Audi R8 Coupe (2015 -) Comfort

Review by Gareth Evans on
4.8
When the Audi R8 Coupe was launched back in 2007 it quickly became known as the user-friendly supercar. It was fast, reliable and easy to drive.

4 out of 5

Comfort

Considering its two-seater sports car nature, we were almost alarmed how comfortable the R8 Coupe was. It’ll be interesting to try a car with normal steel dampers and 19-inch alloys on UK roads, but our Magnetic Ride/20-inch wheel-equipped test cars in Portugal felt ace. There’s a small amount of bumpiness at lower speeds because the car is just so rigid, but there’s also a compliance there we found endearing considering what the car is capable of on track.

We did notice a bit of wind noise when driving at motorway speeds – especially towards the rear of the windows – but you’ll be happy to put up with this when you hear the engine. It sounds fantastic. Road noise is academic because there’s so much going on elsewhere that you have to really concentrate even to notice it.

2 out of 5

Practicality

The front boot of the R8 Coupe offers enough room for one soft bag for a weekend away, its official capacity of 112 litres inevitably struggling with anything bigger than that. Its luggage space is quite deep too, so the shape of items will be called into question.

Should you need to store more, there is an area behind the seats which can offer up to 226 litres of room (including space for a golf bag), but you’ll have to make sure you can live with the seats pushed forwards to accommodate such loads.

You’ve got a pair of cup-holders along with a storage area in the centre console which is perfect for mobile phone placement and pockets in the doors for larger bottles.

Another trick feature Audi has built into the cabin is the air-conditioning controls, which are neatly integrated into the air vents to save space. There’s an elegant simplicity to this solution which we find difficult to dislike.

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How does the boot space compare?

407 litres
170 litres
115 litres
Audi R8 Coupe (15 on)
112 litres
5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

This is another area the R8 excels. Audi has taken the wise decision to installed the ‘virtual cockpit’ dash system first seen in the TT, which means there’s a large screen in front of the driver which takes care of displaying all of the information they may need. That includes speedo, rev counter and navigation along with music or telephony details.

While there are many configurations available, if you’re driving quickly you’ll want the rev counter right in the centre. It helpfully flashes increasingly urgent colours as you climb the rev range that you can see in your peripheral vision, so you know when the optimum gear change is required without having to take your eyes away from the windscreen. If it’s flashing red, you’re going to want to pull the paddle for another gear.

We loved the steering wheel in the R8 – we’ve only had a chance to try the higher-specification one which includes four ‘satellite buttons’ you’re meant to fiddle with while driving. It’s all very ‘race car’.

There’s a high level of adjustability for the brilliant seats too, which means it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position.

And unlike many rival supercars, there’s actually a decent level of vision from the driver’s seat. We were impressed once again with just how easy this car makes the art of driving fast.

Our only slight criticism here is actually nothing to do with being behind the wheel per se. As a passenger the cabin can seem a little dull, since all the driving controls are unashamedly aimed at the driver alone.