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Old 02-27-2007, 03:43 PM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Road Test: 2008 Audi R8 4.2 FSI (Road & Track Mag)

Road Test: 2008 Audi R8 4.2 FSI (Road & Track Mag)

http://www.roadandtrack.com/article....rticle_id=4784



Quote:
This is the first car I've desperately wanted since I started working at Road & Track. Driving Audi's new R8 4.2 FSI supercar is much like kissing a girl for the first time — the image and feel of it become eternally etched into you like a hot-iron branding.

The R8 has nearly every innovation available on an automobile. Yet Audi showed restraint and ignored the V-10 from the S6, S8 and Lamborghini Gallardo. Instead, they utilized the RS 4's V-8 that revs high to a maximum wail of 8250 rpm and pumps out 420 bhp DIN and 317 lb.-ft. of torque. Although built alongside the Gallardo at the Neckarsulm plant, the R8 is less than half the price of the Lambo; it offers supercar styling and handling for a sum just beyond that of the Porsche 911. Of course, with a starting price of just over $100,000, the R8 certainly isn't “affordable.” But is it worth it? Absolutely!

The blending of Italian and German is a superb thing. The R8 hugs curves better than anything from a Victoria's Secret catalog. But where supercars are notoriously stressful to drive, the R8 is not — it's comfortable, quiet and smooth. Yet with a click of the Audi Magnetic Ride button, it transforms into a corner-devouring mid-engine exotic that senses every nuance of the road. Unlike the Gallardo's semiautomatic e-gear, which can sometimes do the herky-jerky in a parking lot, the R8's transmission software is seamless and almost as good as Audi's much-praised dual-clutch system. At other times it's better. Unlike Audi's dual-clutch S tronic (formerly DSG), the R8's R tronic will happily hit the rev limiter in manual mode. An interesting tidbit about the engine is that it allows a 250-rpm overrev beyond the 8000-rpm limit, but only in the first three gears. This helps because the engine revs so quickly that it's easy to touch the limiter in the lower gears at full acceleration.

The engine is sinfully smooth. In a manual-transmission car, I was surprised to find the gated shift lever from the Gallardo. There is little improvement with the manual. The lever has a nice actuation, but is too clumsy for the engine — the rpm drop faster than an upshift can be performed, making smooth shifting a bit tricky. Clearly Audi invested in R tronic.

The mid-engine, all-wheel-drive layout of the R8 leads to a nimble and extremely well balanced character. The low polar moment means it changes directions easily. With stability control off, the R8 is incredibly predictable at the limit. There is no fear of the snap oversteer we sometimes associate with mid-engine exotics. The tendency for the R8 to push the front end slightly gives the driver great confidence, and mid-corner line adjustments are executed without driver hesitation. With a minimal amount of torque driving the front wheels, the R8 responds like a conventional rear-wheel-drive sports car, but with awd serving as a confidence-inspiring safety net. That secure handling is carried over into all the controls. Driving hard does not mean the driver is working hard. Every control is light and sensitive. The R8 rewards drivers who finesse the wheel.

Getting ready to drive is easy. The D-shape wheel with its paddle shifters is clearly inspired by racing cars — the shape is meant to give a bit more knee room. This is actually unnecessary, as there is plenty of adjustment in steering-wheel reach and angle. Head room is quite good and drivers over 6 ft. will find this a comfortable place compared with most cramped exotics. To go fast, you must be able to see where you are going, and the R8 allows for that with a good seating position and more upright A-pillars that don't disrupt the view of pedestrians or corner apexes.

Another aspect of comfort is storage space; it has plenty for a weekend getaway, although that depends on what you are trying to get away from. Admirers will be gawking everywhere the R8 goes. It's like trying not to stare at Salma Hayek walking by — an R8 is just plain hard to ignore.

When you get up close and see the carbon-fiber details and the artful taillamp clusters, you know this car is special. The distinctive side element is referred to as a “sideblade” and buyers have the option of body color, carbon fiber, Oxygen Silver or something Audi calls Carbon Sigma, which is like a silver-colored carbon weave. This panel is the cover for the dual air intakes. Visually it is unusual; I myself adore it, as it resembles the colored bodywork that differentiated the two factory R8 race cars.

The craftsmanship, performance, exotic*ism and near perfection of this street car, combined with the history of the R8 race car, are going to make this newest Audi a winner, just like the Le Mans-winning race cars with which it shares its name.
http://www.roadandtrack.com/assets/d...07AudiR8_2.pdf

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Old 02-27-2007, 06:22 PM   #2
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Me likey. Definitely a nice car. The only thing I is I'm not terribly fond of the "sideblade". And despite the articles claim that it comes with a body color option, every press shot I've seen of the car so far has had the awkward carbon fiber piece.

Beautiful car otherwise, and actually serves as a great halo car, because it make me more interested in the new TT (If they ever offer a Quattro 2.0T version).
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Old 02-27-2007, 06:35 PM   #3
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Looks nice, but they should have used the V10 engine.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:04 PM   #4
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This car looks amazing in person, and I'm sure it's great to drive. I will admit that the sideblade looks a little wierd, but it's pretty cool seeing a real carbon fiber weave on the outside of a car, stock.
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Old 02-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #5
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actually, the one(and only) I've seen here in LA w/ Arizona plates has the body color matching sideblade. Was all silver. Quite nice, didn't dig the tail light too much though.
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Old 02-27-2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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I saw the R8 at the Toronto autoshow last week, it had the unpainted sideblade. I thought itlooked great. I normally hate unpainted CF panels, but this actually looked great and gave the car a balanced look. I would imagine with a painted sideblade the backend would look very heavy.
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Old 02-27-2007, 10:57 PM   #7
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Meh, waiting on the R10. Diesel supercars FTW!
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:01 AM   #8
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seems a little underpowered for 100k
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woody06967 View Post
seems a little underpowered for 100k
That's what I was thinking, especially with an Audi badge.

The as-tested price is in Porsche Turbo territory and while I may be very fond of mid-engines, I'm not really sure I could convince myself to buy this car instead. (although having never driven one to compare, it's hard to say, but on the face of it, a $120k Audi vs faster Porsche seems like a no brainer)
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:20 AM   #10
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I haven't driven anything higher than one of the older 2.7T S4s but the feel of a an older 911 is amazing, the current version has to be pretty tough to beat.
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:22 AM   #11
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Looks sweet!! But I still like the new GTR more...
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:23 AM   #12
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seen this car in person and its dam sexy. the car itself is probably nicer than the 911 turbo, but the 911 is probably more of a drivers car and easier to live with. 911 turbo FTW!!!
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsir View Post
That's what I was thinking, especially with an Audi badge.

The as-tested price is in Porsche Turbo territory and while I may be very fond of mid-engines, I'm not really sure I could convince myself to buy this car instead. (although having never driven one to compare, it's hard to say, but on the face of it, a $120k Audi vs faster Porsche seems like a no brainer)
The Turbo will be no doubt faster, but it isn't as exotic and impressive as this car. Keep in mind the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is also in the same price range, is slower than the Turbo, and there's a long waiting list to get one.

If you are throwing this much money at a car, it all comes down to desirability. Magazine racing means jack squat. So what if the Turbo is a tad bit faster? It still looks like a regular 911 to most people, with the regular 911 interior. I think the R8 is more desirable than the Turbo, although maybe less than the Vantage. I think the only thing the R8 is missing is the badge appeal.
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:36 AM   #14
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I saw about ten of these driving around on Sunday in Nevada, very cool looking and sounding. It looked like Audi was having an event for dealers or the like. They had the local police in on it so obviously they were enjoying the cars.
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Old 02-28-2007, 05:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darknightohio View Post
Looks nice, but they should have used the V10 engine.
if they did, it would basically be a Gallardo... = no good if two of the family's brands are competing against each other.
This is like the new NSX, sort of. Definitely a competitor against the Vantage, XKR, 911 GT3/Carrera S, etc.
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:10 AM   #16
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0-60 in 4.3 and that crappy gated shifter from the gallardo? No thanks I'll take a porsche gt3 instead... with the imaginary 110K i have that is.
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:21 AM   #17
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^^^^^true
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:27 AM   #18
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Great looking but not impressed. Disappointed actually. This is a 100k car that is going to get whooped by an STi.

Spend a little more and pick up a GT3.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:20 AM   #19
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when the v10tdi is put in this thing, i am on it.

sam
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:47 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi/AE86 View Post
Great looking but not impressed. Disappointed actually. This is a 100k car that is going to get whooped by an STi.

Spend a little more and pick up a GT3.
How do you figure this car would be whooped by an STI?
I have never seen an STI trap at 111mph or go anywhere near 187mph without serious work.
I agree about the GT3 though.
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:02 PM   #21
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The car's hot. Its the best thing to come out of Audi since the RS6 (which can see 700hp with the stock hardware and a little tuning)
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Old 03-01-2007, 01:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi/AE86 View Post
Disappointed actually. This is a 100k car that is going to get whooped by an STi.
Yeah, they're in the same league.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STi/AE86 View Post
This is a 100k car that is going to get whooped by an STi.
This statement proves that you are definetely not the target market.

Why not go a little further and say it'll get whooped by a modded SRT?
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Old 03-03-2007, 12:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Len View Post
The Turbo will be no doubt faster, but it isn't as exotic and impressive as this car. Keep in mind the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is also in the same price range, is slower than the Turbo, and there's a long waiting list to get one.

If you are throwing this much money at a car, it all comes down to desirability. Magazine racing means jack squat. So what if the Turbo is a tad bit faster? It still looks like a regular 911 to most people, with the regular 911 interior. I think the R8 is more desirable than the Turbo, although maybe less than the Vantage. I think the only thing the R8 is missing is the badge appeal.
The badge appeal is kind of a big deal when it doesn't win in speed and/or ammenities.

The Aston Martin is desirable + has a waiting list because it is just that, an Aston Martin, and truthfully if you asked the average person they probably couldn't tell the difference between an AM and a new Jaguar coupe from a distance.
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Old 03-03-2007, 01:11 PM   #25
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Why are this car's numbers being compared with a 911 C4S in the article? Shouldnt it be compared to the 911 Turbo because of the pricing?
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