If you’ve been keeping an eye on our blog, you’ll see that we’ve covered the brand-new up-to-the-minute models for the Q Range and A Range, and now we’re homing in on the more premium models.
Top-of-the-range for Audi is the iconic R8. Despite its V10 5.2 litre engine, it is known as the most reliable “everyday use” supercar. Still naturally aspirated, for the time being, it has been uprated to 614 BHP in the Performance model, and 562 BHP in the entry level. Bodywork has been changed to three slots on the nose, larger exhausts and a bumper renewal. A new lighter carbon fibre anti-roll bar in the front end replaces the old steel one, the suspension has been stiffened and changes made to the variable ratio Dynamic Steering.
The optional adaptive suspension does make for a softer ride in town driving but tends to pitch a little over speed bumps. Nevertheless, it is a supercar that can potter around quite happily in traffic. Of course, the V10 noise is a delight to the ears, roaring up to 8700 RPM at full throttle.
As before, the R8 majors in brutal efficiency rather than gimmicks or driver flattery that some of its rivals are programmed to deliver. It gets things done in a serious and direct fashion. The Quattro all-wheel-drive system maximises traction without giving away any sense of its rear axle bias.
The R8 Performance’s stability-control system now boasts three additional driving modes: Dry, Wet, and Snow. None of these make it overly playful but who cares when the R8 is capable of moving from a standstill to 62mph in 3.1 seconds, while the top speed is an impressive 205mph.
As before, the standard car gets an electrically operated rear spoiler that rises at speed, while the Performance model (which replaces the Plus) gets a fixed unit. There’s a similarly subtle update at the rear, where the LEDs get a new light signature and there’s a full-width gloss black grille.
The cabin of the R8 is typical of Audi quality. Spacious and extremely well equipped, and little has changed from the previous model. A standard reversing camera, new brown and silver interior colour scheme and the digital dash complete the look.
Pricing is around £128k for the entry-level model and £137k for the Spyder convertible. All in all, the new Audi R8 is still a very special supercar well entitled to sit at the top table of the leading supercar marques.
Based on the sporty S5 coupe, the fully weaponised Audi RS5 has even more power and a meaner-looking shell. Its extra-aggressive styling is front and centre, with massive air intakes and wide fenders. While these visual pieces are standard, a carbon-fibre roof and three appearance packages provide attention grabbing personalisation for those who want a bit more zing in their RS5.
Under its clamshell hood sits a 444-hp twin-turbo V6. That’s six fewer horsepower than the outgoing V8 model, but torque has increased dramatically from 317 lb-ft to 443. The output routes through Audi’s rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system via a smooth-shifting automatic transmission.
Behind the wheel, the meanest version of Audi’s sports coupes is easy to control and enjoyable to exploit for experienced and inexperienced drivers alike, with fairly docile handling that is predictable in both wet and dry conditions.
There are a few notable new modifications: It’s lighter by 60kg in its regular format (thanks mostly to the 31kg-lighter V6),and UK examples get the mechanical rear Sport differential as standard to better compliment the Quattro all-wheel-drive system and wheel-selective torque control. The chassis is new, too, with a five-link arrangement at the front and back, paired with adaptive dampers while the RS-Sport suspension with Dynamic Ride Control and the RS exhaust system are optional extras. There’s also a transmission change, with the V8’s dual-clutch seven-speed automatic making way for a ZF eight-speed torque converter.
Standard fitments on the RS5 include 19in alloy wheels, LED head and rear lights, an acoustically glazed windscreen and a wealth of Audi’s latest safety technology
The RS5’s interior mixes an array of rich materials and high-tech equipment. The standard front sport seats are supportive during cornering and comfy on road trips. The Virtual Cockpit cluster highlights the advanced driving options while you relax in the super diamond stitched seats.
The infotainment system includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto with an 8.3in display, sat-nav, DVD player, 10GB hard drive storage, DAB radio, smartphone integration and a 10-speaker audio system. Audi also supplies a host of driver-assistance features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist.
Audi has moulded a clearly different sort of RS model here. Claims made of its Gran Turismo status within the line-up are not overblown and the RS5 can be characterised as easily the most comfortable car in Audi’s line-up. There is finally an RS car you can comfortably traverse a continent which means that London to Leeds will be a doddle!
You can watch a short review below:
When you launch a new car, especially an all electric one, you are usually looking to get the masses talking so that the promotion takes care of itself. Think of the cute Renault Twizy or the Tesla X with its Pterodactyl like doors that open upwards. So its unusual that Audi have opted for a pretty straight forward looking SUV with the new 2019 Audi eTron with one notable exception revealed below!
Let’s deal with the first question most people ask about an all electric car – what is the range? Official Audi figures pin it at 248 Miles and manufactures are a lot better about their claims following the emissions debacle but let’s be honest they are all up against each other on this one and it’s such an important figure from a marketing point of view so they are unlikely to give you the lower end estimates. We reckon 200 miles is about what you should budget on when you set off on your family holiday.
As mentioned, the looks are hardly revolutionary though not jarring in any way. The exception is the (optional) and slightly bizarre rear view mirrors which aren’t mirrors at all…in fact they are cameras. The make the eTron look a bit Shrek like from a certain angle if we are unkind but they grow on you over time and we think you will see versions of the rear view cameras appearing on many a car in the future.
With an electric engine on each axle fed by its 95Kwh battery pack, the eTron is capable of producing 402hp and pushing the large SUV (about the size of an Audi Q7) from 0-62 mph in about 5.7 seconds. While this is by no means blisteringly fast for an all electric vehicle, it’s more than adequate for most and if you put your foot down you can expect to feel a decent push in the back.
When it comes to commentary on the cabin for pretty much any Audi you could copy and paste the following: Audi set the standard for interiors when it comes to mid range luxury vehicles, excellent materials, precise finish, intuitive layout and superior tech…the Audi eTron is no different.
Hippo Leasing offers a huge range of Audi’s on new or used lease deals. As these Audis become available during 2019 you can find them on our dedicated Audi leasing pagehere as they make their debut or simply email us on [email protected] to learn more.