2014 Audi R8 V10 | Review | Test Drive | Audi R8 | Continental Audi

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For 2014, the R8 V-10 gains a new Plus model. Not to be confused with the ladies in a Lane Bryant ad, Plus here refers to the extra 25 horsepower that Audi coaxed from the 5.2-liter V-10. Basically, it’s the Lambor­ghini-grade unit found in the Gallardo LP560-4. Firmer springs and dampers, inspired by the rarely-seen-outside-captivity R8 GT, are seriously stiff, bordering on annoyingly bouncy. We’d much rather live with the standard R8’s supple magnetic shocks.

But the biggest change is the newly available seven-speed dual-clutch automatic called S tronic. A $7800 option on all R8s, it replaces the clunky automated-manual transmission known as the R tronic. With the S, part-throttle upshifts are free of any twitchiness, giving the auto R8 the manners to live in traffic. For maximum acceleration, the S tronic offers launch control that holds the engine at 4500 rpm before engaging the first-gear clutch. The R8’s owner’s manual suggests finding a clear, empty road before using launch control, as it might cause unwanted attention. Good advice. Accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds with the quarter-mile passing in 11.4 seconds at 126 mph certainly got our attention. That’s two-tenths quicker to 60 and in the quarter than the 525-hp R8 R tronic we previously tested.

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