By on January 11, 2009

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28 Comments on “R8: Will the V10 be a Better Driver’s Car Than the V8?...”

  • avatar

    A: No.

    Just faster.

  • avatar

    Who gives a shit?
    Everyone who is going to buy one, raise your hand……..that’s what I thought.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    If I could just lay my hands on $150K.

  • avatar

    Sad we have uninformed abuse.
    As an R8 owner I would say that handling is nimble, agile and the six speed manual is fun. The car’s torque is linear but lacks ultimate “whoomph”. An extra 100 bhp is going to be awesome in a straight line but I understand the V 10 is much heavier and may lose the “chuckability” of the V8. If it has the upgraded Gallardo shift all the better, otherwise stick with the stick !
    Suceess depends on the price point, around $20,000 extra would be fine. Prices in Euro are available on

  • avatar

    If someone could lend me both, I’d be happy to make a comparison.

  • avatar

    I had really hoped the V10 fad had died. Apparently it’s still breathing.

    V-10 is a horrible config, for about a dozen reasons. Force-feed a V8, or install a V12.

    Marketing gimmicks.

    That being said, the R8 looks pretty nice on the road. Haven’t driven one yet though.

  • avatar

    Only if they update the DSC.

  • avatar

    porschespeed, you have a point and it’s something I never understood. How the hell do they balance out a V10? (Yes I know there things such as balance shafts, but still, it must be a chore.)

  • avatar

    For those with money to burn, of course it will! Audi will improve the V10’s suspension to match the added power, and those owners will have a better toy to play with.

    Anyone care to guess how long one of these could sit on a Los Angeles street before it gets picked clean?

  • avatar

    @ porschespeed

    Surely you jest? BMW might have something to say about that. As might Renault and the rest of the “old” F1 paddock.

    5-cyl sound is sweet!! (Try about 2mins in). Well, maybe an acquired taste, a bit like the WRX, but I love it.

    Listen and let me know??

  • avatar


    How the hell do they balance out a V10?

    Not very well.

    Without getting too, too techie…

    There are lots of different kinds of vibration that happen in an engine.

    The initial vibration are from the pistons moving up and down and the firing stroke. Remember the basics: firing stroke is only every other time the piston goes up.

    Odd numbers of pulses on either side of a V config, is just never smooth. After the intial power pulses, there’s 2nd and 3rd order vibrations – referred to as harmonics. When you hit a key on the piano, the loudest note is the one you hit. But, that wave also exists higher and lower than the note you hit. Those higher and lower waves have the same basic pattern, but exist higher and lower.

    Vibrations are waves- they can be smooth and fade away, or they can pile up, smack into each other and amplify themselves.

    There are two (relatively) common engine configs that are what’s commonly referred to as ‘inherently balanced’. Those are the inline-6 and the V12. (V16 also, but nobody uses that one anymore)

    The hows and whys would take me a 8000 words to just lay out. Hope that helps a bit.

  • avatar


    V10 was a rule change. Nobody in the racing world would touch that config with a 300 foot pole if they had any choice in the matter.

    V12 is much, much smoother. V8 is a compromise, but easier to manage.

    BTW- Used to have an Audi 5000 back in the day. Buddy had a Coupe with a turbo and rather open exhaust. I do fondly remember the sound.

  • avatar

    @ porschespeed

    No worries there. Give me an I6 or flat-6 anyday!

    (So what did you think of the Audi 5-cyl?)

    I think you car hear it in their V10 myself.

  • avatar


    Sounds about as I remember. Ahh, the old days.


    I’m not jesting. And don’t call me Shirley.

  • avatar


    Agreed — good posts.

    On a whim, I found that good ol’ Wikipedia has a decent but not perfect or mathematically detailed entry at:

    Fortunately, the article itself references the Bosch Automotive Handbook: “(See the Bosch Automotive Handbook, Sixth Edition, pages 459-463 for details.)”

    My take: Wikipedia will tell you enough to make you dangerous; BAH is needed to appreciate the math involved.

  • avatar

    Bonus Audi Trivia:

    For it’s displacement, the Audi/VW corporate inline-5 may be the worst balanced engine in history. It not only suffers from horrible secondary imbalance (like an inline 4), but also from an unbalanced bending moment along the crank axis.


    Don’t believe me? Pop the hood. Check out the gussets at the back of the block to the bell housing.


  • avatar

    @ TheRealAutoGuy

    Yeah, but those Audi 5s sound great! Especially in their 500bhp rally monsters from the late 1980s.

    Thanks for the Wackypedia link. Corrected a couple of things for me; I always thought a V8 had good balance, hence why they were used in the original “smooth” Cadillacs.

  • avatar


    Agreed it is entirely possible it was one of the worst. Still screamed when tweaked, but I feel sorry for the engineers who had to make it race ready.

    Amazing that the Benz TD 5cyls last as long as they do.

    BAH is a nice tome, with some high quality data.

    You can get an amazing amount of stuff on SAE as well, even without being a member (though they may have reduced that, I don’t know).

  • avatar


    Not entirely accurate. In the beginning of the 90s (when the number of cylinders was not yet determined by regulation) most Formula 1 teams preferred the V10. It offered the best compromise between peak power (higher revs than a V8), low center of gravity (smaller displacement per cylinder than a V8), lightness and low fuel consumption (lower internal friction than a V12).
    Ferrari tried to stick to their V12 principle until 1995, but ultimately also changed to the V10 when Jean Todt came and decided winning races was more important than a nice engine sound.

  • avatar

    kurtamaxxguy :
    January 11th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Anyone care to guess how long one of these could sit on a Los Angeles street before it gets picked clean?

    R8s are a common Los Angeles street fixture already. Nobody would steal the parts because they wouldn’t last anyway.

  • avatar

    The V10 will be a better track car. Hopefully, some folks will get an opportunity to get one of the 8’s as a bargain. It’s a good thing when people who always wanted a supercar can get one before it’s outperformed by the new average sedan.

  • avatar
    Andras Libal

    Vega, nice comment. But my fellow pistonheads, does anybody remember the Audi R10 TDI ? The first diesel car to win the Le Mans race ? Combining the names V10+Audi has to bring back that memory … as the Audi press release testifies, they have not forgotten it:

    The R8 V10 is the result of cumulative know-how from Audi’s string of Le Mans victories. Its naturally aspirated engine combines racing technology such as dry sump lubrication with FSI gasoline direct injection. The ten-cylinder design is the perfect synthesis for impressive top performance, mighty pulling power, and low weight. Starting in 2009, this engine will also prove its potential on the world’s racetracks – in the new R8 racing car Audi is developing for customer teams in conformance with the GT3 rules.

    So porschespeed, I guess car manufacturing these days IS about getting techie, and not just about a vague mention of upper harmonics in some garage talk. That is why the vorsprung guys are posting gains when everybody else is falling, and that is why they have the cash to showcase and drive the point home (and diversify brand palette) when other companies are downsizing.

  • avatar

    @Andras Libal,

    Audi (and now Peugeot) use an ACO equivalency rule and a fuel not available to the public to make the their diesels competitive. Otherwise, they would be behind the GT2 cars and belching black smoke!

    Their GT2 car (gasoline) should fair far better if anyone cares to use it and until their weight penalties get too much or restrictor plates get too small.

  • avatar

    I actually drove one of the 8 cylinder R8’s (I know, I know, sounds like bullshit, but I have facebook pictures I swear) and I think it could definitely handle a power boost. I mean, nicest car I’ve ever driven without a doubt, but the thing that impressed was the overall feeling, sound and outright traction, not the speed. I’ve driven (or riden in at least) corvettes and mustanges that were much faster and obvious about it.

    Does it matter? No. Car is beautiful and fast-enough, and I don’t think it was ever admired on the strength of being faster than any other particular car. Still, nice to give current R8 owners the chance to spend much more money with Audi, I bet they make money on this without getting many new customers.

  • avatar

    I’d rather see them make the TDI. Honest, just for something radically different and a game-changer for the market. I sure as hell wouldn’t buy any of them, but I’d like to see something interesting come out to stir up the pot and shift some perceptions.

  • avatar

    I was really hoping that Audi would grow a pair, and greenlight the R8 V12 TDI for production…

  • avatar

    To Kurt and anyone else who cares.

    I talked to someone involved in the supply of that ‘diesel’ that Peugeot and Audi and even though it is technically similar to the stuff you can buy on the street it costs about £40 a litre.

  • avatar

    If i had the money i would buy 2!

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