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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.


Snow Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car
Snow Wheel Tire Land vehicle Car
 

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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Reaching out to Audi, and spending a good 30 minutes in “chat”, revealed very little. They were only able to find the ground clearance on the ‘12 V8. No other gen 1 specs were available to the person I was chatting with. In fact, they didn’t even have the ground clearance for a ‘15 RS5 They are supposed to look further into It and email me.

but
2012 R8 V8 factory ground clearance is 4.33” or 110mm.
Just in case anyone else is ever looking. Or googling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I’m enjoying how this has devolved into a snow tire discussion.

I’ve been driving AWD Audi’s in Vermont’s treacherous winters for over 20 years. I’ve got plenty of anecdotal references.

Dedicated snow tires on an Audi are the difference between a comfortable drive through a blizzard over mountain passes, and white knuckling it a mile to the grocery store wondering the whole time why you’re even out there.
I’ve been caught in early October snow before swapping to winter wheels. It’s downright scary. Hell, I can barely make it out of the driveway in snow with summer tires.
I repeatedly see SUV’s and BMW’s doing the crab walk uphill, or off the road, in the winter. They’ve got awd, but my bet is summer tires.

Performance tires may be adequate in cold temps if one never sees snow, but I’m sure their capabilities are comprised. Dedicated snow tires otoh are miserable performers for dry/warm pavement. I have separate wheels and tires for my daily drivers. No sense messing up decent wheels.
 
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