Fast, loud, low and attractive – this is a car that excites. The new Audi R8 does everything right. It’s the sports car for drivers who don’t want a Lamborghini or Ferrari, but go weak at the knees at the sight of the Audi. The second generation R3 shares half of its parts with Audi’s R8 LMS racer, and is one of the last non-turbo, naturally aspirated survivors. Pushing the start button you are greeted by a loud rumble – just to let the driver know that this really is a beast and that his money was well spent.
It is brazenly loud. The initial roar soon quietens (like the new Porsche 911), but if you want to revel more in its gorgeous symphony, push the sound button in the steering wheel. The exhaust valves will open up and you’ll realise that the R8 is based on the Lamborghini Huracan. Accelerate and you get a blow in the neck, almost knocking you out. This machine has explosive acceleration and response. You – and everyone else on the road – can hear the engine working right behind you. There’s no doubt, the R3 is an attention seeker.
This model is lighter and wider with a lower centre of gravity. The seven-speed double-clutch gearbox allows smoother, more direct shifts and the road holding is perfect. In comfort mode it is a relaxed drive, in dynamic mode it emits a death rattle with stertorous breathing. The R8 lacks the unpredictability of a Jaguar F-Type SVR, the aura of a Ferrari and the classic look of a Porsche 911. So is it an everyday sports car or a brute racer? Well, it manages to be both: it’s the perfect super sports car.