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Gen2 Audi R8 V10 AWD vs RWS

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Gen2 Audi R8 V10 AWD vs RWS

Old 01-24-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by farmerjones View Post
I usually agree with superswiss a lot, but I have to adamantly disagree with him here! His characterizing 4 key areas of the R8 performance is the polar opposite of mine.

1.) Suspension with the adjustable dampers is a dream in the city. I have no idea what he refers to as "doesn't work in the city at low speeds". The suspension in comfort is A4-ride quality, and in dynamic is actually stiffer than the fixed suspension on the Plus model we get. I understand for tracking the car sometimes a fixed suspension can be more consistent, but I can't image very many complain about the adjustable dampers. Apparently some reviews say they don't handle speed bumps perfectly, but I don't live in an area to offer first-hand experience with that (and can't image how a car handles a speed bump would influence my decisions on what suspension to buy). In my option, the mag ride is one of this cars most shinning achievements, and many of the review overwhelming support that sentiment.

2.) The transmission being "clunky in stop and go traffic" is completely opposite of my experience It's every bit as smooth as my TT is in town. If you put it into sport mode then the shifts get to be more aggressive when downshifting, and it can be more harsh...but that's why comfort mode exists. The shifts are basically imperceptible in slow city driving, again...like an A4 in my experience.

3.) The AWD system is like an A3. That's incorrect. The R8 does not need wheel spin to shift power like an A3 does. The R8 runs a default 30/70 power split, but can send 100% of the torque to either axel (if such a theoretical situation occurred). With the computing power on board the R8 predicts wheel spin and adjust torque splits in advance. Floor the accelerator, crank the wheel suddenly, pull high G-forces...just a few example of actions that cause the AWD to preemptively shift power before any meaningful traction loss is needed. An A3 does nothing of the sort. Mechanically similar, they do not perform the same way in real world driving. Note the R8 has a separate cooling circut just for the front differential because of the massive amount of continuous power routed through the front wheels, again....nothing like the "temporary AWD" of an A3.

4.) Understeer. WHAT? I can't fathom what superswiss is talking bout or what he expereinced on his afternoon drive, but this is not a problem with this car. I spent the afternoon on a rain-soaked Circuit of the Americas Track in Austin in the R8 for over 100 miles of laps, and understeer was the last thing I experienced. In fact, this one of the hi lights so many drivers mentioned on our track day...how could there be so little understeer on a wet track with 600+ horsepower? It was the smart AWD working, along with the torque vectoring of the front wheels via braking of the huge, power disc/pistons.

Superswiss described the car as "frighting as it oversteers rather unpredictably." I again can't not disagree more. This car is rock-stable, making it nearly boring to drive, one of the biggest criticism of the car. There is no way Audi will turn loose regular Joe's out onto a soaking-wet track with R8s and let them exceed 150 mph as we chase each other around the track in a car that is "unpredictable". I don't want to be too critical of superswiss's experience, and I'm glad he shared his experience...but I'm not sure why it doesn't match up with so many others.

Don't' confuse the "old" R8 handling with the "new" R8 handling. They are completely different cars with 100% different AWD systems, and it's a mammoth different.

I've worked up to this R8 ownership for months, and I swear I've read or watched about every review on this planet of the R8. I've never understood Randy Pobst's comments about the R8 and it's understeer, because you can't hardly find another professional car review that shares his experience. Maybe it was that track, or the temperate, or the tires, but his description of the car is not common. Other reviewers like Chris Evans or Sabine Schmitz or countless other reviews make virtually zero mention of understeer or oversteer...the AWD of this car just makes that virtually impossible. Also, the R8 doesn't need any fancy torque vectoring rear diff like the RS5, because it's balanced so much better. The RS5 has to have that in the rear to counteract the heavy front end that wants to understeer. There are many reviews of how the RS5 handling is a let down, with endless front end washing out, which is why the active rear differential basically exists. Remember the R8 has a locking rear differential to put down the power as well.

Anyways....it's super enjoyable to share my experience with my new R8! As you can guess it's just thrilling to be behind the wheel of this every day. Certainly it's important to get peoples different perspectives, so it's great superswiss chimed in here. It's probably very important that a prospective owner gets a chance to drive one personally to help better understand the car's behavior. Of course you don't get to test drive on a track very often (which I did with the Audi Driving Experience which was really helpful). Certainly the Plus model is the more track-oriented car, but you'll not in Euro a huge majority of Plus cars sold are with the adjustable dampers (not available in North America). To be honest, no mater if you choose, RWS, V10 or Plus....you would be all smiles every time you take a drive.
Let me try to clarify a few points as I think they were not understood or misinterpreted.

1) The suspension is not the problem. I live around San Francisco with very hilly roads. Trying to creep up those hilly roads is not very pleasant with the R8. Compared to other S-tronic implementations the R8 version doesn't do low speed creeping very well on an incline.

2) See above

3) That's not what I said. It's conceptually like a haldex system. It couples the front axle via a clutch and as I said it's the opposite as it primarily drives the rear axle. They are different implementations. I just used A3/TT as platform monikers, but the RS3 and TTRS also predict where the torque needs to be and is proactive. Don't think I'm equating it to the system in the A3. The 100% to either axle is the same marketing speech that Audi does on the Haldex system for the TTRS and RS3. That's only possible based on traction based distribution on torque. The maximum split the R8 can do is 50/50 (clutch fully engaged), however if one of the two axles doesn't have enough traction to put the full 50% down then it automatically flows to the other axle. This principle is often not really understood by many. There are some good videos on how this actually works. It can however put 100% to the rear, by completely decoupling the front axle and essentially go full RWD. The TTRS/RS3 can put a 100% to the front due to the opposite layout.

4) Track and public roads/canyon roads are two very different worlds. On a track you have the room and can carry the speed to make the R8 work. It's a very different car on canyon roads where space is tight and speeds are lower. One of the problems with cars like this is that they have so much headroom that on public roads they are somewhat frustrating, because you have to hold back if you don't wanna end up down a cliff. There are actually different opinions out there. MotorTrend did a review of the Gen 2 V10 Plus and they found it working great on public roads and in the canyons, but not so much on the track. Again, Randy wasn't impressed with it on the track, but Lieberman had fun in the canyons, but he didn't drive it on a very tight canyon road with hairpins and such. It comes down to the the track or roads that one drives. Some cars work better on one track vs another track, or tight hairpins vs high speed sweepers. My experience is based on where I drove the cars. I drove them all on the same roads back to back.

EDIT: Forgot to address the torque vectoring. It has nothing to do with balance. It works as well on a mid engine super sports car as it does on an RS5. The current McLarens have had torque vectoring from the beginning and it's part of what makes them so great. The new Huracan Evo is at a different level thanks to torque vectoring. Watch some of the reviews from the Formula 1 circuit in Bahrain. It's not just the sport differential. The Huracan Evo, McLarens and the RS5 etc also use the brakes to slow down the inner front wheel when going into a corner inducing additional yaw. It does help the RS5 disguise its front weight bias, but that's not all torque vectoring does.

Last edited by superswiss; 01-24-2019 at 09:29 PM.
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