My son squealed as I pulled up on our driveway. Yes indeed, I was behind the wheel of Tony Stark’s ride of choice the Audi R8. But not your normal R8 (if there is such a thing), I was driving the new R8 V10 Plus! Don’t panic, I’m not going to harp on about Audi, Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers franchise and how popular they have become since hitting the big screen – believe me I get minute by minute updates from my son on how the team are doing – however, I do want to talk about another Tony, Tony the Tiger.
When I was a nipper getting me to eat breakfast with nasty’s on the menu such as porridge (with salt) or plain bland toast was always going to be a tough ask. Thankfully Cornflakes came to the rescue, a crunchy cereal that (once smothered in milk and coated with sugar) became a delightful start to the day, all was sort of well with the world. That was until I discovered Frosties (cornflakes with sugar built in – well a frosting anyway). It a wonderful almost magical food that could be put in a bowl and eaten for breakfast or was so good that it could even be eaten straight from the box as a tasty treat. As if that wasn’t enough with it they introduced us/me to their mascot ‘Tony,’ a larger than life animated Tiger that added personality to the cereal, and taught us to say Gr-rrrr-eat! For the youngster me; breakfast would never be the same again. So how does this fit in the new Audi R8 V10 Plus? I hear you ask – well it’s about taking something that I already loved and making it even better and it doesn’t hurt that both have ‘Tony’ mascots!
I have coveted the Audi R8 since it first hit the road in 2006. It’s a remarkably ‘unshouty’ supercar that never fails to turn heads but also gets them nodding somewhat sagely at your choice. Essentially, it’s an everyday supercar that your peers approve of but the new ‘Plus’ raises the game even further.
It’s 11mm wider than before, now that may not sound much but it certainly increases the car’s viewability, more to lust after so to speak. The vertical splitters in the front air scoops gives the car a meaner look and continuing on the subject of splitters, the side Air blades have been separated by the R8’s shoulder lines – and then of course there’s the carbonfibre rear spoiler – it’s a speed statement which to me; underlines that fact that the R8 Plus shares a lot of its components with the LMS track car.
Behind your head (and proudly exposed via a clear screen) sits a naturally aspirated 5.2L V10 that happily gives you 455kW of power and 560Nm of torque both of which is managed sublimely via a 7 speed Auto gearbox that slips through the gears like a silver spoon through pure white milk. Since it’s loaded with Aluminium and Carbonfibre (rather than old school steel) it has a kerb weight of only 1555kg’s so this 2 door coupe will go from 0-100 in 3.2seconds and up to a top speed of 329kph but it’s probably limited!
The interior is perfectly weighted, enough technology and buttons to let you know that you are in an advanced automobile but not enough to be overwhelmed. It’s the R8 Plus’s use of space that makes the difference too. The area you naturally leave your phone doubles as a wireless charger, the temperature control is but a mere few dials and although the music is supplied by the respected B&O brand, it’s controlled by a switch the size of your thumb. The rest of R8’s tech is either hidden or (like T the T) animated on the Virtual Cockpit. The boot space (under the bonnet) is plenty enough for a couple of overnight bags and certainly enough for my sons football kit and there is even a little bit of room in the Alcantara clad space behind the valcona leather seats.
I have been fortunate enough to have been handed the keys to drive this car on the track and under nigh on full noise, its tune and speed is magnificent but of course for the few (ok most) of the times when you have to conform you need a car that isn’t going to have dentists rub their hands with glee. You want a car that behaves well on the road and a car that is as much fun going to the dairy to get milk as it is on a long run to blow off some steam – the R8 Plus more than delivers. I unfortunately had the car on my driveway on a weekend when mother nature wasn’t playing ball, but even in a deluge of rain the R8 Plus was a joy to drive, its wet mode gave more than enough traction to the quattro drive system and yet still let me have splash around in the puddles (if you know what I mean). Then, when on the odd occasion the sun broke through the clouds and the tarmac dried marginally, I more than comfortably pushed down hard on the accelerator to rush up to national speed limits.
The weekend with the R8 Plus was all I hoped it would be and then some – of course it doesn’t fit in with my family size dynamics but I could possibly make it work by just doing two or three ferrying trips, it’s certainly worth consideration.
As it turns out; Cornflakes were first produced (or invented) to quell sexual desires (particularly Onanism). Dr John Kellogg believed in the purity of the human body and was convinced that vegetarianism was the way to calm the passion within, so for me to bring the topics of Frosties and the sexual appeal of the Audi R8 Plus together in this review is somewhat ironic. But whichever Tony you feel better in tune with; whether you want to ‘Marvel’ in the fact that you have the same car as Iron man (Tony Stark) or ‘sugar coat’ the experience with cereal mascot Tiger Tony – the one thing you can be sure of; the Audi R8 plus is Gr-rrr-R8!
N.b – don’t act like you weren’t expecting me to end with that.
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