2020 Audi R8 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The R8 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Corvette doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the R8 and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The R8 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Corvette’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The R8’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Corvette’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the R8 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Corvette.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 16 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the R8 V10 gets better fuel mileage than the Corvette ZR1 Auto (13 city/20 hwy vs. 12 city/20 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the R8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Corvette doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The R8’s standard fuel tank has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Corvette (21.9 vs. 18.5 gallons).

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi R8 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Corvette.

The R8 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Corvette doesn’t offer an SMG.

All wheel drive, available in the R8, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Chevrolet Corvette is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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

R8

Corvette

Front Rotors

14.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the R8 has larger standard rear tires than the Corvette (295/35R19 vs. 285/30R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the R8 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Corvette’s largest wheels are only 19-inches in the front and 20-inches in the rear.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the R8 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the R8 is 1.4 inches wider in the front and .8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Corvette.

For better maneuverability, the R8’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Corvette’s (36.7 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 12% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 13th.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the R8 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Corvette can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The R8’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Corvette’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the R8 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The R8’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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

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