As production of the legendary R8 comes to an end, it would have been a shame to let the moment slip by without one final fling in Audi’s last petrol-engined supercar.

Without doubt, this flagship sports car is bowing out at the top of its game, with an enviable blend of power and precision.

The engine and the handling are equally breathtaking - with the quality of one complementing the other.

Indeed, the roaring 8,700rpm V10 engine might not seem quite so much fun if it wasn’t matched by quite sensational road-hugging abilities.

The Mail: The Audi R8 on test in West Yorkshire

The free-breathing 5.2-litre engine resists the temptation of turbo charging in favour of natural aspiration – and it’s all the more responsive for it.

And the sound. Oh, the sound! A hearty push of the accelerator brings forth the most evocative of noises from just over the driver’s shoulder. Ease off the power and you’ll hear an equally-satisfying burble from the exhaust.

My test car came in top-spec Performance Quattro guise, which has seen power rise from 604bhp pre-facelift to 612bhp, which is enough to take the R8 from a standing start to 62mph in 3.1 seconds.

Normally, you might consider describing that type of forward momentum as violent acceleration - but that would be quite wrong in this case because the R8 is so stable, controlled and slick in the way it quickly gathers momentum.

The Mail: The Audi R8 looks the part as the red paintwork catches the evening light during a roadtest in West Yorkshire

The set-up, including the Quattro system, is of such quality that it’ll generally correct any loss of traction by adjusting the power going to certain wheels at certain times.

Equally, the R8 is unfazed when cornering over uneven surfaces, absorbing imperfections without being thrown off-line.

Steering feel isn’t quite what you might find on, say, a McLaren, but that really is knit-picking.

A 7-speed S tronic has the happy habit of selecting just the right notch at just the right time. If you crave a little more driver engagement, you can take control via the paddles mounted on the steering wheel, but I mostly opted to let the box go about its business without my interference.

Another remarkable feature of the R8 is the way it can settle down into a more composed and relaxed car when the circumstances dictate. Around town, in heavy traffic, I selected Comfort mode and eased through traffic lights and junctions in relative quiet, enjoying the refinement and quality of the cabin.

The Mail: The Audi R8 on test in West Yorkshire

Even as a 6ft 3in driver, I never felt cramped in the cabin, while getting in and out of the low-slung seats - while not the most graceful process - was still fairly easy.

The fact it’s a supercar means it can’t really be described as a car for everyday use - but it is the most everyday car out of the supercars.

The emotional appeal of the R8 stems partly from its eye-catching and unmistakable good looks.

The Mail: The Audi R8 on test in West Yorkshire

During my week in its company, it turned many heads and attracted admiring comments. The most recent facelift saw the sharpening up of the front end, making an already-impressive car look even better.

A few figures that don’t stack up too well in today’s green-minded car market are the average fuel consumption of 21mpg and the emissions tally of 296g/km. Clearly, such sizeable engines - however well engineered - are becoming hard for manufacturers to justify as the move towards electrification marches on.

With a heavy heart, it’s time to say goodbye to this icon of the roads, or at least to new versions rolling off the production line.

With my final R8 roadtest completed, it lives now.... only in my memories.

The Lowdown

Audi R8 Coupe 

ENGINE: 5.2-litre V10 
POWER: 620ps at 7800 – 8000rpm
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed S tronic, Quattro all-wheel drive
ECONOMY: 21.7MPG and emissions of 296g/km
PRICE: £149,830