Well, the wait is now over and it was undoubtedly worth it. There’s no point in beating around the bush - the R8 is an epic machine that thrills the senses every single time you get into it.
How can it not when even the base V8 model is blessed with a high-revving V8 with 316kW and 430Nm on tap. This masterpiece of an engine is coupled to Audi’s super-slick S tronic gearbox, which does a fabulous job when left to its own devices and an even better job when you feel like taking over the shifting duties.
Then there’s the noise. Low down it sounds like a distant thunderstorm, but give it some stick and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful V8 bellow. It’s hard not to get caught up in the theatrics of this car, because - and let’s be honest - getting emotional over an angry V8 growl is rather caveman-like. But who cares? If that’s the case, hand me my bone club.
I never got tired of driving this car with the roof down, burying the throttle in the carpet whenever the speed limit allowed it. From a standing start it gets to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds and it will only stop accelerating once the needle hits 300km/h. As a driving tool, the R8 is a V8 drop-top dopamine delivery system.
I could easily write 1 000 words on this car’s performance alone, but that would be a disservice to the engineers who worked so hard to make the R8 an everyday supercar. When it was first launched, the motoring media made a lot of noise concerning the everyday usability of the R8. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try out for myself, so, for the first time ever, I got myself caught in rush hour on purpose.
Luckily the R8 comes equipped with a host of creature comforts that make sitting in traffic almost bearable. Apart from the obligatory luxuries like leather-lined everything and electric this and that, you also get navigation, parking sensors, climate control, Audi Music Interface and Bluetooth connectivity. Exterior-wise the facelifted R8 features new 19-inch alloys, full LED headlights and a set of sublime swiping LED tail lamps.
The R8 fared so well in traffic, I entrusted it with ferrying my wife and three-quarters of a baby to a doctor’s appointment. It proved to be a comfortable and compliant machine and I received a grand total of no complaints from my passengers.
It’s a beautifully engineered machine, this. On most days it’s as usable and easy to drive as an A3, but on the days you’re feeling a bit adventurous, it will put a smile on your face as wide as the horizon you’re driving towards.