2017 Audi R8 Convertible
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2017 Audi R8 exotic sports car isn't the only fully redesigned Audi this year that looks an awful lot like its predecessor (ahem, A4). But in the R8's case, at least, that might be more of a compliment than a criticism. After all, the first-generation R8 was so Hollywood cool that it served as Iron Man's steed, and it was still turning heads when it bowed out in 2015. The challenge, as Audi saw it, was to preserve the R8's curb appeal while adding contemporary technology and even more performance to its repertoire.
As before, the all-wheel-drive 2017 R8 is based on a sister car from Lamborghini. This time, it is the new Huracan, which is a replacement for the discontinued Gallardo. Gone, for better or worse, are the original R8's sultry base V8 engine and distinctive exposed-gate manual transmission. With the new R8, you can have any powertrain you like as long as it's a screaming Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V10 paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. There are probably a few people who will lament the loss of the old-school manual, but there's so much greatness with the precise S tronic automated gearbox that's it hard to really complain.
Of more significance, in fact, is what has happened on the inside of the 2017 R8. The first-generation's cabin layout and features had become rather dated the past few years, so the 2017 R8's interior gets a full-strength dose of Audi's cutting-edge design and technology. The gauge cluster facing the driver is filled by the company's unique Virtual Cockpit, a high-resolution 12.3-inch screen that dynamically resizes the speedometer and tachometer to render infotainment functions in between. As with the new Audi TT, this solution obviates the need for a separate display elsewhere, so the R8's dashboard is refreshingly uncluttered. Also of note is the new steering wheel, which boasts Ferrari-style integrated buttons for ignition and driving-mode selection.
If you're shopping for a sports car in this price range, we envy the options before you. The current Porsche 911 Turbo has enjoyed incremental improvements during its run, and this includes further enhancements for 2017. If you like the sound and fury of a supercharged V8, the world-class Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a true performance bargain, while the Jaguar F-Type SVR coupe punches out 575 hp and comes paired with all-wheel drive. Arguably the car you'll want to pay the most attention to, though, will be Acura's hot new NSX, which packs a 550-hp gas-electric hybrid powertrain and the promise of Honda/Acura reliability and usability.
Clearly, there's no shortage of tantalizing choices here, but the 2017 Audi R8 certainly makes a strong case for being your everyday supercar.
Standard safety equipment on the 2017 R8 includes antilock brakes, stability control, side airbags, knee airbags and head curtain airbags. Front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are also standard.
Somewhat surprisingly, advanced safety features like blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation with automatic braking are unavailable.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Audi R8 is a two-seat midengine exotic sports car offered in coupe form only. There are two trim levels: V10 and V10 Plus.
Standard equipment on the V10 includes 19-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, automatic high beams, LED engine-compartment lighting, adaptive magnetic-ride suspension dampers, adjustable drive settings (Drive Select), front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming power-folding heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leather upholstery, 18-way power seats (with adjustable side and leg bolsters), automatic climate control, a synthetic-suede headliner, Audi Connect online services with mobile WiFi, Audi's MMI infotainment system, a navigation system, voice controls, a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument and infotainment display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with satellite radio, dual USB ports and an auxiliary input jack.
Options on the V10 include 20-inch wheels, larger carbon-ceramic brakes, red-painted brake calipers, variable-ratio steering, carbon-fiber exterior and interior trim and extended leather upholstery (with or without diamond stitching).
The R8 V10 Plus gets a 70-hp boost and also comes standard with the carbon-ceramic brakes, a sport suspension with conventional (non-adaptive) dampers, a carbon-fiber exterior trim package (including a fixed rear spoiler), an additional "Performance" mode for the Drive Select system, a smaller fuel tank, sport exhaust, a sport steering wheel, partial power sport seats with fixed seatbacks (no recline) and a relatively basic five-speaker audio system.
If you want the extra power but wish you could have the base model's luxuries, you're mostly in luck. The V10 Plus can optionally be equipped with the 18-way power seats, extended leather upholstery and a Bang & Olufsen stereo. Also optional are the 20-inch wheels and variable-ratio steering. You're stuck with the smaller gas tank and conventional suspension, however.
The 2017 Audi R8 is powered by a 5.2-liter V10 mounted behind the seats beneath a transparent engine cover. In the base V10 model, it generates 540 hp and 398 pound-feet of torque, while the V10 Plus levels up to 610 hp and 413 lb-ft. All-wheel drive and a seven-speed automated manual transmission ("S tronic") are standard across the lineup.
According to Audi, the regular R8 V10 can accelerate to 60 mph in a mere 3.5 seconds, while the V10 Plus cuts that down to 3.2 seconds.
We haven't yet subjected a 2017 Audi R8 to full Edmunds testing. Based on other initial tests, the R8 looks to be exceptionally capable, with 0-60-mph acceleration occurring in less than 3 seconds and racecar-like grip and composure. The V10 also produces a beguiling howl at high rpm that's unlike the typical V8 auditory broadside. But check back soon for our detailed evaluation covering the new R8's ride, handling, interior noise, outward visibility and more.
The R8's cabin has always offered an ergonomic control layout and fine materials, particularly compared to other exotic sports cars. However, the first-generation model was hampered by anachronisms like an early version of the MMI infotainment system that utilized a relatively clunky dashboard-mounted control knob. Thankfully, the new R8 gives up nothing inside to any other Audi model. Following the latest TT's lead, it employs the innovative Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, which groups all driving and infotainment functions into a single high-resolution screen in front of the driver. Also, the MMI controller now has the ability to recognize inputs scrawled via fingertip, and it's located on the console between the seats, where it falls readily to hand. The downside to this driver-centric system, however, is that the passenger has little ability to look at or adjust those infotainment functions.
The R8's two available seat designs occupy opposite ends of the spectrum. The base 18-way power chairs are both supportive in spirited driving and comfortable for touring, but the racing seats that comes standard in the V10 Plus lose the power functions (except height) and aren't even able to recline. If you plan to take your R8 to the racetrack on a regular basis, these seats may hold appeal, but we're glad that Audi makes the more luxurious seats an option for less aggressive V10 Plus buyers.
Audi pegs the 2017 R8's cargo capacity at just 8.0 cubic feet, which includes both the front trunk (remember, the engine's in the back) and a small space behind the seats. That's stingy even by supercar norms.
2017 Audi R8 videos
CARLOS LAGO: That right there is the Audi R8 Spider. It's got a v10 and 540 horsepower, and on this episode of the Edmunds' smash hit, How Fast Can It Go in a Straight Line, we're going to find out how fast it can go in a straight line. It's a descriptive title. So, the first part of acceleration testing always begins with my favorite part of testing in general, the 'just slam the gas and see what happens' approach, so let's do that. A little leisurely off the line there, we didn't get a super hard launch, but that's really fast acceleration for just turning the car on and mashing the gas. Next, we'll put it into the Dynamic setting, turn on the Sport Stability Control, and play around with launch control which should make that pretty easy. We're going to put the R8 in Dynamic mode, I'm going to hold the brake with my left foot, mash the gas with my right, and then release the brake when it seems like it's ready to go. I should put the traction control in sport too, that might help. Let's give it a try. All right, that's-- that's launch control. So that dropped significant time from the acceleration. Couple of things I noticed, so when you mash the gas up when you're folding the car with your brake. You activate launch control, the engine revs up to 3,500 or 4,000 RPM, I couldn't really tell, I wasn't paying that close of attention to it. The launch is a lot more aggressive, there's actually some rear tire slip, and that helps get the car moving faster, because the end is operating at a higher speed, giving the car more power to accelerate. In launch control mode, the gearshifts actually have a kick. If you don't put it in launch and smash the gas the gear shifts are so smooth, it's almost like you're in a CVT. You just move from one gear to the next, without any sense that it's happening. In launch control they actually kick the transmission when it changes gears and that could be for excitement, there might actually be small benefit to doing that too in regard to acceleration, either way, it's really quick and not too difficult to get into and access. There are way clunkier and more confusing launch control systems, and who can argue with the performance? That's really fast for a car with just 540 horsepower. So, for this run, we're just going to keep doing the same thing, we already know generally, with the launch controls don't make this car do it might try something different come off the brake a little bit sooner as we're getting the launch control, and see if it helps at all, but let's just be honest, this is for fun. So coming off the brake a little sooner actually slowed the car down but by a matter of hundreds, not even tenths, so, it doesn't seem to matter what I do, this car is just going to do what it does, and that is, go very fast. This R8 V10, it's not even the most powerful one, they do a plus that has 610 horsepower. But this, even with 540 horsepower, that's still a lot. Even though cars in this range have more power-- some cars do at least-- this is still really fast, you're still looking at a zero to 60 in the mid-three second range, a quarter mile and the high 11s, that's incredible for a naturally aspirated car, especially one that weighs 4,000 pounds. So all right, very fast. Glad we could find that out. Captain obvious reporting that super cars are fun. Thanks for watching. If you want to see more, keep it tuned right here.
2017 Audi R8 Spyder Acceleration Test
How fast can the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder go? Edmunds Senior Writer Carlos Lago applies the slam-the-gas-and-see-what-happens approach to testing out the Audi R8 Spyder sports car's naturally aspirated 540-horsepower V10 at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Spoiler alert: This supercar is really, really fast.
Features & Specs
Audi's signature R8 exotic sports car is fully redesigned for the 2017 model year. The new car still looks very familiar, but there are plenty of changes elsewhere that help boost the car's performance and everyday appeal.
Audi is still borrowing basic hardware for the R8 from Lamborghini, but now the Huracan is the source rather than the Gallardo. Though the R8 remains all-wheel drive, there have been some key drivetrain changes for 2017. The base V8 engine is gone, so the previously optional 5.2-liter V10 powerplant is the only choice. And the traditional manual transmission is gone, along with its throwback gated metal shifter, leaving only the seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The R8 comes in two trim levels, V10 and V10 Plus. The base V10 edition's engine is rated at 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, while the power behind the V10 Plus is boosted to 610 hp and 413 pound-feet of torque. The mightier engine vaults the R8 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds; the base version is just a bit behind at 3.5 seconds.
If the R8's exterior was not in need of change, that wasn't the case inside, where the speedy Audi was a snapshot of mid-2000s design. For 2017, the R8 employs Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument panel, a 12.3-inch display screen in front of the driver that shows a virtual analog speedometer and tachometer, with infotainment functions displayed between those gauges.
This eliminates the need for a display in the middle of the dashboard and gives the R8's cockpit a streamlined, focused atmosphere, without the visual distraction of that commonplace LCD screen. Audi has followed Ferrari's lead by adding the starter button and drive mode selector to the steering wheel, in the fashion of modern race cars. There is also a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system for audio entertainment, which thankfully now includes USB inputs to connect your phone.
What is surprisingly missing for such a high-end model, however, are increasingly common advanced safety technologies such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and collision mitigation with automatic braking. But we're guessing that with one full-throttle blast of the V10 engine, you're not going to be too worried about that. Use the additional information on Edmunds to help you find the perfect 2017 Audi R8.
2017 Audi R8 Convertible Overview
The 2017 Audi R8 Convertible is offered in the following styles: , and V10 quattro Spyder 2dr Convertible AWD (5.2L 10cyl 7AM).
What do people think of the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 R8 Convertible.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 R8 Convertible featuring deep dives into trim levels including V10 quattro Spyder, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible here.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible and all available trim types: V10 quattro Spyder. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2017 Audi R8 Convertible include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.