A Thrilling Drive In An Audi R8

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As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.

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In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.

Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.

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Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle.  Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).

Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.

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With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.

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Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!

Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!

Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned   as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!

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Super Bowl, Super Car Ads: The Best & Worst

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With millions of people tuned into the Super Bowl last night, companies felt pressure to deliver their very best. I mean you wouldn’t want to waste $4,000,000 on a bad ad right? One of the first commercials that really caught my attention was for Maserati. Now, there is a company that you never see commercials for, and I really think they did an amazing job. I’m not here to analyze marketing strategies but seeing, and hearing that new Maserati Ghibli roar was truly great. I also thought that Volkswagen did an excellent job with their “wings” commercial making a very clever reference to the all-time classic movie It’s A Wonderful Life. Coming back to American auto-makers, Chevy’s commercial did nothing for me. It didn’t make me want to go research cars that Chevy offers. Show-casing the Silverado and not the Stingray Corvette was a mistake. Ford did a decent job with some commercials advertising the Fusion, but again, who wouldn’t love to hear and see a 2005 Ford GT, or even a Mustang, to capture the audience. I thought Chrysler had a great commercial with Bob Dylan being their spokesmen. Show casing the stunning new 200, I thought Chrysler did a great job at capturing the audience and of course emphasizing the Made in America slogan. Over to Hyundai, I thought their ad was a bit interesting, but, overall stupid and the Elantra simply just looked plain and cheap. Now that Jaguar commercial was great, seeing and hearing that F-Type Coupe was pure music and they showcased the car in a sexy, professional and fun way. I thought Toyota had a good idea using the Muppets but it really didn’t speak to the audience about why we should buy their cars. Overall, I thought the car world dominated the commercial scene. I was dissapointed with the lack of advertising from some main brand companies such as Ford, Dodge, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Lexus just to name a few. Enjoy what I thought were the overall best car ads below! Feel free to share your opinions!

Maserati Super Bowl Ad