Did somebody say 'Audi R8 5.2 Litre'.. (wipes sweat) :P
Oh my. I'm not really sure where to start with this one.. ITS THE AUDI R8 5.2 V10 'LMX' !!!! This car doesn't even exist because Audi built just 99 models, with only 11 making their way to UK. It was the FIRST production car in the world to use Laser Light Technology, although BMW released the 'i8' just before Audi making them the first.. but who cares, lets drive.
All I can really say is - when you turn the ignition it sounds 'dirty'. I have no other way to explain the bellow that took over my life, nor have an idea what I am in for as I sit at idle, listening to the engine. I will be completely honest and let you know I am not a massive fan of the Audi R8, but I don't know WHAT just happened THE ARSE IS OUT AND I'M SIDEWAYS WHAAAAA. Okay.. lets back up. What the - what the hell is this? That familiar noise from the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) snatching second gear, causing me to grip the wheel like Jimmy Saville in a playground! I didn't intentionally cause oversteer, but it does like to go sideways.
Once I'd finished squeezing my life savings into the petrol tank - its like twice the size of a Porsche (coughs) - I thought it best to find some open road and really see what this car is about. It definitely sits nicer with a load of V Power holding it down. When driving cars like these I always run between half and a full tank, for the extra weight! This car is Bonkers.
Driving these 500hp + cars takes a lot of concentration. I don't even think about breathing while at 100% throttle! My mind zings at a thousand blips per second. Reactions have to be sharp, so I advise any enthusiast wanting to drive these type of cars to eat properly, and take on some form of regular exercise. I have practised this for years and always drive better after jogging/running/strength training. Any exercise is better than none. The benefits from eating regularly and keeping fit will definitely help your decision making behind the wheel.
The interior of the Audi R8 is comforting. Having already owned a VW Golf MK5 I was familiar with the Foot Pedals and Gear Paddles. You get identical Accelerator and Brake Pedals in the Lamborghini Aventador which makes the transition from one to the other less work. I know what the Brake Pedal feels like in all of these cars, and sit with my left foot over the Brake and use it religiously for slowing down. Again - left foot braking takes some practise - DO NOT TRY THIS ON THE ROAD.
A lot of time was spent trying to keep the car in a straight line. The only thing I would want from this car is a bit more horsepower/torque and remapping this would give me everything I want from the V10 powerhouse. I have heard news of the latest Audi R8 having identical power to a Lamborghini Huracan, so have booked a test drive to see for myself. Either way, these cars are highly tuneable and buying a lower powered 5.2 Litre V10 can be exploited up to, or as close to their latest offering at the Dealership.
Comfortable. I love a car that doesn't tilt when cornering. I think a car should be firm enough to keep my internal organs functioning, and powerful enough to squash them against my rib cage momentarily. This car fulfills that role, and thus I am satisfied. I love how these cars urge you to drive like a lunatic - but out of respect I kept this thing in a straight line. Hiring a Sports/Super Car is different. When somebody loans you their personal car I have to respect the engine as though it were mine. Company/Fleet vehicles are abused by the nation daily, and a hire car is generally 'rented' to be put through its paces. I enjoyed every minute in this car, and having DSG stopped my old knees from hurting in traffic.
I quite like the vents at the front and rear - my favourite part of this car would be the Exhaust. BIG HOLLOW Show Pipes at the rear, Audi did well with this one ;-) If the doors were integrated with the side vents, and lifted sideways like the De'Lorean from Back to The Future I would be 100% sold on the looks. The Audi R8 is a great car but I've seen so many and I wouldn't buy one on appearance value.
562hp is not a small amount of power. Neither are the 540 Newton Meters that thrusts my spindly frame, rather aggressively in every gear. This car is not for the weak. By that I mean you need some strength to control this thing if the bum starts to step out. At light throttle request the car has a lot of grunt, but that should be expected when driving a Super Car. I love how this thing drives, but for all out lunacy I would still recommend remapping the engine to get its full potential.
What a racket! If you watched the sound bite on my Facebook page you will already know this car isn't for the faint of heart, or elderly. Check the clip if you've not seen it -> http://tinyurl.com/pynh4kv <- I think I'll leave it there ;-)
To finish - I enjoyed having some time in this car. Thinking about it reminded me to message a previous customer, who's just had Carbon Intakes and some other modifications fitted to his Audi R8 4.2 V8. I'm now looking forward to getting his car over, programming the full original software, then starting his tuning from scratch with the full exhaust and intake mods!
Nicholas Lawrence //ON CARS