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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking to replace my daily driver RS5 (‘15) with an R8 (preferably a ‘14-‘15, but a ‘12 isn’t out of the question). I’ve been researching the R8 for a while and have a good grasp of its inherent issues. No need to reopen the mag ride, ac compressor, oil leak, coolant tank, and r-tronic discussions.

What I do need are some specifics and opinions. Mostly related to cold weather/snow driving. Yes, intentionally driving an R8 in the snow.
(I live in VT, and my business is in Killington).
Anyone with cold weather/winter/snow driving experience please chime in. I know some of you have had seat time in the snow.

I’ve been unable to find the factory ground clearance for the gen 1 R8 . I’ve seen it listed at 109mm to 160mm from various online sources. Can anyone give me the factory ground clearance on :

‘11-”12 V8 & V10 R8’s
‘14-’15 v8 & v10 R8’s

Are the v8 and v10 the same, or is the v10 lower?

My RS5 has ample clearance for my use. I’m just trying to see how much less clearance the R8 actually has, or if it’s actually lower.

Any gripes with the front/rear ratio split in snow? Does the rear kick out before the front catches up? My current car has 40/60 and it’s seamless.

Has anyone found an 18” (affordable) wheel set that clears the iron brakes? There are much better snow tire options at 18”, and the extra rubber might better for frequent pot holes.

How deep has the snow been before you feel yourself becoming a plow?

Any issues with snow/ice buildup inside the side blades. I assume the v10 might accumulate more since the openings are larger. I realize there might be some ice buildup in the wheel wells, but how about buildup in the front bumper vents?

Any issues with ice buildup on the engine hatch? This car will not always be parked indoors. We frequently get 3”-8” of snow while I’m parked in the lot. Warm glass + snow = ice

Any other issues arising from slogging it out with winter? Things I should be aware of? I know salt is a killer, and corrosion runs rampant around here. I undercoat my truck every year.
Are there specific areas on the R8 susceptible to rust?

Full disclosure. I also drive an F250, so for those really horrendous blizzards with knee high snow on the roads the R8 will stay at home.
Still, sometimes this happens while I’m at work.


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Drove in about an inch and a half on Super sports and it wasn't pretty but you know that living in that climate you def won't get away with summers up there (oddly enough my driveway is very steep and it did better getting up my driveway than my GTR with 1-2 inches.. so superior AWD in my op)... Other than that its very capable ice accumulation ie slush in the side vents happens but I've never seen adverse affects from it.

No idea on the rust I never saw any daily driving it

Rtronic 12 which I daily drove in some of the worst traffic in the USA was manageable if you had experience with manual, but far from ideal, so def go S-tronic DCT if possible

Ride hight was never an issue but places you think you would scrape you wouldn't and places you thought you wouldn't you would but very daily friendly

Driven plenty at high speeds in rain and I'm sure with the right winter setup it would do just fine
 

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You're going to park it outside in the snow? Get a cover. Ground clearance, don't have my tape measure, but I can put my fist under the front just barely and mine is a stock 2014 (hammer fist - thumb up) if that helps. Stock meaning no suspension adjustments at this time. But if you're worried about ride height, why would you put 18" wheels on it when it comes with 19" ?? Dropping it a half inch...

I've lived in Boston, Park City, UT so I know snow, but now i Live in San Diego and I don't even go out in the R8 if it's raining. :cool:
 

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You're going to park it outside in the snow? Get a cover. Ground clearance, don't have my tape measure, but I can put my fist under the front just barely and mine is a stock 2014 (hammer fist - thumb up) if that helps. Stock meaning no suspension adjustments at this time. But if you're worried about ride height, why would you put 18" wheels on it when it comes with 19" ?? Dropping it a half inch...

I've lived in Boston, Park City, UT so I know snow, but now i Live in San Diego and I don't even go out in the R8 if it's raining. :cool:
Getting 18 inch wheels wouldn't drop it. You'd just get tires with more sidewall to compensate.

Anyway, I believe we have somewhere around 4-4.5 inches of clearance stock. I would definitely not park outside in the snow, though. I'd imagine you wouldn't have much trouble driving around if roads are plowed at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While a cover sounds like a good idea, it’s not. The car will frequently be dirty or have snow accumulation from driving. Chances are it would either the scratch paint, or not be removable when I go to leave. 😆

I‘m in a ski town, there are no garages for parking while at work.

18” wheels will allow taller profile snow tires. Same diameter as 19“. Absolutely would be putting snow tires on it.

I‘m leaning to the facelift s-tronic. A stick would be ideal, but the premium costs don’t justify it for me.
 

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i question why you'd want this car if its going to spend so much time in snowy conditions. i mean sure maybe with smaller wheels and snow tires its manageable but by no means going to be an enjoyable experience owning an r8 was meant to be. why not just get a different audi like an rs6, s6, rsq8 that are as fast but more suitable for those conditions
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ha. I was wondering how long it would take before someone tried using reason to try and change my mind.

Does one buy an R8 because it’s the reasonable choice?

I have a proclivity for German engineering, (Audi and Porsche specifically). I have yet to find another awd, v8/10, coupe, that‘s winter capable, reliable, under $100k, that draws me in. I find the R8 aesthetically pleasing and I want one. I’m 98% there, I’m just trying to get some real world input on how they are in adverse conditions.
 

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i question why you'd want this car if its going to spend so much time in snowy conditions. i mean sure maybe with smaller wheels and snow tires its manageable but by no means going to be an enjoyable experience owning an r8 was meant to be. why not just get a different audi like an rs6, s6, rsq8 that are as fast but more suitable for those conditions

Its a car bro no different than a civic it gets from point a to point b...

To the OP, mine sat outside the office rain, shine, pollen covered, bird crap, snow, 5 days a week pre covid. The paint holds up just fine, although after 6 years removing the engine cover to really get it clean behind the plastic bits will be needed if it spends lots of time outside. But never had a single issue having it outside a majority of its life and cars been one of the most reliable I've ever owned.

Not sure I'd use it to plow a path forward on untreated roads but if tis snow plowed/ covered sub 3-4 inches of snow driving should be fine from what I've seen, zero issues overheating or anything related to the side vents
 

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Its a car bro no different than a civic it gets from point a to point b...

To the OP, mine sat outside the office rain, shine, pollen covered, bird crap, snow, 5 days a week pre covid. The paint holds up just fine, although after 6 years removing the engine cover to really get it clean behind the plastic bits will be needed if it spends lots of time outside. But never had a single issue having it outside a majority of its life and cars been one of the most reliable I've ever owned.

Not sure I'd use it to plow a path forward on untreated roads but if tis snow plowed/ covered sub 3-4 inches of snow driving should be fine from what I've seen, zero issues overheating or anything related to the side vents
My comment had nothing to do with reliability or babying rhe car, bro
I just don’t see how anyone would enjoy driving an r8 in snow as a daily driver. You’re not going to convince me that’s fun
 

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Ha. I was wondering how long it would take before someone tried using reason to try and change my mind.

Does one buy an R8 because it’s the reasonable choice?

I have a proclivity for German engineering, (Audi and Porsche specifically). I have yet to find another awd, v8/10, coupe, that‘s winter capable, reliable, under $100k, that draws me in. I find the R8 aesthetically pleasing and I want one. I’m 98% there, I’m just trying to get some real world input on how they are in adverse conditions.
If you want it, buy it and learn from it good or bad!
Best of luck.
 

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With a good set of winter tyres I think a stock height R8 would be an awesome winter driver. Not sure on import duties etc... But as its a legal requirement to use winter tyres in Germany during certain times, there are always lots of mint R8 alloys with new winter tyres on eBay! I say go for it!
 

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Careful, 18" Wheels will not clear CCB (There are some special wheels that do)
The Sottozero is a terrible tyre, go for something else (anything!) And 295 in the rear, a bit better grip in the snow.

The Car handles snow just fine, and is at the same time way more fun to put Skis on the roof and drive/drift the road up to St. Moritz or Gstaad.
Split is 20/80 max, so beware of a kicking out rear when you're sending it on snow.

Be aware when you're driving DOWN a road that the rear gets really light under braking and can't push the snow away from the tyres anymore. Only way i was able to catch the Car in these moments was by accelerating to grip up again, so leave that safety margin.

(Pic was already posted here, sorry if you already saw it)
Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Snow


Snow will collect on some spots, but snow melts sooner or later.
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Tread Locking hubs

Do 2-3 brakes while you're driving out of the parking lot, so the disc and pad is free and a bit warmed up.
Atleast my CCBs arent great when cold.
 

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I wouldn't do it - but anyone who knows me knows that already. :)

Can an R8 be driven in the snow? Sure. Can you wear a tuxedo to the gym? Sure. It's not a question of whether you CAN do it, but there's a real question of "fit for purpose." The car is about 4 inches off the ground, so the clearance isn't great. I've had a front bumper (on a 3-series, many years ago) get a chunk taken out of it by a piece of ice in the road. That wasn't inexpensive to fix... but it would be far more expensive on an R8.

The stock tires are 305 in the rear - you can go a bit narrower with winter tires, but this is far from ideal width-wise in the snow. The normal power distribution is 15% front, 85% rear. At max, 30% can be shifted to the front. It's something, but don't confuse it with a great AWD system for snow driving. It's optimized for grip under performance driving conditions, not snow.

Road salt? I know you said you recognize the risks, but still... the R8 is designed to ingest tons of air - huge intakes on the front, sides, and NACA ducts underneath. Think about where you're sucking in that salt. There's no way to protect from the damage it will do - it's not the undertray you need to worry about but your engine bay (and everything in it), radiators, suspension, etc.

The rear hatch is open to the elements, of course - so if you're parking it outside with snow, rain, etc., you should expect some issues. One such example? The metal mesh that covers engine components on the left and right sides of the engine bay will rust where water enters the engine bay, continuously dripping on them from the side vents.

I could see taking an R8 for a fun spin in some fresh snow on a country road. But driving it routinely in snow, commuting, with road salt, lots of other drivers, etc... this is just a fish out of water scenario. Again, you can make it do it, but it doesn't mean this is the car's element or what it was designed to do. If you're going to get an R8 (and you should - they're fantastic cars!), keep it as a fun car that you drive in conditions where it'll actually do what it was intended to do.


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Just because it CAN be done doesn't mean it SHOULD be done...

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Car Wheel Tire Snow Vehicle


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Car handles snow just fine, and is at the same time way more fun to put Skis on the roof and drive/drift the road up to St. Moritz or Gstaad.
Exactly. I’m glad someone understands where I’m coming from. I love St, Moritz (my Mother is from Schaffhausen and I spent a lot of time in the area as a kid).


The lack of control going downhill is the first thing that might give me pause. I do drive up and down to the mountains regularly.
I have no plans on tracking the car, so ceramic brakes are not something I want.
Thank you for the input.

I just don’t see how anyone would enjoy driving an r8 in snow as a daily driver.
Fun can be subjective. Snow driving can be very exciting. At the least, there’s a sense of accomplishment arriving at your destination without mishap 😆

Think about where you're sucking in that salt. There's no way to protect from the damage it will do - it's not the undertray you need to worry about but your engine bay (and everything in it), radiators, suspension, etc.
Excellent points. Thank you. The road salt (they use a slurry here) is brutal on vehicles. I rarely keep a winter driven vehicle more than 3-4 years, just so I don’t have to deal with corrosion issues. The R8 would not be a forever car for me.
 

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The back fin can he a problem in ice. Luke the kind when you come back to the car in morning and there is a cm of ice all around. The kind thats hard to get iff windshield. It gets iced on and then im afraid to take it at highway speeds when it pops up.

Perhaps I've just been too nervous? But the ice gets all in that fin as it's honeycomb.

Never driven mine with snow tires but I drive chicago winter roads all winter on ps4 and find it fine. If there is a quarter inch of snow it's an absolute death trap. But again not using winter tires and our roads are pretty well cleared and treated and probably warmer from constant traffic doing 60mph.

Get the car and drive the hell out of it! These are, As someone said, just a car and it will be reliable and fun and a joy to own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The back fin can he a problem in ice. Luke the kind when you come back to the car in morning and there is a cm of ice all around. The kind thats hard to get iff windshield
My current RS5 has had the rear “fin” ice over on many occasions. I rarely exceed 75mph in the winter, but the few times I may have hit that 75mph zone when the fin attempts to raise, I get an error code. All appears functionally fine after the ice is gone.

Snow tires are a necessity around here. I may be foolish, but I’m no fool.
 

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My current RS5 has had the rear “fin” ice over on many occasions. I rarely exceed 75mph in the winter, but the few times I may have hit that 75mph zone when the fin attempts to raise, I get an error code. All appears functionally fine after the ice is gone.
I just left the Spoiler up when there was a chance of freezing. Nothing to worry about when it doesnt have to raise in first place.
 

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Never driven mine with snow tires but I drive chicago winter roads all winter on ps4 and find it fine. If there is a quarter inch of snow it's an absolute death trap. But again not using winter tires and our roads are pretty well cleared and treated and probably warmer from constant traffic doing 60mph.
Even without snow on the ground, you shouldn't drive on summer tires below around 40 degrees - they're just dangerous. Even if you can't feel it under normal driving, the traction is severely compromised. The summer tire compound needs warm weather to work as designed, and it'll get brittle and stiff (loses its elasticity) in cold temperatures, losing traction. Even if you're not planning to accelerate or corner hard, you'd be in a bad spot if you needed to emergency brake from highway speeds - the stopping distance could be very poor. Likewise, in really cold temperatures, the tires can crack or chip, and then you really need to replace them.
 
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