Facelifted R8 vs 991 Carrera 4


It's probably absolutely no coincidence whatsoever that Audi holds the launch for its facelifted R8 range on exactly the same day as Porsche invites hacks to drive the all-new 991 Carrera 4. The comparison of how the two actually square up to each other on the road is something that'll likely involve Mr Harris and some tyre smoke. In the absence of that, in the meantime at least, here is how the two face up to each other on paper.

V8 R8 compares well with Carrera 4 S
V8 R8 compares well with Carrera 4 S
Truth be told the two ranges aren't exactly in line, the Carrera 4 starting at £77,924 for a manual coupe and peaking at £99,006 for a 4 S Cabriolet with PDK. The R8 is, arguably, a class above and starts at £91,575 for a V8 manual coupe, rising to £127,575 for the new V10 Plus.

It's the same in power terms, the entry level 911 offering 350hp against the R8 V8's 430hp and the 4 S's 400hp falling way short of the 'basic' V10's 525hp.

Fundamental similarities remain though. Both are junior supercars with respectable prestige badges that won't scare the neighbours in the way something saucier like an Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lambo or McLaren might. An affirmative nod rather than a raised eyebrow and the whiff of trying too hard, if you will. Both are built from aluminium and are four-wheel drive, all-weather capable, happy to be used every day for 'normal' driving and both, now, can be had with seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes that pretty much tick all the boxes of ease of use, residual protection and a nod towards real world fuel consumption and CO2. Crucially both are now acceptable choices in two-pedal form for the more purist end of their respective markets too. Quietly both have become, for the sake of a few options, six-figure purchases too.

And in the middle of the ranges - Carrera 4 S and R8 V8 - the overlap is pretty close. Price, performance, weight - all are to within a smidge of each other meaning anyone with £90K-plus to spend and the desire to own a prestige, four-wheel drive German sports car should be bending the ear of both Audi and Porsche sales execs.

Head says Porsche has it. Heart though?
Head says Porsche has it. Heart though?
So which is it to be? Well, having gone through the numbers if you're looking for an everyday option there's little doubt the Porsche absolutely nails the Audi in one crucial respect. Two, if you include token rear seats. But stats wise 218g/km and 31mpg for a PDK 4 S are figures you could just about live with on the daily commute. 22.9mpg and 289g/km are big improvements for the new S tronic V8 R8 but, running costs wise, put you in a very different league indeed. And the 991 is essentially a brand-new car, the R8 an updated version of one that's been on the market six years now. Against that, even with the Audi badge on it, it does come across as a lot more exotic than the near ubiquitous (in some districts) Carrera.

Numbers for your crunching pleasure below. But which is actually the more desirable? Over to you...


 

  Carrera 4 Carrera 4 S R8 V8 R8 V10 R8 V10 Plus
Price (from)

£77,924

£80,311*

£87,959

£90,346*

£91,575

£94,475*

£112,675

£115,575*

£124,675

£127,575*

Engine 3.4 flat-6 3.8 flat-6 4.2 V8 5.2 V10 5.2 V10
hp@rpm 350@7,400 400@7,400 430@7,900 525@8,000 550@8,000
lb ft@rpm 288@5,600 324@5,600 317@4,500 391@6,500 398@6,500
kg (EC) 1,505/1,525* 1,520/1,540* 1,560/1,585* 1,620/1,645* 1,570/1,595
g/km 219/203* 234/215* 332/289* 346/305* 346/299*
mpg (comb.) 30.4/32.8* 28.5/31* 19.9/22.8* 19.0/21.6* 19/21.9*
vmax 177/175* 185/184* 187/186* 196/195* 198/197*
0-62mph 4.9/4.7* 4.5/4.3* 4.6/4.3* 3.9/3.6* 3.8/3.5*
  *PDK *PDK *S tronic *S tronic *S tronic

All figures and prices for coupe variants.

 

 

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Comments (169) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Polarbert 29 Jun 2014

    I don't know the extent of the facelift to the R8, but I do love the new lights they put on the car. The LED system looks really sharp.

  • jakesmith 29 Oct 2012

    herebebeasties said:
    A 2007 R8 is now worth about £45k to £50k.
    A 2007 911 is now worth about £25k.

    This may well be because Porsche sell 10x as many 911s over here as Audi do R8s (according to howmanyleft.com).

    I'd have an R8 if only because of that. But given 80k to spend, you can have a 488bhp V8-S F-Type, which looks like it'll be more desirable than either, IMO.
    You should try comparing a 997 C4S with the R8 for a better like for like, in terms of performance & new price as C2's were only just above about £60k new, then you're looking more like £38k for a decent 07 with the same sort of miles as a £45k R8
    I do agree that R8s have held value better though for sure, rareness, hand-built, and definitely more supercar appeal mainly due to being less practical, glass engine cover, and metal h gate gear change mainly. Interior is not special enough unless you spec loads of leather & carbon bits.
    I have a 997 at the mo, I drove them all & found the R8 to be more special overall. I found them both pretty similar to drive, but chose the 997 this time as I wanted a convertible & it was £15k cheaper than the coupe R8. Will almost certainly get an R8 or Vantage next. Didn't like the Vantage to drive or found it well built but can't resist the looks & image.

  • tjlees 29 Oct 2012

    k-ink said:
    tjlees said:
    I would have all three, if I could afford it
    You could pull the skirt in your sexy R8.
    Then knock her up and use the 991 as the dull family wagon.
    Finally visit the ring in your GTR to feel phenomenal.

    Each has a role to play smile
    The GTR left me cold on the ring - much prefer a lighter/funner car for that - 1.7t is too much. Amazing car on a public road especially in bad weather, and though the inside looks like a plastic PS3 game console, it's incredible value secondhand.

    991 c2s with the performance pack was far from dull and good second hand buy. Interior is a class above most.

    The R8 though like an Audi inside, drove and handled extremely well and doesn't need any bodykit to improve the looks biggrin




  • Dave Hedgehog 29 Oct 2012

    Grovsie26 said:
    Dave Hedgehog said:
    1550kgs v 1820kgs, you really notice the weight in the B8 RS4 performance wise, the engine feels blunter and needs full throttle up the top end of the rev range before it takes off, you cant hear much inside the RS4 either
    Still doesn't explain why you'd not use the RS5 V8 in the R8, i also think it makes no sense.

    Just over 400bhp from a V8 these days is a bit wimpy, for a car with a price tag of 90k, especially.
    audi are like apple, upgrades are just enough, with always something left for the next upgrade smile

    we already speculated that the newer V8 will turn up in the R8 MK2 due in a couple of years time

    personally thou the V8 is fast enough as is for a road car, especially with the super fast duel clutch box

  • Grovsie26 29 Oct 2012

    Dave Hedgehog said:
    1550kgs v 1820kgs, you really notice the weight in the B8 RS4 performance wise, the engine feels blunter and needs full throttle up the top end of the rev range before it takes off, you cant hear much inside the RS4 either
    Still doesn't explain why you'd not use the RS5 V8 in the R8, i also think it makes no sense.

    Just over 400bhp from a V8 these days is a bit wimpy, for a car with a price tag of 90k, especially.

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