SORRY CLAUDIA AND HEIDI – THE NEW AUDI R8 HAS STOLEN YOUR SPOT ON THE PODIUM.
When a company culpable for plenty of badass sports cars, plus the mental V10-engined RS6 station wagon, announces the release of its fastest road car, ever, that’s reason to rejoice. Audi’s frst supercar, the R8, was launched in 2006, but this all-new version is next-level intense, with the previously curvaceous, smooth lines brutalised to be sharper and edgier. Underneath the angular, Audi Tt-on-steroids skin, it shares the same seamless seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, brilliant all-wheel-drive system, super-light space-frame construction and kidney-squashing V10 engine as its hot sister, the Lamborghini Huracán (Audi effectively owns the acclaimed Italian marque – both part of VW). While the Lambo comes with only one, maxpower confguration of this ferce 5.2-litre making 449kw/560nm, the entry-level R8 offers a detuned version with 397kw/540nm, and a 3.5 second 0-100km/h. Stepping up to the R8 Plus ($400,000+), it matches the Lambo’s specs, and the 0-100km/h of 3.2 is just 0.2 slower than the Ferrari 488 GTB. This makes it the quickest Audi to date, good news for fans of the R8, of which more than 400 have been sold in Australia, though the bad news is both the V8 version and the gated-manual gearbox option have been deleted. Given so much to share, the Germans and the Italians have somehow come up with two cars that look, feel and even sound entirely different. The Audi has always been special and unique, because it’s a supercar not overly intimidating to drive. Its ferocious pace, now rising to new heights, is always on tap, but on the road it feels no more diffcult to handle than an A3. While the Lamborghini’s interior could only be Italian, the R8 is Germanically perfect and restrained, with beautifully realised Virtual Cockpit technology that brings an almost Applelike futuristic feel to the driving experience. Order now for delivery in early 2016; audi.com.au