Audi is a company primarily known for their executive luxury sedans and SUVs. However, the German automaker has one product in their line-up that has served as a halo for the brand for the last 13 years: the R8.
Introduced in 2006 (Type 42), the R8 looks as close to a concept car as you can get. It has its roots based on the Lamborghini Gallardo and shares similar components underneath.
An all-new second generation (Type 4S) replaced it in 2015, and it is based on the Gallardo’s successor, the Lamborghini Huracan. The Audi R8 Service guide outlines the differences and similarities in maintenance and components.
When the R8 was first introduced in 2006, it was renowned for being a striking mid-engine supercar, yet a surprisingly comfortable vehicle. The formula seemed to work, as the R8 is still in production in 2019; 13 years after it was first introduced.
There have been many variations of the R8 since it’s debut, however our focus will be on the differences between the two generations, and the 2 main engine choices. The Audi R8 Service Guide will review the maintenance intervals and what to expect at each interval.
Engine, Oil, Transmission, Clutch
At its debut, the only engine choice was Audi’s tried and true 4.2 L V8. A version of Lamborghini’s 5.2L V10 from the Gallardo was added as an engine option in 2009. Audi eventually dropped the V8 option in the second generation and left the V10 from the Huracan as the sole option.
Until the Type 4S was introduced, the Audi R8 was offered with either a 7-speed automatic transmission or a gated 6-speed manual transmission. It’s extremely important to maintain your transmission, clutch and drivetrain on the Audi R8 in order to ensure a prolonged life and optimal performance!
The early generation cars were fitted with Audi’s R-Tronic robotized manual and were changed for a smoother dual-clutch S-Tronic setup during the mid-cycle refresh in 2012. The manual transmission option was dropped following the Type 4S generation.
The Audi R8 Service Guide recommends an oil change and filter replacement annually or every 5,000 miles, as well as these maintenance intervals for both V8 and V10 models:
Standard Maintenance (First Service at 5,000 miles, then every 18,500 miles, or annually there after):
- Oil Change & filter replacement
- Overall inspection of common wear & tear components
- Inspect brake life
Major Maintenance (First one at 15,500 miles, then every 12,500 miles or every two years thereafter:
- Transmission fluid change
- Check Coolant and flush if necessary
- Lubrication of all hinges
- Change air filter and cabin filter
- Check AWD clutch fluid
- Replace brake pads, rotors and brake fluid
- Fuel filter replacement
- Power steering fluid check and flush if necessary
Spark plugs should be changed every 55,000 miles on all Audi R8 models.
The ribbed V-Belt should be changed every 70,000 miles as well.
Both the V8 and V10 models have proven over time to be very reliable if sticking to the Audi R8 Service Guide recommended maintenance schedule.
Brakes, Rotors, Pads, Fluid
Supercars that are in the same caliber as the Audi R8 require immense stopping power to perform well on both road and track. The R8 comes with a choice of two different brake set-ups: A conventional cast-iron set-up and a race-derived carbon-ceramic set up. The conventional set-up uses 365 mm front brakes up front and 356 mm in the rear, while the carbon ceramics are 380 mm in the front and 356 in the rear. The advantage of the carbon ceramics is seen with the longer life expectancy and a savings of 8 lbs per corner of unsprung mass.
The cast-iron brakes should generally last about 30,000 – 50,000 miles. Wear will be significantly affected by how the car is driven. The carbon-ceramics can last up to the whole life of the vehicle if treated with care under normal driving conditions. The Audi R8 Service Guide recommends that the brakes are inspected at every maintenance interval to track the wear and only use DOT-4 rated brake fluid.
Tires, Suspension & Alignment
The Audi R8 comes with a staggered tire size set-up, with wider tires in the rear. The type 4S second-generation R8 came with a slightly wider tires in the rear than the type 42 first-generation. Stock tire sizes are as follows:
First Generation (Type 42)
Second Generation (Type 4S)
GI Automotive carries a wide selection of road and track Audi R8 tires on stock and available to order. A consultation is available to determine which tire is best for your individual driving needs.
Tire wear can vary significantly due to improper alignment. Camber, caster, and toe all affect how the vehicle will handle the wear on the tires. Alignment is kept in check by the suspension systems, and therefore it is important to keep the suspension system in proper working order.
The Audi R8 Service Guide recommends inspecting the condition of the suspension system during each minor service, and replacing the suspension when there is leakage from the shocks or play in the joints. Alignments should be done every time the wheels or tires are changed, or once a year.