When Audi launched the original R8 in 2006, it caused a sensation. For its second go at the model, Audi skipped the V8 and went straight for ten-cylinder power in two states of tune: the V10 and the V10 Plus.

Of course Jay Leno had the more potent of the two visit his garage. In V10 Plus trim, the Audi makes over 600 horsepower – all from a naturally-aspirated V10 in a segment increasingly dominated by turbocharging.

Rivals like the Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911 Turbo, McLaren 570S, and Ferrari 488 have all adopted turbochargers, which makes the R8 something of a modern-day Shelby Cobra, as Leno puts it. See what else he has to say in the video above – and don't forget to watch to the end to see how the launch control works.


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