My wife and I recently completed a weeklong 8-state road trip through the northeast, in my recently purchased 2014 R8 V10 S-tronic. I thought I’d share a few random observations:
(1) If I liked the car a lot in the weeks of ownership prior to this trip; I am absolutely IN LOVE with it now. Nothing like hours and hours in a vehicle to distill *exactly* how you feel about it. The longer we drove, the more fun we had. An exotic that can be driven fearlessly for days on end ...who knew?
I was truly impressed with the overall package.
(2) It absolutely filled the role of a ‘grand tourer’, as opposed to a harder edged sports car (which it can be). With the relatively quiet-ish ride (stock exhaust, elective sport-mode driving), relatively compliant ride (magna-ride suspension), good stereo (B & O) and an over-abundance of power for touring; it was always a battle between enjoying the car, the sound and speed and handling, and slowing down to enjoy the scenery along the way.
(3) I never fully appreciated how crappy the roads are throughout the northeast! After years as a Lexus daily driver, I had no clue that things were so bad. And having to be so aware, constantly, of the road surface, especially on back roads, can get tiring over many hours. I never once used the shocks on the stiffer ‘sport mode’ setting, the default setting was jarring enough.
(4) If you’re planning to go on a longer road trip, I’d encourage anyone to seriously consider a set of custom-fit luggage pieces. I purchased a set of the ‘budget-friendly’ (compared to the uber-quality, uber-expensive OEM sets that pop up every so often) R8 customized luggage sets from Amazon:
Between my wife and I, we easily had enough space for everything we needed for the week with a bit of room to spare. However, when using all three pieces of the luggage set, there really is next to no additional room to spare — perhaps a little in the passenger side footwell, but really nothing else.
(5) We were totally unprepared for the amount of attention we attracted, or rather, the car attracted. We’d driven nice cars before, but this was something else entirely. *Never* have I had so many people take pictures of my car (...daily — either on the highway or when parked, or when getting gas, or at a stop light, etc. etc.), engage me in conversation at *every* stop or parking lot etc., etc. We just really weren’t expecting it, and my wife commented that it felt like we were somehow minor celebrities.
(6) That fuel tank capacity is great! for long-distance driving. We were getting close to 400-470+ miles per tankful with averages of 20+ mpg at times. And this was from a V10! It really took the anxiety off for those times that I left it in sport mode, just to hear the engine, or to keep power on tap for easy high speed maneuvering on the highway.
(7) Going from Maryland to Rhode Island to Maine and back, and hitting all the states in between (but only skirting the edge of NYC) we saw exactly zero other R8’s. That surprised me. Perhaps because it’s not fully spring time yet, and some owners don’t bring out their nicer vehicles until spring/summer? I dunno. But it’s interesting that we saw none at all.
(8) Having driven several sports cars over the years, I was always cognizant of the weather. Everyone knows that generally big horsepower/high torque and bad weather conditions don’t mix well. However, driving the R8, sometimes for hours at a time in poor weather, I was impressed with how unflappable it was. I didn’t try anything crazy, but I certainly drove more spiritedly, while feeling more secure, than I’ve ever felt in a sports car before.
I realize that most on this forum have a *much* broader range of experiences in their R8’s over the years, and all of the above may be old hat. But for those who are in the market, or are just about to get their first R8, I can assure you that, whatever your expectations are — and I assume they’re high — they’ll be far, far exceeded by your experience with the car!