It was an unusually crisp, oddly cool August morning, as I listened to the crack and burble of a naturally-aspirated V10 waking from its in a single day slumber. There are few sounds on this planet that instill as a lot pleasure because the cold-start of an Audi R8. Especially when it serves because the preface to a a number of hundred mile journey to affix different supercars in a day of driving pleasure. My fingers tingled with pleasure as I gripped the peerlessly formed wheel and set off (Story by QuattroDaily.com).
Before we go any additional, we should bounce again virtually a whole yr. It was someday in October, 2019, after I requested Audi to borrow an R8 for a narrative. A colleague buddy of mine, Scott from Limited Slip Blog, owned a first-gen Audi R8 GT on the time and we needed to do a comparability between the outdated automobile and the newly facelifted one.
By the time Audi and I may work out some particulars, the chilly climate got here it wasn’t deemed sensible to borrow a 602 horsepower mid-engine supercar with an opportunity of snow. So we pushed the date till Spring.
Then Coronavirus hit, indefinitely delaying our story and my likelihood to get behind the wheel of a automobile I’d all the time dreamed of driving. Of course, my lack of ability to drive a $200,000 supercar was the least of anybody’s worries throughout a world pandemic however I fearful that Audi would misplaced curiosity within the story by the point the world opened again up.
Then, in the course of the pandemic, Scott ended up promoting his R8, changing it with a McLaren 570S. While that was incredible information for him, I selfishly thought of whether or not or not Audi would nonetheless have an interest now that half of the story was gone. I received’t lie, my hopes weren’t excessive.
Nevertheless, I endured in bothering the Audi USA PR workforce about my likelihood to drive the R8. Graciously, they stored responding to me and entertaining the thought earlier than lastly relenting and providing me an Ascari Blue Audi R8 V10 Performance for every week towards the tip of August. It was lastly taking place.
Feeling Like Tony Stark
Now quick ahead to that crisp morning, arms gripped across the R8’s perforated steering wheel, and the conclusion of just about a yr of planning and nervousness had lastly paid off in that second. To say I used to be excited, to lastly fulfill a dream I’d had since seeing Tony Stark drive a silver R8 on the large display screen greater than a decade in the past, could be a gross understatement.
My vacation spot was punched into the nav, which conveniently sat within the Virtual Cockpit binnacle simply forward of the steering wheel, and it stated 210 miles to go. With a burbling V10 sitting behind my head, a steamy cup of espresso behind my proper elbow and Spotify enjoying my favourite playlist, I used to be greater than able to go.
Then I hit visitors. Tons of it.
This journey had begun on a Sunday. If you aren’t aware of Jersey Shore visitors on a Sunday within the Summer, consider mid-day Los Angeles visitors with extra tank tops and chest hair and much, far an excessive amount of Bon Jovi blaring from adjoining visitors dwellers. Not precisely the place I needed to spend the day in a mid-engine supercar.
The Everyday Supercar
Though, it did give me an opportunity to check the automobile’s capability to be an on a regular basis, commuter slog-mobile. After all, the R8 is taken into account an ‘everyday supercar’. As it seems, the R8 is as straightforward to dwell with in visitors as a Volkswagen Golf. The steering is gentle, the brakes are straightforward to modulate and the suspension is greater than snug sufficient for the slow-riding lumps of Garden State Parkway visitors.
Admittedly, the dual-clutch transmission appeared to get a bit pissed off with the actually gradual shifting stuff each as soon as in awhile, giving me some jerky second-to-first downshifts, however other than that the Audi R8 was a peach, even within the dullest of driving.
Finally, the highway opened again up and I had the possibility to actually stretch its legs. I’d pushed the R8 for a number of days previous to that day, so I used to be aware of the feeling of opening the faucets of the mega V10. However, the sound of it revving to its practically 8,500 rpm redline by no means ceased to make the tiny hairs on the again of my neck rise up. I nonetheless get chills desirous about it. More than that, there’s nothing that may higher ease the frustration of stop-and-go visitors like an 8,000 rpm blast to redline in an Audi R8.
Hit That Performance Button Immediately
For this second era facelift of the Audi R8, it’s been given somewhat button/knob on the left-hand facet of the steering wheel, with a checkered flag emblem on it. I like to recommend all Audi R8 homeowners and drivers press that button as quickly as attainable and maintain it switched on. It places the R8 into ‘Performance’ mode and gives three totally different choices; dry, moist and snow. It additionally turns off traction management, flips the transmission into guide mode and cranks the exhaust noise to eleven.
Hitting that Performance button is akin to seeing pilots in sci-fi films asking to take management again over their autonomous house ship. I feels such as you’re lastly taking management of the R8 in the best way it’s meant to be pushed and it by no means didn’t put a smile on my face.
Being a cool Summer day, I pressed that checkered-flag button (which defaults to ‘dry’) as quickly as visitors cleared, dropped a number of gears and pinned the throttle. The world outdoors blurred and it felt as if I had simply hit gentle pace on the Millennium Falcon.
The Audi R8 doesn’t speed up as a lot because it teleports. It strikes so shortly point-to-point that you simply genuinely don’t have time on your mind to grasp the gap it’s traveled between huge throttle inputs. Yet it by no means feels horrifying, it by no means feels intimidating and that’s the great thing about the R8. Thanks to its free-breathing engine, the powerband is superbly linear and gives a surge of energy that’s straightforward to modulate and management. It’s approachable and its efficiency accessible.
A Date With Superstars
That accessibility got here in useful when I discovered myself in Columbia County, New York, snaking via twisty again roads alongside an Aston Martin and a McLaren.
When we lastly met up, after a number of hours of freeway visitors, we caffeinated and bought again on the highway. Chris, the founding father of Limited Slip Blog and our Aston Martin driver, was the one who knew the realm properly so he took level and we adopted. At first, we took it a bit straightforward, as a few of the roads had blind corners and two of us didn’t know what to anticipate round on the opposite facet. After we turned extra snug, although, all of us opened up the faucets.
The cacophony of unique, high-strung engines and exhausts blaring via the tree-line roads was epic. As our revs climbed, it was a symphony of mechanical noise, punctuated by artillery-fire pops and bangs echoing off bushes on throttle raise.
The Engine – Exciting, thrilling mechanical music
Yet, even amongst a naturally-aspirated V12 and a twin-turbocharged V8, it was the Audi R8 and its atmospheric V10 that stood out. Even the opposite drivers had been in awe at not simply its quantity however the music it made. It’s not simply loud, the R8 genuinely makes music; thrilling, thrilling mechanical music.
There’s one thing actually particular about driving a mid-engine supercar as quick as you dare, whereas chasing two others. Admittedly, maintaining with the Aston wasn’t a lot of a problem. It was the heaviest automobile of the bunch, sported a guide gearbox (which is admittedly wonderful) and due to which was simply outmatched. It sounded good nevertheless it struggled to maintain both the Audi R8 or the McLaren off its tail.
Love The McLaren, But The R8 Is A Riot
The McLaren was a distinct story, although. Despite having much less energy, the McLaren 570S is a remarkably quick automobile. In truth, there have been a number of occasions wherein I’d hearth out of a nook in addition to I probably may have, pondering I’d left the McLaren behind, solely to see it make up the hole at a stunning tempo. Its mixture of light-weight carbon chassis and explosive turbocharged energy make it an absolute weapon on a twisty highway.
Even nonetheless, I’d reckon I used to be having probably the most enjoyable. The Audi R8, regardless of being virtually universally knocked for being the “safe” supercar, is an absolute riot and it’s all right down to the ten cylinders sitting behind the motive force’s head.
It sounds higher than any McLaren (outdoors the unique F1, after all) may ever dream to and its engine is probably the most pleasant I’ve ever used. Even amongst supercars, it stands out as a masterpiece. When it’s all stated and carried out and electrification has develop into the norm, the Audi R8’s V10 shall be checked out as a high-water mark for inner combustion.
But under no circumstances is the R8 only a nice engine. It’s a genuinely incredible sports activities automobile. While I’d personally choose out of the Dynamic Steering possibility that my check automobile had outfitted, the steering of the R8 is remarkably sharp and direct. There’s a superb sense of straight-ahead and its weighting builds up properly off-center, for probably the most half.
There’s admittedly some understeer on the restrict nevertheless it’s mitigated by a little bit of throttle raise. With the traction management off, as you begin to really feel the nostril push a bit broad, raise off the throttle a bit and the nostril will tuck in and the again finish will begin to slip, giving the R8 a very nice steadiness when you discover ways to play with it. However, with 602 horses, the R8 can chew you should you aren’t cautious.
Even the trip is nice. We rotated passengers out and in of various vehicles and all of them had been impressed with the R8’s trip. It’s simply supple sufficient to type out tough bumps but additionally agency sufficient to remain completely flat via corners.
Once I bought right into a rhythm, I discovered to belief the automobile, its chassis, its brakes and its grip. After that, I began to actually push it and it rewarded with some genuinely breathtaking, adrenaline-filled moments.
When we’d completed our thrilling drives, nerves lastly calming, it was time to move again dwelling. I had one other three hours at the least of straight-line, freeway cruising forward of me and but I used to be trying ahead to it. I’d been within the automobile for nearly seven hours straight and was nonetheless prepared to leap again in and do a number of extra.
On the best way again, I bought slammed in visitors. There had been a number of accidents on Route 87, inflicting me to stop-and-go within the R8 for over an hour, including much more time to my journey. Yet, with my long-driving playlist pumping from the Bang & Olufsen audio system and every little thing set to Comfort, I used to be completely completely satisfied.
I hate visitors. Hate it. More than most different people. In truth, I’m not good at sitting in a single place for a protracted time frame, anyplace, just because my thoughts begins to go lose its grip of sanity moderately shortly. However, within the R8, I used to be completely satisfied, relaxed and even having fun with myself.
Every as soon as in awhile, there’d be a break within the visitors and I’d get egged on by children in adjoining vehicles to present it the beans. So I’d rev it up a bit, give them a present they usually’d chuckle and cheer. The Audi R8 introduced pleasure to different motorists, which made it pleasant for me, as the motive force.
After a protracted slog again in the dead of night, I lastly made it dwelling. It was late, I used to be exhausted, ravenous and determined to face up and stretch my legs. Surprisingly, the primary six hours or so behind the wheel that day had been snug, because the R8’s seats are shockingly supportive for being so skinny. But the previous couple of hours actually began to put on on my legs and ass.
Yet, I stated to my spouse as quickly as I walked again within the door, “I could do another two hours, I think.”
The Audi R8 is that good. Even after spending a whole day and several other hundred miles with it, I nonetheless needed extra. It’s an extremely endearing automobile, one which makes you wish to get in and drive, even for no cause in any respect. Especially for no cause in any respect.
I’m going to overlook that Ascari Blue Audi R8. We had a helluva week collectively and one very big day. A day I’d waited for, and fearful about, for nearly a yr. It was value each second.