So here we are to the crux: the new V10. And what an engine. The 5.2-litre revs even higher (8700rpm) than the 4.2-litre V8 and delivers its peak power of 386kW at 8000rpm and peak torque of 530Nm at 6500rpm.
It takes just one gear change (first to second) accelerating flat-out from standstill to break Australia’s draconian freeway speed limits. The R8 V10 reached 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds (two-tenths slower than Audi’s claim), according to our GPS-based timing equipment during testing at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
The V10 is always remarkably smooth and refined yet delivers an unrelenting surge through its rev range all the way to that stratospheric red line. An intoxicating exhaust note and guttural roar from the engine bay behind the driver add another thrilling layer to the V10 experience, though the V8’s soundtrack was far from lacking.
The engine is also flexible, happy to saunter along at 50km/h in top gear.