The new R8’s cabin is an extreme exercise of minimalism and is 100 percent focused on the driver. Like in the Audi TT, a 12.3-inch TFT ‘Virtual Cockpit’ replaces the dials and can be configured in a variety of ways. All information, including the navigation map, is now directly in front of the driver, on an ultra-high-quality TFT display that renders almost every other in-car screen obsolete. One trick sees a huge map digitally dismiss the tacho and speedometer to the outer corners of the screen. If this wasn’t enough then the complex Formula1 car like steering will surely make the driver feel even more special. Although some might argue there are way too many buttons on the steering but they all make sense and once use to, the driver doesn’t have to take his eyes off the road to change important settings. A large red button brings the monstrous V10 to life, another lets you switch the exhaust noise from sane to insane and the Drive Select lets you toggle through driving modes. But my favourite one is the ‘hooligan’ button, marked with a chequered flag that turns everything up to maximum on which you will read more later in the review.
The rest of the dashboard is uncluttered and Audi has even eliminated the central display in the process. The ultra-clean interior looks futuristic and purposeful without any distraction. Co-drivers may complain about the lack of a central screen, but when you have the V10 concerto and loads of G-forces to entertain you, then you shouldn’t really be cribbing.
Thanks to the low dashboard, large windows and thin A-pillar, the view upfront is fantastic and there is impressive amount of space in this two-seater. The nicely crafted seats are snug and well bolstered, and keep you in place even when you drive hard. The only downside is that the backrest angle is fixed and for me it was too reclined and uncomfortable over long stints. Though the boot space upfront is limited, it’s still one of the most practical supercars and there is decent room behind the seats for extra luggage too.