For more than a decade, the Audi R8 has served as Audi's preeminent sports car. Based on the Lamborghini Huracan, the R8 is powered by a mid-engine V10 producing 562 horsepower (and a cool 602 hp in the Performance trim). Though its specs suggest an extreme supercar, we have found the Audi R8 perfectly pleasant to drive on the road. Even the R8 Performance, without the standard car's adaptive suspension dampers, is compliant enough that it doesn't beat up passengers on most roads.
The R8 isn't completely divorced from its supercar roots, however. Plant your right foot on the accelerator, and the R8 rockets forward with seat-pinning thrust. The excellent all-wheel-drive system gives the R8 laser-like focus in turns, and the steering is sublime. If you want a more visceral driving experience, the new Panther special edition shunts 532 horsepower to the rear wheels alone. Limited to just 30 units in the U.S., the Panther heralds a return to the available rear-drive powertrain last seen in the 2018 R8 RWS model. The Panther features a unique black-and-red color scheme, along with racy bits including carbon-fiber trim and low-profile sport seats.
Like most mid-engine sports cars, the R8 lacks storage space, and there's not a tremendous amount of interior room. Other than the lack of practicality and the naturally high price of entry, there's little to dislike about the Audi R8. It delivers the performance you'd expect of a car in this price range without the wild excess of a Lamborghini or Ferrari.