2008 Audi R8 Long Term Road Test

2008 Audi R8: Idiot Proof Launch Control

December 02, 2008


Our GT-R is not the only car in the long-term fleet with the now infamous launch control feature. The Audi R8 has it too, and with a 420-horsepower V8 it's equally capable of causing some damage if used too often.

Audi seems well aware of this. In the owners manual it warns, "Accelerating with the launch control program places a heavy load on all parts of the vehicle. This can result in increased wear and tear". Not quite as explicit as Nissan's warnings, but the statement still leaves Audi some wiggle room should a customer come in with a fried clutch after a few thousand miles.

That probably won't happen though. You see, the R8's launch control setup isn't nearly as aggressive as the GT-R's. After just one launch, I got the warning signal shown above. I tried launching it again after letting it cool a little and the computer basically shut me down.

Maybe the GT-R's problem isn't that it has launch control. The problem is that it assumes owners are smart enough to not use it too often. With the R8, Audi assumed the opposite.

Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor @ 24,440 miles

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