October 23, 2012

2012 Audi R8 V10 Spyder

I drove a supercar.
I haven’t expected to write that sentence.  Sometimes opportunities come up and you just have to take them.  Whether it’s the trip to London to see Top Gear Live, the press cars that have shown up at home, or the trips to Dearborn; all of it is great.  This becomes the cherry to the hot fudge Sunday of the last year.  It isn’t every day that you drive a car that you’ve only ever seen in person thrice. 

                I like Audi’s.  I especially like the manual gearbox in the older S4’s.  It’s smooth and a blast to drive.  The Allroad is fun, the Q7 is bringing the Lamborghini Urus, I want an RS5, and the A6 is brilliant.  The S8 is the next #Wanttodrive Audi.  But I drove Audi’s trump card today.

                I was handed the keys and told to “Have fun!”  Initial impression of the R8 V10 Spyder is “Jesus, don’t break it.”  What’s $175 grand?  More than my house.  The rest of the impression is that the inside of the R8 feels like a lower, wider, and more carbon fiber filled Audi interior.  The multimedia system is the same, but harder to read since the top was down.  The climate controls are smaller and lower on the console.  The tachometer and speedometer are immediately in your face and easy to read.  There isn’t a lot of room behind you, because the 5.2L V10 is in the way.

                The R8 didn’t terrify me, which kind of disappointed me.  This is the most expensive car I’ve ever driven.  I can only hope to drive a SLS AMG, McLaren F1, or something with a horse or bull on it to get more expensive… 
Supercars are supposed to scare you.  Not being able to see out of the Countach, having a part, or a wheel could come off at any moment is a proper supercar feeling.  The R8 is properly fast, but not scary.  Not fall apart scary, but another type of fear.
 I was afraid of how comfortable I was in this car.  I’m not talking about the actual fear of sitting in the seat, but of how the car and I joined together.  The Quattro all-wheel drive, the familiar Audi interior, and the smooth V10 all made this car feel like an extension of me.  This was scary because the posted speed limit was rarely the speed that the R8 wanted to go.  It was fast. 

I allegedly did 100mph in this car.  I wasn’t looking so I’m not sure how fast the speedometer was actually reading.  If I had some time on a track or an open place with no speed limit, then I’d drive the piss out of this car.  Cruising on the highway at 70mph was kind of soul crushing.  I can’t afford speeding tickets and this car felt like it wanted to help me earn a lot of them. 

The transmission shifts savagely when you’re hammering the R8.  Combined with the Sport button, the all-wheel drive, and the 525 horsepower the R8 feels like a world beater.  I wanted someone to race. 

The R8 is a looker.  I’ve spent most of my life trying to hide unsuccessfully my narcissism, but the R8 quickly brings it back out.  I loved to be seen in this car.  It helps that I don’t have gray hair yet, so it doesn’t look like I’m compensating. 

I don’t know if I’ll ever have another chance to drive another supercar.  This was my first.  It will always be remembered.  Kind of like all those other firsts: 1st auto show, 1st press car, 1st time published by another site, 1st time in print.  It all has been a blast and I can’t wait to have more first.  This job is awesome. 

Thank you to everyone who’s ever read any of my work and thought that it didn’t suck. 


  1. Hi, it's a nice blog. I'd like to add a little bit. Audi is pretty absurd for offering a v8, if you want a car like this is should only be the v10 or maybe even a v12. thats just my opinion. you should do that Audi just saying.thanks!