Audi’s 2022 R8 is a high-performance sports car that is equally smart and sleek.
By Joe Yogerst
When he isn’t saving the world in his Iron Man guise, fictional billionaire Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr. in the Marvel films) has been seen whizzing around town in an eye-catching Audi R8.
The high-tech car perfectly fits the style of a superhero who dons a high-tech suit to fight bad guys, reflecting the image of a tech-obsessed German automaker that has lived by the motto “Vorsprung Durch Technik” (Advancement Through Technology) for more than half a century.
While Audi has produced a number of fast, stylish and electronically advanced vehicles during that span, nothing approaches the utter good looks and performance of the latest R8.
With a horsepower boost for 2022, the R8 has the muscle to compete with many of the Italian pony cars that cost twice or even three times as much. A thunderous, high-rev, V-10 engine—in concert with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—can power the vehicle from a standing start to 60 miles per hour in as little as 3.2 seconds and push the R8 to a top speed of more than 200 mph. Output ranges between 562 and 602 horsepower depending on the version.
It almost goes without saying that people want to test this car against other high-performance vehicles. Audi doesn’t shy away from the challenge. The R8 LMS GT3 racing version has racked up victories in the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge Europe, the grueling 24 hours on the Nürburgring, and the Campionato Italiano Gran Turismo Sprint in Italy.
Available as a hardtop coupe or open-top Spyder convertible—with a choice of regular rear-wheel or Quattro all-wheel drive—the 2022 R8 price tag ranges from $146,500 for the most basic model to $211,300 for the more enhanced versions.
The interior is Iron Man-worthy all on its own, especially when decked out in red leather. The driver-oriented cabin features racing shell seats and a steering wheel with shift paddles and satellite buttons that can change the drive mode.
At the push of another button, drivers can raise or lower the Spyder’s roof in less than 20 seconds while driving at speeds between 4 and 31 mph. Among the interior design options are packages that include a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, carbon-fiber high-gloss finishes and diamond-stitched leather. With so many stylish options and smart features, it’s no wonder that even a superhero like Stark is a fan.
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With its dual oval exhaust outlets, LED rear and headlights, 20-inch anthracite wheels, and that iconic Audi grille, the R8 COUPE is a dashing street machine. Beyond its ruggedly handsome good looks, the R8 is also a champion on the European road-racing circuit, speeding to victory in top endurance races.
And along came a SPYDER: The ragtop version of the Audi R8 is the ideal car for coastal living or cruising wherever the sun shines. The acoustic folding roof drops or climbs in just 20 seconds, even when the vehicle is moving at 31 mph or less.
Everything you need to enhance the driving experience is within easy reach or sight in the R8’s driver-centric COCKPIT. In addition to a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddles and buttons to customize the ride, the dash features a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument display with a central tachometer, performance stats and navigation map.
Sure it can roar past 200 miles per hour and beat just about anything off the line, but the sweetest thing about the R8’s 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated V-10 ENGINE is the guttural purr it emits when you’re idling, accelerating or even at the first press of the ignition button.
The R8’s comfy racing-shell passenger and driver SEATS are covered in fine Nappa leather that comes in a choice of speed-worthy colors including black and red.
Photos courtesy of Audi USA