It’s every man’s dream to drive a super car! But, can every man afford it?
The Audi R8 is a magnificent car. Released in many different variants, but I was very privileged to get my hands on the new R8 V10 Plus thanks to Audi South Africa and Audi Centre Cape Town for arranging the test drive. This 5.2L FSI V10 engine which produces a whopping 449kW and 560 Nm is enough to blow your socks off when you press on the accelerator, a feeling that only a lucky few get to experience. This will only cost you a mere R3 mil, a small price to pay to run with the big boys with the likes of Ferrari, Maclaren, Porsche, Lamborghini and Maserati.
The R8 V10 Plus is capable of 0-100 km\h in only 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 330Km/h, which is quick enough to compete with its rival super cars. Surprisingly, you get all this performance out of this majestic beauty with such brute power, that is so easily manageable with the Quattro drive system, putting its power down on the ground on all fours. You feel safe at all times when cornering or putting your foot down to hear the grunt from the beautiful V10 engine, not the kind of scary feeling you get when driving other super cars on the verge of loosing its footing.
The interior features of the car are also quite different. With no centre console LCD display, this has been integrated into the driver dashboard with gauges and satellite navigation system. The digital display is customizable with the touch of a button on your steering wheel to display the information you require, from radio stations or your music playlist, to navigation or even a car monitoring system with G-force indicator. This all makes you feel like you’re flying a fighter jet instead of driving a car, well it sure feels that way. So, there are enough gadgets to keep you occupied while sitting in traffic. You get all the usual trims of a luxury Audi as well, with climate control, electric windows and mirrors and all the buttons on your steering wheel required to make tweaks in the car without having to take your hands off the wheel. These buttons include the driving mode select, a button to open a flap in the exhaust system to make more noise, the engine push to start, a race button for the track, audio controls including hands free Bluetooth call answering and lastly the controls to customize the LCD display in front of the driver. These options are also available for tweaking by use of the centre console MMI knob below the gear shift.
The car comes with 3 driving modes to choose from while driving, the comfort mode, which slows the car down and makes it easy for driving around town and in traffic as well as softens the ride making it easier on the bumps. It then has a dynamic mode, which opens all the taps and unleashes raw power onto the road, stiffening the ride and making it behave like a young stallion. It also has the performance selection for the track which turns off the traction control and give way to a bit of oversteer when accelerating through the corners, but is totally controllable thanks to the all-wheel drive system.
One thing for sure is even with my short 45 minute drive, I can say for certain this is the most incredible car I’ve ever driven, not to mention the fastest. The sales person in the car with me got such a fright and was sucked back into the leather bucket seats every time I put my foot on the accelerator. An exhilarating experience from every pull off the line. If money were no option, I’d have one of these parked in my driveway. I love the R8 and this new model just made it better. A daily driver, yet nothing ordinary. It’s also more affordable than most of its competitors on the market and it will sure get heads turning, as everyone stopped to gaze as I drove on past. All in all, a fantastic car. Do yourself a favour and book a test drive.