Porsche 911 vs. Audi R8: Head To Head

May 26th, 2020 by

Owning a supercar may seem like an unattainable goal with six-figure costs, but the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 are on the exotic car spectrum’s more affordable side. We deliver impressive quality and head-turning looks, but they are also vehicles that are very sustainable.

The R8 and 911 are taking two very different approaches to the formula for high performance sports cars. Porsche has a traditional, timeless style that has evolved over the years and a rear-engine design, while the R8 has a very innovative styling and a mid-engine configuration that distinguishes the new supercar.

But which of these luxury sports cars is perfect for you? We look at both price-and performance-based vehicles, but also more practical aspects such as cargo space, seat comfort, and reliability. Read on to find out more about balancing the 911 and R8!

Price

The Porsche 911 could be viewed as an affordable supercar with a starting price of $91,100. The Audi R8 is priced at $164,900— above $73,000 over the 911’s base price. The R8 V10 Plus range-topping starts at $194,400.

There are many versions of the 911, and you can fork over just as much as an R8 — even more so with the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet starting at $203,000!

Winner: Porsche 911

Seat Comfort

The Porsche 911 has an edge over the R8 in seat comfort because of the very nature of their respective models. To a pair of (although tight) rear seats, the wider cabin has more room. The front seats of the 911 are very spacious, and well sturdy to help during turns.

The R8 comes with flexible, supportive bucket seats for long trips. The R8 V10 Plus comes with real racing shell seats and has plenty of side bolstering to support you on the track, but is not realistic for day-to-day travel.

Winner: Porsche 911

Cargo Space

Audi R8 has a front trunk with the engine behind the driver, with only 8 cubic feet of storage space— enough for one or two weekend bags The Porsche 911 has less cargo space at first glance, in its forward compartment, at only 5 cubic feet.

But the 911 has the advantage of the back seats, folding down for a flat load area. Porsche says that there is another 9 cubic feet of cargo space— and every extra cubic inch is critical in this class of vehicle

Winner: Porsche 911

Interior Features

To master driver controls and ergonomics, Audi uses technology. What might look like a sleek cockpit, including the Audi Digital Cockpit, is riddled with engineering. It consists of a board of fully digital instruments with many customizable options. On the whole infotainment screen, you can even project the navigation.

The 911 cockpit looks rather traditional in the context of the futuristic R8, but is also tech-laden. A digital screen is one of the dials in the instrument panel, which you can turn between different settings, including the navigation system. In 2017, Porsche revised its infotainment and is being moved for 2018.

Winner: Audi R8

Power And Acceleration

Viewed through its glass cover, the Audi R8’s 5.2-liter V10 is a truly world-class engine, delivering 540 horsepower and hustling in just 3.5 seconds from zero to 60 mph. The R8 V10 Plus 610-horsepower transforms in a 3.2-second zero-to-60 period and delivers a top speed of 205-mph.

Both 911s feature six-cylinder engines, making it a disadvantage of six cylinders relative to the R8. Base 911 gives the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder a relatively minuscule 370 horsepower.

However –and here’s a major one though –there are more than 20 different 911 models that offer an incredible variety of power options. The highest-end models–the Turbo, Turbo S, and the GT2 RS bonkers in the near future–both turn in less than three seconds in zero-to-60 cycles. The $161,800 Turbo makes 540 horsepower marginally less than the $164,900 base R8, which is identically powerful. The GT2 RS makes 700 horsepower, though in most American cities at $293,200 it’s the size of a nice house.

Winner: Porsche 911

Fuel Economy

The Porsche 911 has four cylinders less than the R8, so it should come as no surprise that gas is less thirsty. The 911’s most powerful version is the Carrera model with automatic seven-speed transmission. It gives the city 22 mpg and the highway 30 mpg.

The Audi R8 coupe rear-wheel drive returns 14 mpg in town and 25 on the highway. Each variant of the 911 is basically more powerful than the R8, except for the 4.0-liter engine in the 911 GT3, which only gets 13 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

Winner: Porsche 911

Ride And Handling

The Audi R8 comes standard with all-wheel drive Quattro, enabling it to put all that power on all four wheels and an adjustable magnetic suspension allowing the driver to fine-tune the driving experience. The R8 has incredibly accurate ability to steer and fast cornering.

The 911 comes with rear-wheel drive as standard but features all-wheel drive available. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) reacts well to shifting road conditions, and you can change the driving dynamics of the car to your taste with an optional Sport Chrono Kit.

Winner: Audi R8

Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), typical to high-end luxury cars, have not inspected either vehicle.

The Porsche 911 comes with some sophisticated safety equipment, including adaptive cruise control, help with lane change, parking sensors and blind spot monitoring.

Even technologies such as forward collision warning, automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are absent for the Audi R8–curious omissions for such a tech-centric brand as Audi.

Winner: Porsche 911

Reliability

There are really no reliability data for either vehicle’s 2018 version yet. The Porsche 911 and the Audi R8, however, are largely unchanged from their respective counterparts in the 2017 model year.

The 2017 Porsche 911 scored a 4.5 out of five, well above average, in J.D. Power’s predicted results of the Reliability Survey. Only a three out of five scored by the 2017 Audi R8, which is average.

Winner: Porsche 911

Winner Is

High-end sports cars are oriented vehicles that typically give away something to gain the quality provided in the way of everyday functionality. As demonstrated by its low profile and V10 engine, the Audi R8 is a fairly powerful car. The Porsche 911 continues to be an exciting driver’s car, though, which is also quite well balanced.

If you’re an enthusiastic rider, you’ll love the R8’s quality. But with the Porsche 911, in a box you can use every day, you can get almost the same level of performance. The 911 is clearly the best with a much lower base cost, faster performance in its higher trims, better fuel economy, improved reliability and more passenger and cargo space.

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