Here Are the Worst Audi R8 Years to Avoid and Best R8 to Buy

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

When considering purchasing an Audi R8, it’s crucial to know which model years to avoid.

Fortunately, the R8 has a strong reputation for performance and reliability, but there’s still one year to steer clear of.

In this article, you’ll discover which model year should not make it to your shortlist, along with details on why it may not be the best option for your next sports car purchase.

The auto information provided aims to help you make the most informed decision possible.

Audi R8 Model Years to Avoid

First Generation R8 Issues (2008)

The Audi R8 first hit the market in 2008, and while it gained a reputation as a high-performance sports car, some of the early models have had their fair share of issues.

As an R8 fan, you should be cautious about purchasing a first-generation model from 2008. The 2008 R8 is a year to avoid, as it didn’t demonstrate the later consistency and durability found in subsequent releases.

2014-2015 Audi R8 Problems

A few years later, the Audi R8 encountered some more issues during the 2014-2015 model years. The 2014-2015 R8 models suffered from a number of problems. Some of these issues include:

  • Faulty ignition coils that affect engine performance
  • Misfires causing acceleration and power loss concerns
  • Transmission issues in the S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox

As a potential buyer or owner of an Audi R8, be sure to thoroughly research and inspect the model years you’re considering, and keep these known issues in mind to make informed decisions.

While the R8 is an exceptional sports car with impressive performance, certain years may require extra attention and maintenance due to known issues.

Common Problems and Complaints

Transmission Issues

The R8’s first generation (2008-2015) is known to have some transmission issues, especially the 2008 model, which you should definitely avoid. Manual transmission cars with the 4.2 V8 engine may experience carbon buildup.

Braking and Handling Concerns

While there are no major braking and handling concerns, it’s crucial to remember that the R8 is a supercar.

It’s important to factor in potential wear and tear from hard use. Luckily, the R8 has earned a reputation for its durability and consistency.

Recalls and Safety Concerns

NHTSA Recalls

When considering an Audi R8, it’s important to note that the 2008 model year had some issues and is one to avoid.

As you research, you may come across recalls; the 2021 R8 had some transmission oil issues but no recalls yet. Always check the NHTSA database for updates on recalls.

IIHS Safety Ratings

The Audi R8, including the Spyder variant, has not been officially rated by the IIHS. However, its advanced safety features enhance its reliability and protect you and your passengers.

Reliable Audi R8 Models


The Audi R8 RWS is a high-performance, rear-wheel-drive version of the R8. It has a powerful 5.2-liter V10 engine, just like its siblings.

This model is unique and fun to drive, particularly with its rear-wheel-drive setup, offering you great handling and performance.

Second Generation R8

If you’re looking for a reliable Audi R8, the second-generation models (2017 and newer) are the way to go.

These come with the more efficient S-Tronic transmission and share components with the Lamborghini Huracan, such as the 5.2-liter V10 engine. Enjoy improved performance and driving satisfaction from your luxurious sports car.

Audi R8 GT

The Audi R8 GT is the high-performance variant in the R8 family. Limited in production, this coupe features an uprated V10 engine, producing more horsepower.

With impressive performance and stunning design, the R8 GT offers you a unique and thrilling driving experience.

Remember, when selecting a used Audi R8, opt for a well-cared-for example with good mileage, a well-maintained gearbox, and regular service history. This way, you’ll enjoy your supercar experience in a reliable, high-performance Audi R8.

The Audi R8 Best Year?

When looking for the best year of the Audi R8, several standout options come to mind. It’s important to consider the improvements and enhancements made to the popular sports car over the years.

2014-2015 Audi R8 with S-Tronic Transmission: This period saw the introduction of the S-Tronic transmission, which provided improved performance and reliability compared to the previous R-Tronic transmission. You’ll notice the smoother shifting and better overall driving experience.

2019-present Audi R8 V10: The current models of the Audi R8 V10 have been praised for their incredible performance and upgraded features. These years showcase a refined, powerful V10 engine and sleek design, making them excellent choices for a luxury sports car.

Each offers its unique mix of performance, design, and technological advancements, providing you with an exceptional driving experience. Keep in mind what you value the most in a sports car, and choose the best fit for your preferences and lifestyle.

Performance and Handling

Engine and Powertrain

Audi R8 is a luxury sports car known for its powerful engines. You’ll love the RWD mid-engine setup in most models, offering excellent weight distribution.

Reliable years feature naturally aspirated engines with impressive horsepower. Keep in mind, some models have manual transmissions, like the Gen 1 R8 V10 R-Tronic (2009-2012), if that’s your preference.

Suspension and Brakes

With exceptional suspension, your R8 will handle beautifully, providing confidence in turns. The braking systems in good years ensure strong stopping power, prioritizing your safety.

Remember, there’s one year to avoid – the 2008 Audi R8, as it’s known for rare issues in the engine bay and its inflators.

Aesthetics and Design

Exterior Features

Audi’s R8 has a stunning design that catches your eye. The front wings and distinctive air scoops emphasize its mid-engine supercar image. Its 5.2-liter V-10 engine is complemented by stylish alloy wheels, giving you a true driving experience.

Interior Quality

The R8 interior boasts top-notch quality materials and ergonomic design. You’ll find yourself immersed in a luxurious space while conquering the road ahead. In the end, the Audi R8 embraces both beauty and function in its aesthetics.

Alternatives to Audi R8

While the Audi R8 is an impressive supercar, it’s important to consider its competitors as well before making an investment.

Here, we’ll discuss four alternatives: Porsche 911 Turbo, Lamborghini Huracan, Chevrolet Corvette, and Jaguar F-Pace.

Porsche 911 Turbo

The Porsche 911 Turbo is an iconic choice, known for its outstanding performance on and off the track. With its rich history in endurance races like Le Mans, it’s a reliable and prestigious option.

Like the Audi R8, it boasts impressive acceleration and handling capabilities. However, the 911 Turbo may offer a more practical driving experience for everyday use, with its rear-engine layout providing better weight distribution.

Lamborghini Huracan

The Lamborghini Huracan is another worthy competitor to the Audi R8. It shares the same base as the R8, with both cars built on the Modular Sports System platform.

This means that both vehicles have similar performance characteristics, but the Huracan showcases the typical Lamborghini flair and aggressive design language. If you’re looking for a more striking appearance, the Huracan may be your pick.

Chevrolet Corvette

A more budget-friendly option is the Chevrolet Corvette. While it might not have the prestige of other supercars, it still offers impressive performance, particularly given its price point.

With its front-engine design, the driving experience is distinctly different from that of the Audi R8, but it’s still worth considering if you’re after a powerful sports car without an extravagant budget. Go here to discover why the Corvette is reliable and money’s worth.

Jaguar F-Pace

Finally, there’s the Jaguar F-Pace, which blends luxury and performance. Keep in mind that it’s an SUV, not a supercar like the Audi R8, but it still delivers powerful on-road capabilities.

It offers a unique mix of practicality and sportiness, making it an interesting alternative for those who still want thrilling performance but also require the versatility of an SUV.

In summary, the four alternatives mentioned above each have their own strengths and weaknesses as Audi R8 competitors. Pay close attention to their key differences and similarities to help you make an informed decision that suits your unique preferences and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

R8 V8 vs V10: which is more reliable?

Both V8 and V10 Audi R8 engines are known for their reliability. However, the V10 tends to have fewer issues on average. They both deliver exceptional driving experiences, so it’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

Costly maintenance years for R8?

Some Audi R8 models from 2009-2012 and 2006-2011 have been known to experience higher maintenance costs. Pay attention to specific issues when considering vehicles from these years to avoid potential costly repairs.

R8 discontinued production year?

As of Jun 06, 2023, Audi has not announced a discontinuation year for the R8 model. The R8 continues to be a popular and successful model in the Audi lineup.


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