While it wasn’t necessarily the first daily-drivable supercar, the Audi R8 is arguably one of the best examples. However, it’s not the only option: there’s also the Porsche 911 Turbo S. But if you’re going to get one, which is the better choice? YouTube team Throttle House lined up a 2020 Audi R8 V10 Decennium and a 2021 911 Turbo S to find out.
Both the 2020 Audi R8 V10 Decennium and 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S offer incredible performance
As part of the supercar’s 2020-model-year update, Audi released the limited-edition R8 V10 Decennium to celebrate its Gallardo-derived V10 engine. Based on the range-topping V10 Performance trim, the Decennium has a mid-mounted 5.2-liter V10 rated at 602 hp and 413 lb-ft linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. As a result, it goes 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.2 seconds, Road & Track reports.
In contrast, the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S relies on a rear-mounted 3.7-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine. But this engine is actually more powerful than the engine in the Audi R8 V10. The 911 Turbo S’s engine makes 640 hp and 590 lb-ft and is linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and AWD. All this means it sprints to 60 mph in 2.2 seconds, making it the second-fastest car in Car and Driver’s history.
Being based on the 2020 Audi R8 V10 Performance, the Decennium gets several performance upgrades over the ‘base’ R8. Besides the updated steering, revised styling, and new tires and wheels, it has an optional carbon-fiber anti-roll bar and stiffer suspension, Automobile reports. Carbon-ceramic brakes are also standard, Roadshow points out.
The Decennium-specific features include bronze wheels, several blacked-out and carbon-fiber exterior and interior trim pieces, and a bronze-painted engine, Car and Driver reports. Also, some microsuede interior trim and copper stitching.
As for the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, it offers more than just more power. It comes with rear-wheel steering, carbon-ceramic brakes, and active aero, The Drive reports. The 911 Turbo S also has active anti-roll bars and active suspension, Autoweek reports. And if the standard suspension isn’t enough, there’s an optional version with a lower ride height, Motor1 explains.
How much fun handling and luxury do you get with these two daily-driving supercars?
Naturally, both the 2020 Audi R8 V10 Decennium and 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S offer plenty of luxury features, too. Besides the high-quality interior materials, both offer things like leather upholstery, multiple digital displays, and navigation. The R8 V10 Performance models, though, have a standard Bang & Olufsen audio system, Autoblog points out.
Being supercars, the 2020 Audi R8 V10 Decennium and 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S can’t just deliver thrills in a straight line. They also have to offer fun when the road twists and turns. But while both offer that, too, the Throttle House hosts found they go about it in slightly different ways.
Although it’s not as powerful or as fast as the 911 Turbo S, the R8 V10 Decennium feels more special. Most of that’s due to the naturally-aspirated V10 that revs to 8500 RPM and builds power in a pleasingly linear fashion, R&T explains.
No, the Decennium isn’t quite as sharp as the Porsche, Throttle House reports. And in automatic mode, while smooth, the transmission is a bit slow, MotorTrend reports. But pulling the paddles yourself solves the latter. And the trade-off with the former is a compliant and well-dampened ride that’s usable on normal roads and on a track.
The 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S, meanwhile is *insert hyperbolic descriptor here* fast, to paraphrase Throttle House. Thanks to AWD, that powertrain, fast and accurate steering, and high levels of grip, it’s fast on and off the racetrack. Even on street tires, it’s in Car and Driver’s Top 10 Lightning Lap cars. And it combines that supercar speed with the ease-of-use and comfort levels of a luxury car, Roadshow reports.
But that, Throttle House points out, is arguably the 911 Turbo S’s biggest flaw. It’s extremely capable, but it’s “too muted, too easy,” Throttle House says. “It doesn’t inspire you to be a better driver.” And you almost have to take it to a racetrack to truly push it to its limits.
Which is the better day-to-day supercar, the Audi R8 V10 or the Porsche 911 Turbo S?
While the Decennium was a limited-edition car, you can still get an Audi R8 V10 Performance. Naturally, with a $196,700 base price, it isn’t cheap. But then, the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S isn’t cheap either, with a starting price of $207,000. However, Throttle House has a more affordable solution.
Between these two supercars, the co-hosts wouldn’t pick either. Instead of the Turbo S, they’d pick the 911 Carrera S, which is also turbocharged. Or perhaps the 911 GT3. And as for the Audi, the base R8 still has a V10, but it’s available in RWD form.
But ultimately, while the 911 Turbo S is faster, the Audi R8 V10 feels “more characterful and charismatic” to Throttle House. And that is a major reason why people buy supercars in the first place. So, between the two, it gets the nod.
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