The BMW i8 and the Audi R8 are the flagship models for the German automakers from Munich and Ingolstadt, respectively. Both cars play in the supercar segment, but with a different approach. The i8 is a progressive hybrid sportscar, while the R8 has gained a supercar status thanks to its high-powered V10 engine, and its supercar-like design.
Both are supercars built by companies at the top of their games, but they take extremely different approaches to how they make their performance.
The i8 has technology no other car under a million dollars has, it’s made mostly from carbon-fiber, it’s all-wheel drive and it’s mid-engined. Many also believe the i8 has exotic looks just like the R8, yet the R8 will certainly win in a straight line comparison.
Audi’s R8 is furious Quattro AWD machine with a high-revving V10 engine producing 540 or even 610 hp. An electric Audi R8 e-tron is also built with a rear-wheel drive and thanks to a dramatically improved lithium-ion battery, Audi promises for the new Audi R8 e-tron a pure electric range of 450 kilometers (280 miles).
Sitting between the V10 R8 and the e-tron is the BMW i8 with its plug-in hybrid drive. The 231-hp three-cylinder gasoline engine is mated with an electric motor at the front axle for a combined 362 hp and a fuel consumption of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers.
Both cars are over $100,000, both have the supercar looks and both are head-turners, therefore, today, we pose the question: if money was no object, would you pick the BMW i8 or the Audi R8?