Am writing this on the plane, on the way out to drive the new Audi R8 V10, the one with a Lamborghini Gallardo engine in the back of it and a price tag to match. Or maybe not.
Read Andrew Frankel's first drive of the Audi R8 V10
Leafing through the press pack on the flight I’ve just realized that, despite its seemingly monstrous £99,575 on-road price, the R8 V10 could actually be one of Audi’s most reasonably priced cars.
How so? Because if you look at the amount of standard equipment it boasts over the regular V8 model, they’re almost giving you the extra performance for free.
Add the V10s standard issue magnetic dampers, CD changer, LED lights, metallic paint, B&O sound system, 19in wheels, hill hold, electrically heated front seats and carbon side-blades to the price of a 4.2-litre R8 and you’re looking at well over £11,000 worth of options.
Which effectively means you get two cylinders, 1000cc, 123bhp, 74lb ft and an extra 0.1mpg on the combined cycle for only another eight and a bit grand. Oh yes, plus an exhaust note that will make your heart explode and your neighbours hate you more than ever, and a top speed of 196mph.
A couple of other things in the press blurb also caught my eye. And made me titter. According to Audi’s market research – and they’re probably the best in the business when it comes to this – the R8 is the least depreciating car in its class, likely to hold around 45 per cent of its value after three years. The worst is the BMW M6, by all accounts, which will be worth just 27 per cent of its original £86k in 36 months’ time. Ouch
Audi’s research also that shows that 97 per cent of R8 owners are likely to be men, the core age group being 48-50 years old. The average net household income of an R8 owner will be more than £8500 per month, and outside of cars their interests are likely to be skiing, sailing, golf and/or cycling. Best of all, approximately two-thirds of R8 owners will apparently have “had a high level of education.” Presumably that means the other third are all quite good at football…
Napa leather £same as
Mag ride £1320
19in wheels £490
B&O sound system £1175
CD changer £315
Metallic paint £685
Elec + heated seats £810 + £270
Lighting package £420
Hill hold £80
LED headlights £2740