The new R8; when you jab a finger on the round red start button on the steering wheel of Audi’s new R8 supercar, the 5.2-liter V10 awakes with a quick blip to 2500 rpm, producing a brief blast of sound that tells everyone within earshot that there’s something here worthy of attention.
That’s just for the pedestrians. Motorists out on the road are treated either to the sight of a sharp new front end with its sculpted headlights and its new, better integrated single-frame grille and gaping air intakes, or to the wide tail with its new trapezoidal twin tailpipes and—on the up-level 610-horsepower V10 Plus—a low-slung carbon fiber spoiler. Many drivers will see both ends, since this car closes on normal road users like a hawk diving on a sparrow. Its extraordinary grip, braking potential and catapult acceleration making very high rates of travel seem not only normal for the public road, but entirely appropriate.