2010 Audi R8 V10 Coupe: Civilized Power0
I’m in love. With my husband, of course, but also with the Audi R8 5.2. For a few days this spring, an R8 V10 graced our office fleet, and my driveway. Four days and three days of automotive bliss, in my book. Days of taking any excuse, and creating a few, for getting on any road. Despite its complexity, technology, and power, from its aluminum space frame to 525HP 5.0L V10 engine to its LED headlights and magnetic ride adaptive damping system, is a civilized and powerful conveyance. The only competitor for my affections in this category is a Porsche 911 Turbo, and the Audi has a sexier wrapping, better navigation, and iPod integration. Since I’m dreaming in any case, I’ll take one of each, thank you.
Audi R8 is massively capable and one of the easiest high-powered street cars I’ve driven. It made me feel like a hero, and while I can hold my own, I know too many truly excellent drivers and I know where my limits are. I preferred the Sport setting for suspension. It is stiffer, but not uncomfortably so. One of the beauties of the system: If you come across a particularly rough stretch of road, turn Sport off and the normal setting will dampen the harshness instantly. Get past that quarter-mile stretch of mild frost heaves, put it back to Sport, and you can be just as instantly happy again. In my three days, I stayed in Sport mode searching out sweeping off ramps and looking for safe acceleration opportunities.
Our test car was equipped with the six-speed manual and its gated shifter, far preferable to the single clutch R-Tronic transmission a V8-equipped R8 we drove in 2008. I found the R-Tronic transmission is livable, but then I experienced the manual. No going back and no question that if I could ever afford this car–worth more than most houses–it would have the manual. The R-Tronic shifts are abrupt and uncomfortable, but the manual sharp, crisp and entirely entertaining.
One of the few cars to cause a stir on my street–a modest Troy street where most neighbors notably less interested in sexy cars than me or my colleagues are–the R8 drew a crowd immediately. It even earned smiles of approval from my five-year-old tomboy neighbor. Our test car sported Brilliant Red paint and carbon fibre sideblades. Personally, I’d configure mine with Sepang Blue paint. I think I’d skip the $8100 Carbon Figer Sigma Exterior package, $1500 carbon fiber exterior mirrors, and $2300 Carbon Fiber sideblade. They all look great, but not worth bumping the car’s price the way it does. This car speaks to me most behind the wheel, and for that we don’t need exterior carbon fiber. Hypothetically speaking, of course, as there is allure in personalizing such a wonderful machine.
The R8 5.2 boasts a healthy $140,000 base price. Adding the carbon fibre and a few other options, and our test car posted at $177,000. And the joy of the engine and its power is totally worth the gas guzzler tax! The music the engine makes from behind your head is awesome, without being intrusive if you happen to want to speak to the person in the passenger’s seat.
Audi’s following up this glorious coupe with the convertible version favored to Tony Stark. While it might not be fair to make the call not having driven the convertible, I think I’m happier with the fixed roof. Audi R8 5.2 Quattro has a special place in my heart and has a home in my dream garage.