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Well ... even though my order was cancelled ... Audi still wanted me to drive the R8 as I've still got a deposit down on a V10/Targa ...

I went to Oulton Park this morning in the wet ... although the rain held off for most of the time we did have some showers and then a drying out spell ... which in a way was very informative as we had the chance to drive it in the pouring rain ... and on a track which had developed a dry line, for 95%+ of the track.

Glad I went for a dark colour, while it looked very nice in the four colours that were there ... Daytona Grey, Phantom Black, Jet Blue and Silver ... I preferred the Daytona and Black, with the Black just getting the deciding vote.

R-Tronic was fit for purpose driving round the track ... as well as for use in the 'slalom' section.

The manual was nice but would probably take a little getting used to if you have only have limited experience driving an 'open gate' ... which is the case for me ... that said I started to get used to the open gate fairly quickly and I felt that once you'd spent a couple of weeks with some regular stints behind the wheel ... the 'open gate' manual would become as easy to use as a standard manual.

Magnetic Ride ... all cars in use had this option ... and all cars had ESP turned on with no ability to turn it off ... the ride was very good and with only short spells behind the wheel it was difficult to say for certain just how much better the control was with the dampers firm setting engaged ... but the ride in both modes was very good ... the car feeling a little more 'connected' in hard cornering with the firmer setting ... which is as you would want it.

Exhaust note ... nice inside and out ... although Audi have muted out a lot of the exhaust note from the cabin when the windows are up ... although the sounds from the engine and exhaust are still very nice when you 'give her some welly' ... but (and probably quite deliberately so) the harsher notes of the exhaust don't overwhelm you in the cabin with the windows up ... and as the R8 is a 'mature' yet extremely capable sports car ... this is probably only to be expected.

Cornering and grip ... difficult to say where it would end in the dry on a dry hot day ... myself and Raymond who I was paired up with driving the car certainly did our best to push hard in one section where the instructor leading us round drove in a way where we could ... 'give it some beans' and push really hard through a 180degree bend ... asides from the obvious twitch when braking a little late and carrying too much speed into the start of the corner ... it was difficult to get the traction control light flashing even during 'positive driving' through the corner ... although I did manage to get the ESP to intervene a couple of times coming out of the corner quickly and under hard acceleration ... yet the car never seemed about to bite you too hard ... allowing you a short warning which was readable in enough time to apply the required steering correction to keep things from getting out of hand.

Acceleration and braking ... with a tight and twisty track with people following a lead car hard acceleration was only possible in short bursts ... even though three figure speeds could just about be reached before having to brake for the next corner ... or to avoid rear ending the person or instructor in front of you ... however, it is blatantly obvious that much like the RS4 ... the R8 does and more than likely will have a huge appetite for long and hard acceleration it is obviously quicker than an RS4 ... but not that obviously so as to be that apparent from the drivers seat ... and the reassuring thing is that the standard brakes (which all cars were fitted with) were more than up to the task of reigning in the speed and bringing things back to more sedate and safe speeds in very short distances ... they were easy to modulate during braking too and I suspect would stand up very well to moderate to fairly hard track driving ... even though the engine and brakes are very similar to the RS4 ... both are noticeably better when packaged into the R8 ... be it due to minor improvements ... or because they are working in a smaller and lighter car with a lower centre of gravity ... well I'm not qualified to say ... but it certainly felt like both were performing better in the R8.

Overall ... R-Tronic if you're going to track the car on a regular basis ... whilst manual is probably the better choice for cars that will either never ... or only once in a blue moon see the tarmac of a track in anger.

Can't comment on standard or magnetic ride as all cars had the latter ... but the magnetic ride does feel very nice and gives you that option of comfort ... or a more 'connected' feel when taking to the track ... or to some of your favourite quite and twisty roads.

Really pleased I went ... especially after getting a rather nice limited edition book at the end of it ... even though I might not be getting an R8 until my V10/Targa arrives sometime in excess of a year away in the future ... even my driving partner for the event who has driven 911s for some time was really impressed with the R8 ... and seemed just blown away bar the cars balance and poise ... something the 911 will always suffer with due to the engine being slung way out back ... I think Audi have come up with a winner here ... I'm sure there will be those who aren't overly impressed ... but I think the majority who drive the R8 will be very pleasantly surprised and will give it a big thumbs up as far as looking at it from the drivers seat.
 

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Hey Paul,

Gutted - I didn't realise you were there - I was too! I have to agree with everything Paul has already said - and funnily enough I was also sharing a car with a guy who is currently running a 911 S - he basically said the 911 felt as quick in a straight line, but in every other respect wasn't up to the Audi's standard - which was how I felt about the R8 anyway!

I thought Audi did a good job of matching people's desire to have a good go, to their wish to not have all of their ex-press cars written off, and I can't recommend the day enough... not that it makes the next few months' waiting any easier...

Bring on October, or whenever it is my car will finally arrive...!
 

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Great post Paul. Hope you get your car sooner than you think. Am going to Oulton Park on Wednesday morning to try it out for myself.All the best. Maybe see you at Old Trafford again if we can wangle another invite.

John
 

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Paul,
Good to see you back!

I agree with most things that you wrote except one pretty important thing...
R8 is not faster then RS4 on real roads.

Few days ago I again did run with my friend(you know which one!) with his RS4 against me in demo R8(manual) and difference is not there... For example he push RS4 really hard on the autobahn and I(in R8) could not catch him...
We did two 100km/h till 240km/h runs on the autobahn and each time difference was 1m only(in my advantage since I was in R8)... So, to end all crap R8 is REALLY not any faster then RS4 on the autobahn...

What is then better on R8? Steering feel, high speed stability and brake stability when you brake from cca 220km/h(at this speed RS4 rear becomes little bit unstable on heavy braking). Wet road traction is better on RS4. But, difference is not that big here...
R8 feels softer IMO then RS4(with SS+) despite Magnetic Ride option on R8(in stiffer settings)...

Question-is R8 huge step forward after RS4? NO. Harsh and honest answer.

IMHO R8 is a great car but, it is overpriced. After driving R8 for three times I can say this without any hesitation at all.

...and last thing that many of you will not like at all. There was also with us a friend with 997 Turbo(manual with LSD). This car is MUCH faster then R8 or RS4 in ANY situation what so ever. Do you know how much behinde was me in R8 in our 100km/h till 240km/h short test on the autobahn? Better not to know... He in his 997 Turbo was at least 150m in front of me! YES! 997 Turbo is really that much faster...
 

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I agree with most things that you wrote except one pretty important thing...
R8 is not faster then RS4 on real roads.

I don't know what roads are real/normal to you, but I drove the RS4 and the R8 at the same day on the same real roads. Clocked them and the R8 is faster then the RS4. The corneringspeed I achieved was higher with the R8, braking was somewhat better and the handling more direct.

The R8 was in normal mode more comfortable than the RS4. The balance was just better.

I had the luck that some of the roads where humid too, and also in humid situations the feel of the R8 and the speed I achieved in corners was higher. Though, the tail of the R8 was much more nervous in wet then the RS4.
 

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well look who is here... hope besides this nice experience with the R8s all is getting in order overthere...

maybe you had the same cars we had on nurburg ring some weeks ago.. couldnt switch of esp etc either.. but was very nice day though


and re Kresos comments,.. as much as I appreciate his insights though depht analysis paird with some intel we couldnt never get.. I still dont feel what you are saying.. so many have already commented on R8.. and it was like night and day... from 4sec to 60mph to over 5 secs... or connected and even better steering feel then ANY 911 to wabbly not so direct behaviour. etc etc..

seems it really polarizes the world extremely.. for me, even if it would EVER be slower then an rs4, or a simple normal 911 (no s or 4 or turbo) or any other car which I dont even want to compare, despite mentioning here, it would simply not interest me.. this car is a great piece of engineering and design, and what it already fullfilled with US talking, discussing, arguing about this car is immense..

this coming week is MY babys build date.. and I will keep holding on to this car a long time ;)
 

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Guilty,
One example... If somebody in front of you is doing 250km/h in his RS4 on the autobahn in Germany you will not be able to overtake him in your R8. I can even put 5000Euro bet, trust me on this. We tried it...

Otherwise your findings are pretty similar to mine.

Remember, I order R8 and payed deposit for it as you did.

BUT, are you really thinking that R8 is worth the extra money over RS4? Keep in mind that prices in Germany for same equipment level are R8-130000Euro, RS4-85000Euro...

And please no story about exclusivity, limited production etc. Let's move little bit from Audi marketing...
 

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well look who is here... hope besides this nice experience with the R8s all is getting in order overthere...

maybe you had the same cars we had on nurburg ring some weeks ago.. couldnt switch of esp etc either.. but was very nice day though


and re Kresos comments,.. as much as I appreciate his insights though depht analysis paird with some intel we couldnt never get.. I still dont feel what you are saying.. so many have already commented on R8.. and it was like night and day... from 4sec to 60mph to over 5 secs... or connected and even better steering feel then ANY 911 to wabbly not so direct behaviour. etc etc..

seems it really polarizes the world extremely.. for me, even if it would EVER be slower then an rs4, or a simple normal 911 (no s or 4 or turbo) or any other car which I dont even want to compare, despite mentioning here, it would simply not interest me.. this car is a great piece of engineering and design, and what it already fullfilled with US talking, discussing, arguing about this car is immense..

this coming week is MY babys build date.. and I will keep holding on to this car a long time ;)
Chris,
Enjoy your R8! I will enjoy my R8 and my 997 Turbo as well... My point is short-I expected little bit more from R8... It is fantastic drivers car IMHO but... Something is missing... And I am not very keen about V10 idea in R10...
Still, my R8 is a KEEPER.
 

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To be honest guys, sometimes I feel like Kreso as well. Sometimes I feel maybe Audi could have given us more HP for our money...or something a little extra.

But the one big thing that keeps me in love with my R8 is it's awesome street presence and sexy good looks. This is the one BIG thing that does it for me!
 

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To be honest guys, sometimes I feel like Kreso as well. Sometimes I feel maybe Audi could have given us more HP for our money...or something a little extra.

But the one big thing that keeps me in love with my R8 is it's awesome street presence and sexy good looks. This is the one BIG thing that does it for me!
yeah for me too.. of course it could have gotten more HPs... but size does not really matter I thought, even a belly is accepted :D
 

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Guilty,
One example... If somebody in front of you is doing 250km/h in his RS4 on the autobahn in Germany you will not be able to overtake him in your R8. I can even put 5000Euro bet, trust me on this. We tried it...

Otherwise your findings are pretty similar to mine.

Remember, I order R8 and payed deposit for it as you did.

BUT, are you really thinking that R8 is worth the extra money over RS4? Keep in mind that prices in Germany for same equipment level are R8-130000Euro, RS4-85000Euro...

And please no story about exclusivity, limited production etc. Let's move little bit from Audi marketing...
I think the price we will pay is not only for performance, but also for the design. I'd pay for the design :)

Fortunately, I'll not drive the Autobahn every week :) But I think, I'll be able to overtake a limited RS4 at 250 on the straight. The difference between 250 and 300 is a lot. But steering is very sensible in a mid engined car, so you'll have to have BIG BALLS to do it :)
 

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yeah for me too.. of course it could have gotten more HPs... but size does not really matter I thought, even a belly is accepted :D
Hahaha, yes I agree too, the design is so sexy!!
 

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It is because it is a combination of many things that makes it so good not just one element.

I never thought it would or need to keep up with a 997 Turbo or Ferrari 430. Kreso you are buying a Turbo so why compare them. If they were the same you wouldn't need both.

It is what it is - a very very very good sportscar.
 

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Welcome back Paul !

Nice to see that even though production for the V10 is NOT offcially confirmed, someone at Audi UK has a heart and that you have at least driven the R8.

Hope the actual drive was as good as you imagined it to be.


P.S. Trust you guys have not knackered the cars !!!
Leave somthing left for us to drive at Rockingham next week........
 

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R8 is not faster then RS4 on real roads.
I would agree with you as in real world driving situations ie. no one is driving the same on a back road as they would at a track (I hope not at least), meaning the norms and safety of driving take priority over the last bit of performance. I suspect the R8 is fractionally quicker in most situations but not enough to tell in real world situations.

IMHO R8 is a great car but, it is overpriced. After driving R8 for three times I can say this without any hesitation at all.
I'll take your word for it, you having driven the car I have not. However the worth is in what people are willing to pay.. What I mean is the R8 costs 2x as much as a Cayman S and 3x as much as a Corvette (here in the US). Its clear you are paying more for a R8 or F430 (or any such car) than most people would say they are worth, and yet there are waiting lists for a R8 and F430 while I can walk into a Chevy or Porsche dealer and get the cars I mentioned for $5K off sticker and have 10 to pick from. I'm aware the R8 is not on sale yet, but I suspect it will be wait list for a while to hear the talk.

...997 Turbo. is MUCH faster then R8 in ANY situation what so ever. Turbo is really that much faster...
You may be surprized to know your statement is not true. While I'll grant you the 911 turbo accelerates quicker due to +60hp and +150-TQ (?) whatever it has. But there are a few tests where the R8 has quicker lap times. C&D and EVO magazine are just two and doubtless there will be more. C&D on two separate tests had the R8 significantly quicker around a track than was the 997 turbo. You may ask how its possible for a 'slower' car to be quicker around a track it's because the R8 either corners better, brakes or turns better (whatever the case may be) but the 911 turbo power better so you come up with a conclusion you want. but in more than one instance the R8 has been tested quicker.

I have no doubt the turbo is quicker on the autobahn. so what?. If anyone wants a turbo there will be a good number for sale no waiting. I don't think the main reason of a R8 is to be the quickest car from 0-100 or from 80 to 120 roll-on the Highway or highest top speed.

As I noted, in the real word, you're not going to notice much between a RS4 or a R8 nor for the same reason will you notice much from a R8 to a 911 turbo. In real world the turbo is not going to run away and hide (other than as you said on an autobahn).

I just got back from driving a F430, McLaren SLR, GT3 and Gallardo (at the WC driving event) we drove these cars on public roads. For all of them the sensibility limit is reached before the cars limit. What I mean is by the numbers a SLR will smoke the other cars but in real world you'd be hard pressed to escape (if driving semi-safe as you would on public roads).

IMO.
 

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Guilty,
BUT, are you really thinking that R8 is worth the extra money over RS4? Keep in mind that prices in Germany for same equipment level are R8-130000Euro, RS4-85000Euro...

And please no story about exclusivity, limited production etc. Let's move little bit from Audi marketing...
I see what you are saying. Here in US the R8 costs almost 2x what a RS4 does. But it's not in the same class. The SL mercedes has the same engine as E class or a Corvette has the same engine as the GTO.

The cost of the components (engine tranny etc..) has nothing to do with the cost of the car. The cost of the car has to do with how much it can be sold for.

Take as another example a Bentley. It can be viewed as this or that a VW or Audi engine/platform with nicer trim and much higher status and costs 2x as much.

The R8 is not sharing an Audi platform it's sharing a $200K Gallardo platform. The R8 is being compared to anything it's the Gallordo, GT3, 911 turbo, F430, Vantage, M6, C4S etc.. those cars are $90K+ so either the R8 is a good deal or a bad deal compared to those cars does not have anything to do with the RS4.
 

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higher status and costs 2x as much.

The R8 is not sharing an Audi platform it's sharing a $200K Gallardo platform. The R8 is being compared to anything it's the Gallordo, GT3, 911 turbo, F430, Vantage, M6, C4S etc.. those cars are $90K+ so either the R8 is a good deal or a bad deal compared to those cars does not have anything to do with the RS4.

When I see the laptimes of the R8, I'm confident the R8 is a bargain :)
 
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