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Thread: Another new member...

  1. #11
    Senior Member alin2's Avatar
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    Re: Another new member...

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackPenquinn View Post
    I am NOT a roadster guy, but I do own an R8 V10 6 sp and an Aston Martin V12 Vantage 6 spd. I have also owned a V8 Vantage Coupe.

    Two very different cars. It really depends on what you are looking for in a car.

    The R8 is a mid-rear engined. You get everything that comes with that. It feels very modern. You sit closer to the front wheels. You have a fantastic view of the road. The steering is direct.

    It is quiet in the cabin. The engine note is more mechanical, higher pitched. You don't hear any deep exhaust. This is an engine you want to rev. Keep it above 4000rpms, that's the joy. Run it out to 8500, feel the surge. Amazing thing that motor. At lower revs its very docile, this is not a torque monster, but it has surge.

    It has a version of "quatro", but this car is basically RWD. Very benign on the track. It lets you know where the edge is. The R8 wants to make you a hero.

    I LOVE the gated manual. It is a joy to shift. The clutch is light enough for traffic. A real treat.

    The fit and finish is both great and not so great. Everything works amazing, gauges etc are where they should be. The seats and the leather are so so. The plastic inside the car is not good, it feels cheap at this price. Tap it, tap the knobs etc. and you will feel a hollow feel. For me it was a huge let down and an oddity considering Audi has a history of awesome interiors. This all disappears once you start to drive.

    The grilles at the front and side look cheap, more Mazda 3 than Exotic.

    As a daily driver/real world car, the R8 is a curious mix. It is incredibly civil. It's never really feels too low (for an exotic). It is great in traffic. Never bothersome, never heavy to use, you have great vision etc. I have even driven it in 8" of snow, without any issue. By every measure it succeeds as a DD.

    But... There is no real storage. The doors are sooo big, so heavy. Not great for tight parking. The storage at the front gets VERY hot have recorded 132F after a drive to work.

    Overall the R8 is an amazing car. It feels exotic, but a little mass produced at the same time. The car has an exotic shell, but it is very comfortable. If you want your car to scare you, this is not the car for you. The R8 has incredible power, but it has been designed to keep it in check. On the track, this was comforting. It meant I could concentrate.

    I am glad I own this car. I do want it to be a little more visceral though. Perhaps a GT is more for me.

    --

    Aston is a very different brand to Audi. It's more tactile, more about materials and experiences.

    The cars are more traditional in layout, though they really aren't old fashioned front engine cars, more front mid-engined. They have a rear transaxle to move the weight back. As a result the packaging and dynamics are different to the R8.

    The Aston has cartoon windows. The proportions are of a larger car that has been shrunk in size. Its actually much smaller than you think.

    You sit very low. You peer out over a long hood that ends "somewhere". It's all very dramatic. Vision is good, though not like the R8. You need to be aware of the cars size and edges.

    The V8 is. Great motor, but not on par with the R8's V10. They both lack immediate torque though. The V12 is closer to the R8, so I will use it as the base.

    The V12 loves to spool up. You get to the 6500 rpm limit quicker than you think. It has more immediate punch than the R8. Not better, but different. It is also a ferocious engine. Loud and deep. It feels like mayhem, more vocal, more visceral.

    The V12 Vantage has the better steering (though the R8 is impeccable). Just awesome and far better than a 991 Porsche. In fact all the controls are top rate. The ceramic brakes are fantastic. Never grabby, i find my R8 a little grabby, I am going to change pads and see what that does (steel rotors). Even when they are not hot, they work fine.

    The V12 lacks the magnetic ride in the R8 so it never feels as supple. This does not bother me at all, as a result everything is just hungry. This is less true of the V8 Vantage. I do love how the V12 feels on the road. It is raw, it looks like a GT, but it drives like it is looking to release mayhem.

    When you put your foot into the V12 it is ALIVE. The rear end will step out, it makes getting milk exciting. The Aston wants to make you Epic. It will let you make glorious mistakes. The magic of the V12 is how very choice adds up to a magical whole, it is an experience. The R8 is a more effective tool. It is an instrument, but he V12 Vantage is a symphony. It is equally about experience as it is effeciveness.

    On the tack the V12 rewards an experienced driver. The V8 was less intimidating and more akin to the R8. It was exciting and rewarding. Surprising too.

    The interior feels more bespoke. Only Bentley does a job that is on par or better. The materials are better, the seats are better, but the ergonomics are not as good. I do love the sense of occasion.

    The sound of the car is EPIC!!!!!! I wish Audi would learn more about exhaust tuning.

    The V12 Vantage is also a curious mix as a Daily Driver. It has a more classic layout, so it works well day to day. You have storage, you have space. But the front spoiler is very low. You must be careful. The paint is soft. The car is more difficult to drive day to day. It's not a car you feel comfortable leaving in places you would not think twice about leaving an R8.

    --

    People seem to love both cars with equal passion. They go one way or the other. I love them both.
    Both cars get better as you drive them. You fall in love with them.

    Think about what you want out of your car. Drive them. Do a task in them you would normally do, parking, traffic etc.

    Nice problem to have.
    Outstanding post. Thanks for your insights.

    I have never owned a roadster before always preferring coupes especially on the track. But, as time goes on, I spend less and less time at the track.

    In fact, my current 911 TT-S has only been on the track twice...

    My 911 is an amazing DD that seems very similar to the Audi R8 in the sense that it is docile around town and an absolute beast when opened up. The 911 TT-S provides, for the lack of a better word, a "clinical" experience interrupted and punctuated by jaw-dropping episodes of excitement, especially when the turbos spool up (which is now almost instantaneously) or a bit of oversteer peeks out. However, the quirkiness of a rear mounted engine in the 911 as been so smoothed out that throttle lift oversteer is a historical anomaly now. I get the sense the R8 provides the same type of experience given the mid engine, German precision feeling. The plusses of the R8, particularly in the Spyder version vs 911 TT cab, is the dramatic flair of the R8. IMHO, the R8 is simply a more visually appealing and beautiful car. The 911 may be a better performer on the track, but I don't think I have the time or skill to extract that difference.

    The AM, OTOH, is a novel thing for me. I have never driven an AM and will try one out this weekend. But, I wonder if I can truly appreciate the unique nature of the AM that you write about tooling around the weekend on a cold winter day? We'll see.

    Thanks for your thoughts again.

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  3. #12
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    Re: Another new member...

    I think you should drive them both. It sounds like the R8 will suit you. It is very like Porsche in its ability to be everyday, except its packaging is far more exotic. It's a striking car to drive. Dynamically in the real world, they are on par.

    The Aston is a great car. You should drive one. Be sure it is a 6 spd, the sport shift is not as good, though I hear the 2013 is greatly improved.

    Best of luck.
    2010 Audi R8 V10
    2011 Aston Vantage V12, Carbon Edition
    2011 Range Rover Sport SC
    >previous 2012 Audi TT RS, 2009 Aston Martin Vantage, 2008 Boxster S, 2010 Audi S4
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/112117235606653/

  4. #13
    Senior Member
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    Re: Another new member...

    A very insightful, and as well unbiased analysis. I concur with nearly all the impressions of the R8. I've stayed away from Astons because they feel like glorified Jags, whici I have seen as glorified Fords in my mind.

    This is not to say my impression is correct - it is just an impression. Probably for the same reason some people think an R8 is just another VW.

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