2019 Porsche 911 vs. 2018 Audi R8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 911 offers optional Porsche Active Safe, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The R8 doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 911’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The R8 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The 911 has standard Porsche Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The R8 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 911 and the R8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The 911 has more powerful engines than the R8:

 

Horsepower

Torque

911 GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

450 HP

405 lbs.-ft.

911 GT3 4.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

500 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

911 GT3 RS 4.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

520 HP

346 lbs.-ft.

911 Turbo 3.8 turbo 6 cyl.

540 HP

523 lbs.-ft.

911 Turbo S 3.8 turbo 6 cyl.

580 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

911 Turbo S Exclusive Series 3.8 turbo 6 cyl.

607 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

911 GT2 RS 3.8 turbo 6 cyl.

700 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

R8 V10 5.2 DOHC V10

540 HP

398 lbs.-ft.

R8 V10 Plus Coupe 5.2 DOHC V10

610 HP

413 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the 911 GT3 is faster than the R8 V10 (automatics tested):

 

911

R8

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.9 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

11.1 sec

11.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

127 MPH

125 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The R8 doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 911 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the R8 Coupe:

 

 

911

R8

 

RWD

Base/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

 

S/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Base/Auto

22 city/30 hwy

14 city/25 hwy

V10/Auto RWS

 

S/Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Auto

20 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

Base/Manual

20 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

S/Manual

20 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Base/Auto

22 city/28 hwy

14 city/22 hwy

V10/Auto

 

S/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

14 city/22 hwy

V10/Auto Plus

 

GTS/Auto

20 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Turbo/Auto

19 city/24 hwy

n/a

 

 

Turbo S/Auto

19 city/24 hwy

n/a

 

On the EPA test cycle the 911 Cabriolet gets better fuel mileage than the R8 Spyder:

 

 

911

R8

 

RWD

Base/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

 

S/Manual

20 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Base/Auto

22 city/28 hwy

14 city/25 hwy

V10/Auto RWS

 

S/Auto

22 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Auto

20 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

Base/Manual

19 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

S/Manual

19 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Manual

18 city/26 hwy

n/a

 

 

Base/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

14 city/22 hwy

V10/Auto

 

S/Auto

21 city/28 hwy

n/a

 

 

GTS/Auto

20 city/25 hwy

n/a

 

 

Turbo/Auto

19 city/24 hwy

n/a

 

 

Turbo S/Auto

19 city/24 hwy

n/a

 

Regenerative brakes improve the 911’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The R8 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The 911 GT2 RS’ optional fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the R8’s standard fuel tank (23.7 vs. 21.9 gallons).

Transmission

The 911 PDK’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The R8 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 911 Turbo’s brake rotors are larger than those on the R8:

 

911 Turbo

911 opt.

R8

R8 opt.

Front Rotors

15 inches

16.1 inches

14.4 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

15.4 inches

14 inches

14 inches

The 911 stops much shorter than the R8:

 

911

R8

 

70 to 0 MPH

139 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

92 feet

102 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS’ tires are larger than the largest tires available on the R8 (F:265/35R20 & R:325/30R21 vs. F:245/30R20 & R:305/30R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 911 GT2 RS/GT3 RS has standard 21-inch rear wheels. The R8’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The 911 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The R8 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 911 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The R8 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The 911 GT2 RS handles at 1.12 G’s, while the R8 V10 Plus Coupe pulls only 1.00 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 911 Turbo S Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the R8 V10 Plus Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .96 average G’s vs. 23.5 seconds @ .9 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 911 GT2 RS’ turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the R8’s (33.6 feet vs. 36.7 feet). The 911’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the R8’s (36.4 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche 911 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Audi R8.

The design of the Porsche 911 amounts to more than styling. The 911 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .32 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the R8 (.34 to .36). A more efficient exterior helps the 911 go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 911 get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the 911 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The R8 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 911 Turbo S Coupe is quieter than the R8 V10 Plus Coupe (82 vs. 91 dB).

Passenger Space

The 911 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the R8 can only carry 2.

The 911 Cabriolet has 18 cubic feet more passenger volume than the R8 (68 vs. 50).

Cargo Capacity

The 911 Cabriolet has a much larger trunk than the R8 Spyder (5.1 vs. 4 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Audi. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Audi is ranked third.

Ergonomics

The 911’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The R8 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 911 offers an optional rear wiper. The R8 doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 911 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The R8 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The R8’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 911’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The 911’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The R8’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 911 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The R8 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the 911’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The R8 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 911’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The R8 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 911 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The R8 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The 911 is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The R8 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Porsche 911, based on reliability, safety and performance.

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its August 2016 issue and they ranked the Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe first. They ranked the Audi R8 V10 Plus Coupe third.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 911 first among midsize premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The R8 isn’t in the top three.

The 911 Carrera GTS was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The R8 has never been an “All Star.”

The Porsche 911 outsold the Audi R8 by almost 12 to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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