Audi’s R8 V10: The sound of a stampeding buffalo heard and a Blue Angels flyby
I am just about to end my week with the 2014 Audi R8 V10. And while I’ll have a more in-depth review for you soon, I wanted to check in and give you a small taste – a bit of flavor – of the R8.
I’ve written about several supercars for The Manual lately. And while I’ve done my darndest to make them seem vivacious but and tamable, they’re not. Honestly, most companies don’t make supercars to really sell them make money. This is why so many supercars from everyday carmakers are wholly unlivable.
Automakers build supercars to sell entry-level cars. Most people would much rather own the $1,000,000 Porsche 918 Spyder. But, instead, they buy the $50,000 Boxster because that’s the one they can actually afford. That’s why supercars don’t have to drive well for anyone but a racecar driver. If you can afford one, you’re buying it to show off, not to race.
I often argue that the R8 was another one of these marketing ploys; build to entice buyers into the A3 or the TT, rather than to be enjoyed as a motoring masterpiece. Now that I’ve driven it, though, I realize how wrong I was.
Underneath, the R8 is the Lamborghini Gallardo. And the R8 I drove features an Audi rejiggered V10 also from Lambo as well. With an exterior that is undoubtedly German and a heart and soul of an Italian bull, the R8 checks all my boxes. It’s gorgeous to behold without being gauche but goes like it’s late for a date with its mistress.
Given the other supercars I’ve driven, which include the Noble M400, the Nissan GT-R, and the Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series, I expected the R8 to be a struggle. I expected I’d have to fight and muscle it around the roads, loving my life but cursing my existence all at the same time.
Instead the R8 is truly effortless. With the new S tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission, the R8 can be a cool, collected tourer. And when put into manual shift and Sport modes, it can also unleash all its inner anger and torques.
Although I don’t want to get too ahead of myself before I’ve officially collected my thoughts on the car, I’d like to share one of my most favorite sensations with you: The feeling of the steering change when you come off the throttle.
Since the R8 is a mid-engine all-wheel drive supercar, you can feel the effect torque has on the front wheels when you let off the accelerator in the corners. It’s remarkable.
For now, though, I’d like to try to leave you with a psychogenic sensation of what it’s like to listen to the cries of the R8 V10. Imagine the sound of a jet engine taking off. Then imagine the sound of an F1 car at full throttle. Then imagine the rumble of a heard of stampeding buffalo on the open plains. Roll them all around in your head and you’ve nearly got the sound pegged.
If that half-assed attempt to conjure the engine exhaust sounds didn’t wow you, check back next week for my full review. By then, I’ll think of something good. I promise.