of the line.
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