2010 Audi R8 V10 Coupe: Civilized Power


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.
AudiR8V10_d.jpgAudi 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.

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2008 Audi R8: Driving in Rock Star Clothes

For almost a week, we’ve had an Audi R8 here at our Detroit office. Not the first time our staff has been behind the wheel (see Dan Hall’s October 2007 review), but the first time for me and in a different setting. Unlike Dan’s time on the track and road trip from San Francisco to San Clemente, California, this week we spent driving southeastern Michigan, from Rochester Hills to Utica to Monroe. The R8 almost had me in the first mile, would have were it equipped with the conventional six-speed manual, but by the first five miles I was hooked. More than 300 miles later, my appreciation is growing. And I still want the real manual transmission!

R8 head on.jpg

One might assume from looking at the R8’s lovely shape, low and sleek, clearly with space for only two, would not be a daily driver. I disagree. This is an excellent three-season vehicle. Many sports cars, shod with a good set of Bridgestone Blizzaks, can be driven all winter, but R8’s low ground clearance and more extreme performance limits is best enjoyed without snow. R8 is a reward purchase and likely more often a weekend car. But there is no reason it cannot be your every day car. And if not yours, then MINE.
Of many vehicles that have graced AutoPacific’s drive, none has generated this much anticipation or the buzz. Arriving shortly after its supporting role in Iron Man didn’t hurt, either. This Ibis White R8 was in our keeping for a full week, an unusually lucky stroke, rather than a typical four-day hot-car loan. And we’ve taken just about every opportunity we can to show it off. Err…I mean, to gauge public reaction. We even convinced Katrina’s photographer friend to take pictures for just a photo credit and the chance to get close to the car.
R8 Rear.jpg

No surprise, this is the hit of the year. It attracts attention with every mile and anywhere it is parked. As huge fuel costs take a bite out of truck and SUV sales, an equally thirsty vehicle like the R8 is in danger of image backlash, of being seen as unnecessarily wasteful. It was heartening to see so much appreciation and enthusiasm everywhere we went. People may joke that the 13/18mpg-rated car requires a third mortgage to keep fed, but unlike trucks, no one seemed to hate the R8 for being a gas guzzler destroying the free world.
R8 Fuel Door.jpg

Much more gushing after the jump, and even more in Katrina’s blog, too…

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Audi R8 – VehicleVoice Drives Audi’s Super Car



Sonoma, California: Audi’s long awaited R8 has landed here in the States. This past week, VehicleVoice had the chance to review and drive the vehicle at Audi’s New Performance School at Infineon Raceway.
Purpose built to showcase new Audis to the press and host driving events for owners, the new facility at Infineon has the unmistakable Audi presence, with the proper applications of glass, steel, asphalt and, of course, aluminum. Both track and autocross courses were made available to the press for the day.

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Audi R8 Pricing – If Only I Had $125,000


Audi’s pricing for the new R8 sports car is about in line with what we at AutoPacific and VehicleVoice have been expecting. The humorous side to their pricing announcement, however, are the option packages and free standing options. These guys must have taken a page from Porsche’s book of optioning their cars. First, their “Convenience Package” including a 6-disc CD changer, Homelink, Bluetooth, auto dimming mirrors should be standard. The other free standing options are OK as options with the exception of the navigation system. Should be standard. Oh, well.


Audi’s Slightly Edited Press Release
Audi of America has announced pricing for the all-new 2008 R8 sports car. The R8 with a six-speed manual transmission will have a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $109,000 when it launches this fall in the United States. Models equipped with the six-speed R tronic automatic gearbox will start at $118,000. (That’s $9,000 for an automatic transmission – possibly a new record!)

The R8 is the first mid-engine sports car Audi has ever produced. With a 420 hp V8 4.2L FSI engine and rear-biased quattro® all-wheel drive system, the R8 has the performance capabilities unlike any Audi before it. With a zero to 60 mph time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph, the R8 is the fastest Audi ever produced. The lightweight aluminum frame and body and 44:56 front-to-rear weight distribution give the R8 tremendous handling capabilities, with the balance expected of a mid-engine sports car.

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Audi, Audi, Audi. To Increase Presence in USA


Audi’s Johan de Nysschen clearly stated the objectives for Audi of America in an Automotive News World Congress speech given in Detroit last week. de Nysschen is the Executive Vice President of Audi of America Inc. and has plans to make the brand much more aggressive in the United States.

Audi R8 SV Blog.jpg

Traditionally, Audi has positioned itself as a traditional, understated European luxury brand in the U.S. Now, de Nysschen says, these days are over.
Audi’s Solid Sales Year Leaves it Still in the Shadow of Lexus, Mercedes and BMW in the USA
Audi sold 90,116 vehicles in the USA in 2006 last year, but has languished in the shadow of its Bavarian competitor BMW from Munich and the unfocused Mercedes lineup from Stuttgart. In Europe, Audi competes much strongly with BMW and Mercedes than it does in the USA, and in China Audi is kicking butt.
This mis-match is not lost on Audi of America and Audi AG management, they want to increase Audi’s position in the USA and de Nysschen is implementing plans to make that happen. Early in his regime at Audi of America, Johan de Nysschen participated in a VehicleVoice video podcast. It would be instructive to watch that podcast again. Very informative.
Audi’s “Separation Plans”
de Nysschen is very high on having all aspects of Audi of America separate and unique from Volkswagen USA. During a dinner at the 2005 Frankfurt Auto Show there was a wide ranging discussion concerning whether Audi should relocate their headquarters in teh USA and where it should go. I volunteered that Bermuda would be a fine choice, but the New York suburbs in New Jersey seemed to be a front-runner as did the suburbs of Atlanta. Shortly after that show, Audi of America it was going to relocate down the street from Volkswagen of America but in completely separate facilities. Apparently, that plan has been put on hold for budget reasons.
But even without physical separation, Audi has gone a long way inside the Volkswagen of America building to make itself different and more upscale.

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VehicleVoice#47 – Audi R8 North American Debut


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While the World Debut of the Audi TT Roadster caused quite a stir in the Audi booth during the press days at the L.A. Auto Show, it was another unveiling just a few feet away that had AutoPacific Senior Analyst and Audi afficionado Jim Hall really excited.
The Audi R8 made its North American debut here, and sports car fans as well as those that appreciate really beautiful automotive design were drooling over this one. When it hits the road in 2007, it will be easy to spot this new coupe by the crowd of admirers following behind. Jim Hall will be one of them, until his own (now on order!) shows up in Detroit.

Show Runtime – 3:46

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