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- Post is under moderationCAR Audi R8 Spyder V10 END OF TERM
/ #Audi-R8-Spyder / #Audi-R8-Spyder-V10-Plus / #Audi / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Spyder-Mk2 / #Audi-R8
It’s farewell to our drop-top supercar – and its magnificent #V10 . But will we miss having an R8 as a daily driver?
Knocking about in a drop-top supercar for half a year is likely to sit pretty high up on any petrolhead’s bucket-list. Running an R8 Spyder was, of course, a brilliant experience – one I may never be lucky enough to repeat. And with the Spyder’s £129,990 base price taken up to £167,740 by options such as carbonceramic brakes (£7700), the gloss carbon exterior styling pack (£4900) and the Sport Plus Pack (bringing Audi’s three-mode magnetic adaptive dampers, Dynamic Steering and a sports exhaust, for £3500), this R8 really was deep into supercar territory. But before I get into the many reasons why it was such fun, there are a few (decidedly first-world) irritations I want to air.
My first complaint relates to the attention a car like the Spyder gets out on the road. Mostly the waves and the thumbs-ups and the friendly comments are all quite fun, but what I could have done without was the steady stream of morons who were determined to lure me into a street-race on motorways and dual carriageways. I’m no saint, and there will be drivers out there who’ll have vivid memories of a bright red projectile firing off into the distance, but mostly I just let them go.
You could spot these bargain-bin Brian O’Conners a mile off. They’d approach at speed, then suddenly stand on the brakes when they clocked the R8’s extra-wide rump. They’d sit behind for a little while, too close for comfort, before pulling alongside. I never looked over to make eye contact, instead fixing my stare on the road ahead. From here they might circulate the car once or twice, or sit in front of it, or even flash their lights to try to get my attention. After a short while, once they’d realised there was no sport to be had, they’d disappear, probably to recount to their mates the time they roasted an R8 on the A43.
Then there was the fact that a car such as this one stands out wherever it’s parked. I was always nervous about leaving it out on the street overnight (living in a city, I had no other choice), a concern that was realised one morning when I found the driver’s window had been smashed. Unless you happen to have secure parking wherever you go, I suspect that underlying nervousness is, sadly, part of the supercar ownership experience.
There were a few annoyances relating specifically to the R8, too, notably the fixed-back bucket seats (a £3000 option), which I’ve written about far too often already, and the width of the thing, which made certain car parks hell to navigate. It also needed a quiet-start function, as my poor neighbours will attest. Does this all sound a bit moany?
Perhaps it does. Regardless, in just about every other sense, running the Spyder was utterly brilliant.
How could it not be? I always smiled to myself when I caught a glimpse of it. I made a point of dropping the little window behind the seats on every single journey, no matter how tedious, and stretching the magnificent engine all the way around to the 8500rpm red line, with the exhaust in sport mode, just to let the V10 howl flood into the cabin. There’s no better way to start the day. Or finish it, for that matter. I suggested when the car arrived that this exercise would be more a case of living with a whacking great V10 engine than running a particular car, and it’s certainly true that the motor dominated the entire R8 experience.
Once the weather improved, sometime in March, I could actually use the car as its maker intended by getting the roof down. I found that quite a calming experience. I wouldn’t drive the car particularly hard with the hood lowered, but instead would stroke it along and enjoy the sounds and the smells and the fresh air. It isn’t often you can use 533 wild horses to their full potential on the road, so having something to enjoy about the R8 at moderate speeds was a massive boon.
The car averaged around 23mpg, with high-20s just about achievable on a long, steady run. It didn’t need a service during its time with us, but it did need a fresh set of Pirelli P Zeros (just over £1000 fitted) soon before it went back to Audi. Smashed window aside, the R8 didn’t once let me down in any way – which, of course, is how it should be.
One final thought. Having run a bona fide supercar as my everyday car, I’m not certain I’d be in a hurry to do it again. Not because the R8 was in any way taxing – given its massive performance and handling ability, it was actually very easy to use – but because I wouldn’t want to normalise what is actually a very special thing. I think I’d keep the supercar for weekends and driving holidays. After all, eating steak every night would soon wear thin.
Date acquired November #2016
Duration of test 6 months
Total test mileage 9667
Overall mpg 22.8
Costs £1048 four tyres
Purchase price £167,740
Value today £120,000-135,000
Left: Prosser took the R8 to north Wales for a farewell drive. Where better to enjoy that mighty, 533bhp V10 one last time?
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- Post is under moderationPushing the limits
Fancy a little extra from your 5.2 V10? ABT may have the answer, with their stunning Gen 2 R8… R8 V10 ABT’s Geneva show stopper. Words Davy Lewis. Photography ABT.
The gen 2 R8 is, quite simply, one of the finest cars on the road today. I’ve been fortunate to drive a few of them and each time it’s been a thrilling experience.
However, like many people, I’m not in a position to own one of Audi’s super cars right now. But that doesn’t mean I’m not hungry to find out more. The R8 is something to aspire to – a life goal perhaps. If you’ve made it, then you can afford one, and if that’s the case you may well want something a little extra on top. A little extra on top is what ABT Sportsline do very well indeed. The German tuning specialists have been doing it for many, many years and know what’s what when it comes to high-end upgrades.
So what do we have here, then?
Well, it’s part of the quartet of power launched at Geneva and perhaps the most desirable of the lot. The base car is an R8 Plus, which means it’s already a bit of a weapon. The mighty 5.2 V10 kicks out a rather brutal 610hp and makes the kind of sound that could raise the dead. A wrung out V10 is one of the finest things you’ll ever hear – especially if you’re lucky enough to be piloting it. Add to this advanced chassis dynamics, cutting edge design, carbon ceramic brakes and an interior that oozes class and you’ve got one heck of a package. But there’s always room to squeeze a bit more out…
The first thing that hits you with the ABT R8 is the colour. It’s finished in satin red, which on paper sounds at best average, but in the metal looks superb. Without a glossy paint grabbing all the attention, your eyes are free to take in the curves and angles of the R8’s bodywork. But there’s more…
The front and rear bumpers have been subtly redesigned. Not that they were lacking in visual appeal to begin with, but the ABT treatment has given the R8 an even more snarling, almost racecar look. They’re more angular, stand out further and do a grant job of setting this car apart from the rest.
“With an extra 20hp, the R8 now kicks out 630hp”
ABT are masters at carbon fibre artistry and have given the R8’s muscular shape some extra definition. Up front there’s a neat carbon lip that adds some aggression and brings the nose closer to the black stuff. There’s also a very tough looking carbon blade added to the bumper.
Add to this a gloss black grille, complete with ABT badge and black Audi rings, and the front is on point. Moving to the side, you’ll find some carbon side blades, which are what you’d expect on something like this. But look closer and you’ll see more carbon – this time behind the front wheels and continued with neat carbon spats at each corner of the skirts, front and rear. The carbon-fest continues with the mirror covers and the rear quarter panels, then as you move to the rear (arguably the best feature), you take in the deeply sculpted diffuser and rear wing. The OEM twin tailpipes have been replaced with a quad-pipe setup, which looks bang on the money – and helps to unleash the full potential of that spine tingling V10.
The breathtaking exterior is completed with a set of ABT’s new wheels, which are diamond cut and feature slender spokes and a nice inner dish. In 20in finished in matte black, these lightweight, forged rims really do look the part on this red supercar.
Inside, things are equally, if not even more impressive. Every surface has been covered in Alcantara or carbon fibre, with contrasting red details. Again a stock R8 plus is no poverty spec cabin, but this thing is on another level.
So there we have it. Like many cars we feature this may not be the most modified, but it’s a well considered package that all works well together – in an OEM like way. Exotic machinery like this may out of reach for many, but there’s nothing wrong with dreaming…
“The exhaust helps unleash the full potential of that spine tingling V10”
Right: 20in forged rims and carbon ceramics.
Above: Interior is awash with Alcantara and carbon.
Top: The rear end screams aggression.
TECHNICAL DATA FILE/SPECIFICATION #2017 / #Audi-R8-Plus / #Audi-R8-Plus-ABT / #Audi-R8-V10 / #Audi / #Audi-R8 / #Audi-R8-V10-Plus / #Audi-R8-Mk2 / #Audi-R8-Mk2-ABT / #Audi-R8-ABT / #ABT
Engine 5.2 #V10 #Audi-V10 , #ABT custom software, #ABT-exhaust-system with quad tailpipes
Transmission 8-speed #S-tronic
Brakes Carbon ceramic
Suspension ABT sports setup
Wheels ABT forged 20in in matte black
Interior Full re-trim in Alcantara with red details and carbon fibre pieces, including steering wheel, dash and headlining
Exterior ABT front and rear bumpers featuring more aggressive intakes, carbon side blades, carbon sideskirt ends, carbon front arch pieces, carbon rear quarters, carbon rear wing, carbon rear diffuser, carbon mirrors, black grille with ABT badge, black Audi rings, painted Exclusive satin red
Contacts Richter Sport www.richtersport.co.uk ABT / www.abt-sportsline.deStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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This is a titanic battle between sports cars from two of the greatest icons of motorsport. McLaren may now be seen only as a Formula 1 contestant, but it started as a highly successful maker of sports racing cars dominating the Can-Am series between 1967 and 1971, with Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme sharing the honours. The team also competed in Formula 2 and Formula Libre.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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