Aug 2011 02

The Audi R8: Truth in Engineering, indeed

Posted in News

For SAMA’s event “Topless in Miami,” an event showcasing some of the best convertibles to purchase today, one of the cars available to drive was a 2011 Audi R8 5.2 FSI Quattro MT6 Spyder. This supercar gem stood out from the other cars, as it was the only supercar there. While there were other sports cars available, everyone was enthusiastic about driving the R8, especially myself. When it was time to drive one of the 19 convertibles available that day, all the journalists scrambled to the 19 cars. As I was the first to the R8 and throughout the opening ceremonies I made it apparent that I wanted to drive this car I heard puns such as “We all knew this was going to happen!”

Before I started up the R8, the staff from Prestige asked “Are you sure you can drive stick?” I suppose they were afraid leaving the most expensive car in the showcase to a 22 year old that thirsted for speed. I started up the R8 and my skin crawled as the V10 got up to temperature. I nervously shifted the car to first and eased off the clutch. I lightly tapped the throttle of the 525 HP behemoth to move the car just a couple of feet forward in line with other cars as journalists waited to be let loose on Key Biscayne. As we headed out of the Ritz-Carlton one of the main concerns were if the car could get over the speed bumps. Surprisingly enough, the R8 stands just high enough not to scrap and the Front/ Rear double wishbone suspension that is controlled by Audi’s magnetic ride adaptive damping system, provided a smooth transition over the bump, which is a main concern when people buy these expensive vehicles.

As we made it to the main street on Key Biscayne, I floored it out of the complex just to hear the roar of the V10. The 6- speed manual transmission that was made in Italy was easy to use, this being said from someone with not much experience with manual transmissions. I shifted between gears effortlessly and while shifting down, the engine makes a unique sound that makes heads turn.

Audi have designed a car that makes you feel like you’re in racing cockpit. They included technologies such as a driver information system on-board computer and a lap timer. They really sought to appeal to drivers who wish to take these monsters to the track and those who look to take a Sunday drive with some style. There is an automatic rear spoiler that activates under certain conditions or can be activated manually.

When we reached the half-way point of the route provided by Prestige, I swapped places with my father. As soon as he sat in the driver’s seat he took the car up to 100 mph and felt the acceleration from the V10, he hailed this car as “The greatest car that I have ever driven.” My dad’s face lightened up with joy, as he swerved back and forth as to warm up the tires like they do in Formula One, and played with the gearbox. It was like he was a teenager again but, isn’t that the essence that a vehicle of this caliber brings to a driver?

Audi’s automobile has a sticker price of about $180,000.00 and has an EPA rated 12 MPG city / 19 MPG Highway. There is also a 4-year/ 50,000 mile warranty and no charge on your first scheduled maintenance. I believe that with this car Audi has a good challenger for the Ferrari and Lamborghini convertibles. Especially with its AWD and its 525 hp, it will be a contender on the track.

By Patrick Alvarez

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