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Offline AshSimmonds

  • Geekitecht

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Drives: GF's shitbox :(
  • Location: Adelayed
  • Name: Humble Narrator
  • www: AshSimmonds.com

The Audi R8 is an absolute beauty until you stop it.

Parking the Audi R8 is a pain. It has terrible visibility, sits worryingly close to the kerb, has heavy steering, does not have enough steering lock for tight turns, and costs far too much to chance on a bump-park.

When you are driving the manu-matic model, with its computer-controlled clutch, you also park in fear of a slip and smack.

So we have that out of the way.

And that's about it for the carsGuide complaints.

The manu-matic can operate a bit suddenly in stop-start traffic, and the same lack of visibility that punishes when parking means you have to be careful with lane changes, but otherwise we think the new German speed machine is a ripper.

It is fast, really fast, but still easy to drive and comfortable enough for everyday commuting and Sunday-morning fun runs. And it looks brilliant.

There is much to like about the R8, from the way it looks to the alloy body, the way it snaps away from lights and the way it eats up all sorts of roads.

But, more importantly, you can happily take it on the daily grind or down to the beach for a weekend in the sun.

As we said after our first drive in the R8 in the US last year, it's not a supercar, and we stand by that. It is very, very quick, but it's no Gallardo or F430.

And that's not a bad thing because it's more than fast enough to scare most owners and lines up more than impressively against a Porsche 911, the real rival for the R8.

It's as docile and comfortable as a Porsche, though there is that thing about the parking . . .

We spent our R8 test time with a robotised manual gearbox, which lifted the car's price to $274,900, but most drivers will appreciate the strengths of the six-speed sequential R-tronic gearbox.

To get the boring stuff out of the way, the R8 is comfortable and well equipped for two people. It also has reasonable luggage space for a car of its type. The driver's bucket is set a little high, but that's neither here nor there. All switches and knobs are beautifully finished and operate well, and the view over the dropaway nose is great.

We rate it highly against the Porsche and it scores over the 911 on looks by a wide margin, which is why so many people are moving to an R8. And itís so much more civilised than a Ferrari or Lamborghini, with resale values that are likely to stay high.

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