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Inside the Audi R8

Posted in: Audi R8, General

When I was in my mid-20s, I drove an Audi – mostly because it was the ’80s, and you were pretty muchAudi front required to drive either an Audi or a BMW in order to keep your “cool” license from being revoked. But I have to say that my memories of that Audi are nothing like the experience inside the Audi R8.

For starters, this car looks nothing like your standard road-ready Audi. With styling cues drawn from the LeMans Quattro, the R8 represents the carmaker’s perfect execution of grace and style – something that is evident from the first glance. An aggressive grille gives this race-inspired sportscar immediate authority on the road, and it backs up that styling with 420 horses under the hood. Even the headlights have an eye-catching appeal, as if the R8 is staring back at you, daring you to jump inside and take it out for a spin. The LED daytime running lights circling the headlights – not unlike Boy George’s eyeliner in the aforementioned ’80s – give further distinction to this car’s design. It’s one of those cars that looks fast even when it’s standing in the parking lot.

This is clearly the most beautiful car in Audi’s stable, and they’ve put just as much emphasis on inner beauty as outer appeal. The interior is a rich racing-style cockpit, but it doesn’t cling so tightly to its racing roots that it loses its charm as a daily driver. It’s surprisingly spacious, and though it has been widely compared to a Lamborghini, the seats of the R8 are larger, comfortable and definitely more adjustable – something that smaller drivers appreciate immediately. If you’ve ever struggled to see over the wheel of a Lambo, you’ll appreciate the four-way adjustable support of the R8’s seats.Audi R8

The dash is another thing of beauty, from the flat-bottomed leather-wrapped steering wheel to the sportily designed gauges. This car has more dials than a watch shop, but you’ll find yourself fascinated with such gadgets as the five-function trip computer (which tells you everything short of how far it is to the next bathroom stop) and the “speed warning device,” which you can expect to use fairly often if you’re enjoying this car properly.

Not content to offer the standard heated seats, the Alcantara leather interior has three settings and the side sections of the seats are heated as well. Throw in the 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and you’ve got everything you need for the ride of your life.

On the road, the sportscar engineering shines. The mid-mounted V8 has a top speed of 187 mph, but the numbers really don’t matter; the handling does. It has remarkable acceleration and handles more like a smooth sedan than a stiff racecar. Although it comes with a manual six-speed transmission, our test car had the R tronic transmission, which gives you options of shifting with a joystick or with the paddles mounted on the steering wheel. We tried both ways and all we discovered was that we wanted a lot more time to play around with these options.

The Audi R8 has earned kudos from every major automotive magazine – and rightfully so. It looks like a beast but drives like a dream. Starting price is around $109,000 – and if this isn’t enough car for you, maybe you can hold off until Audi makes good on the R8 TDI V12 Concept diesel it began showing off earlier this year. But for those who want to enjoy the ride and look good doing it, the Audi R8 is a perfect 10.