There are a lot of reasons the Audi R8 has been a popular choice for those entering the supercar segment. Its Audi nameplate is a bit less pretentious than some other brands. Maintenance is more “routine” than some other more needy sports cars. The stares it draws will be less judgmental. It does all of this in a very attractive and powerful form that is non-threatening, yet thrilling to drive. This two-passenger, aluminum gem provides the excitement without some of the fears of owning a high end sports car.
The R8 has been very successful for Audi and the 2014 R8 5.2 Plus offers some nice additions from previous model years.
What Was “New” For 2014?
Audi’s “plus” in the R8 V-10 5.2 is the extra 25 horsepower the company’s engineers were able squeeze from the power plant for the 2014 model year. Another significant change is that of the availability of the S tronic transmission, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that replaces the R tronic. The S tronic includes a fun little feature called the launch control. Launch control maintains the engine at 4500 rpm until the clutch engages into first gear. Find a nice stretch of isolated roadway, however. This is not something you want to try at home.
Other smaller enhancements for 2014 were LED lighting in the front and rear and a new 3 part grille that extends virtually fender to fender. Its angular design leaves little doubt this is a sports car that’s willing to take on the big dogs.
Power by the Numbers
The 5.2 liter engine in the Audio R8 5.2 Plus produces 550 horsepower and just a pinch under 400 (398) lb-ft of torque. The fuel-injected, DOHC 40-valve V-10 engine has an aluminum block with aluminum heads. This edition of the Audi R8 will climb from zero to 60 in just a hair over 3 seconds and the manufacturer says it has a top speed of 197 mph. Do not try that at home either.
Strap Yourself In
You may find your heart beating just a bit faster as you strap yourself into the Audi R8 5.2 Plus. It is more cockpit than cabin with its aircraft style dials and controls front and center to the driver. Heated sports seats respond to your command with power and manual adjustments including a power lumbar and manual tilt. Position the alloy and leather-trimmed, tilt telescoping steering wheel for maximum driving comfort.
Adjust the 7 speaker audio system with intuitive steering wheel controls. Choose the AM/FM radio, six CD – CD player (which reads MP3 format), digital media card or satellite radio. You may just opt to listen to the roar of the powerful V-10 as your soundtrack.
Enjoy the attention to details that Audi is known for like hand-stitched leather, and carbon fiber trim. In a bit of contrast to its powerful engine, the well-appointed interior provides a sense of security.
Once you get past the “wow” of initial acceleration of this roughly 3,700 lb vehicle, you’ll settle into its firm, almost stiff sports car suspension. While it may not be the most responsive supercar out there, it does offer a sense that you, and not it, are in control. That control is even felt through its heat-absorbing carbon fiber brakes which are standard in the Plus. This sense of control is part what has made the R8 such a favorite through the years. The 2014 R8 5.2 Plus continues that tradition.
This is a car of rugged-good looks that has no problem using bold angles and prominent aerodynamics to accomplish its mission. Unlike Stephen King’s “Christine” or even some of the raw power machines available today, this is a car that is more fun than threatening to drive. It allows you to enjoy the world of supercars without some of the baggage some wish to avoid.