Road&Track went on the interesting search for the best V-8 for your sporting pleasure and came up with this odd comparison of the Audi R8 against the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ferrari F430.
Let’s see if we can follow Audi’s logic with the R8: First, design a completely original semi-exotic that looks out of this world, but starts just barely north of $100,000. Next, stuff one of the world’s best V-8s (from the RS 4 sports sedan) into a spot just aft of the driver. Give it the famous Quattro all-wheel drive. Then, adorn it with the same name as one of the most successful endurance racing cars in history. Works for us.
And the R8 does work, almost sublimely so, and it all starts with the engine. This all-aluminum 32-valve dohc 4.2-liter V-8 includes direct injection, Nikasil-coated cylinders, four chain-driven camshafts (each with its own hydraulic valve-timing actuator) and an extremely high compression ratio of 12.5:1. The result is 420 bhp at 7800 rpm with 317 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500.
Out on the road, it’s pure magic. The engine is at all times ultra-smooth and powerful. It sounds better the higher and harder you rev it, and since it makes great power up top, you don’t pay a penalty for taking it there. The sound is terrific, a slightly muted rumble, but honestly…it should be louder.
And here’s the video of this odd comparison with an even more strange winner…