Flash forward to Vegas. I look at a number of carefully prepped aluminum-bodied R8's shimmering in the desert heat, HUNC low to the ground, looking clearly sinister in the winter sun. The German coupe's over-large mal occhi stare out from a form is not entirely unlike a Ferrari F430, but obscured by all kinds of dents, immediately and intake.
The R8's "blades" - contrasting colored tape Halving the R8's profile like enormous pieces of duct tape looks just as jarring in real life as they do in the pictures. But the car's rear end is a thing of beauty; a synthesis of the Italianate style and Germanic precision projecting pure power.
The R8's interior shares the family very similar to the upcoming TT for my taste, from its door pulls to the undersized, satellite navigation screen for the dreaded Multi-Media Disconnect unit. Despite the haptic sky-buttery leather, textured aluminum, carbon fiber accents, plush Alcantara-It is a bit like sitting inside a Zero Halliburton.
Thanks to the R8's panoramic front windshield, at least feels like a BIG briefcase. For a mid-engine sports car, rear visibility is better than expected, somewhere between terrible and really bad. Backup sensors and the camera comes standard. Very grateful.
The 3,439 pounds. Holsters Audi R8's 4.2-liter FSI V8, good for 420 horsepower and 317 lb.-ft. of torque. Helping well heeled potential customers do the math, Audi's product specialists, who set a 200-mil route through Nevada's Valley of Fire, and gave access to Las Vegas Raceway.
On the open road, the R8 is a serene machine. Despite low gearing, road and engine noise levels are subdued enough for everyday wear. My tester was hit with a couple of squeaks and rattles; an early indication of problems or provide journalists the opportunity to abuse Audi's horsepitality. Anyway, in a roadway, the R8's ride quality is excellent, even without the optional 'Audi magnetic ride' adaptive damper system.
When you press the R8 exhaust note morph from metallic rasp to the barrel chested roar of the Banshee wail. The endless mechanical aria is a welcome alternative to standard-issue audio system, which is slightly better than an A4's ICE. And while we are here, the R8's armrest is poorly positioned for long-term comfort and cupholders are useless.
The Lamborghini Gallardo donated his paddle shift transmission to the R8. At low speed, smooth shifts are quick unmöglich. While Audi's R-electronic system is not as bad as BMW's SMG cog swap (what is?) Is it far less comfortable as Audi's DSG world. To make it worse, the R8's paddles are too small and made ugly ass plastic. I briefly drove the six-speed manual version and prefer it for expanded civilian Jaunt.
Cruise Passengers note: storage is notable by its absence. Audi will sell you a fantastic seven piece set of fitted luggage for around 5,000 euros (which is more beautiful than anything else in the car). But hey, long-distance love is not the R8's main mission.
The track is the R8's true métier. Zero to sixty in 4.2 seconds says this sucker moves. Equally important, the Coupe changes direction with sufficient to elicit an refloating gleeful cackle from the most jaded track addict. Even with the ESP traction control disengaged, have Quattro-equipped mid-engine motor's back-end out of alignment is almost as hard as trying not to.
Too much speed into a corner? Back from the accelerator and nose Tucker neatly in line. Composure through long sweepers at speeds of 100 + km / h is just as exemplary. And the R8's binders are phenomenal: endlessly reassuring combination of power, feedback and measured graduation.
At the Vegas circuit, max attack e-gear shift was fast yet smooth. Unfortunately, Audi put the e-gear indicator in the witness protection program. Yet flogging the R8 around a track and then run the home may be the new owner's new favorite pastime.
The R8's handlers claimed the R8 will open a new automotive segment: affordable exotica. Yes, yes, as quickly and conscientiously as the car is that the R8 is struggling to surpass the dynamic benchmark set by the equivalent price Porsche 911 Turbo.
While the rear-engined German is faster than the R8, the visual malicious Audi definitely possess the X factor needed to make a suitable alternative to the father of all daily Super Cars. In time, the battle lines will move closer. Call me a speed-crazed way victim, but I can not wait.