Pros A buddy and me rented the R8 at Frankfurt Airport 4 months
ago and drove the car in less than 3 hours up to Hamburg (620 km). The immediate feeling was "yeah, this is it".
I've driven them all, Porsches, Ferraries, Lancias, BMW's
Cons There are no cons.
Summary Contrary to you editor we found the seats exactly right for
such a technological masterpiece.
Pros The handling is epic. A true exotic car (great engine note, great styling, extremely rare, a real head turner), but German engineering / reliability at $100K less than a Ferrari or Lamborghini. More headroom and comfort too.
Cons 2009 version has audio input jack, but still weak iPod integration. Bluetooth only supports recent calls on iPhone (no phone directory), would be nice to have heads up display and keyless entry.
Summary This is a true driver's car and an incredible track car. Handing is epic, power is "good enough". I've taken Ferrari F430's and Porsche 911 turbo's at the track. Very comfortable at the edge.
It is also a civilized car you can drive every day. Great stereo, enough headroom, fairly comfortable even after a few hours. Trunk space is bigger than it looks - I've managed to load an entire cart from Costco in the front trunk and behind the seats.
It is truly an exotic car experience too. The car is very good looking, incredible engine sound, and far more rare than a Ferrari or Lamborghini. People hang out the windows of their cars to take pictures with their car phones. People are hanging around checking out the car when I park it in public. It grabs far more attention than a Porsche.
My only complaint with the car mechanically is the complaint I have with every Audi: it should be 400 lbs lighter. But the performance is so extraordinary for the price that I can forgive Audi for the extra weight.
The other major problem with the car is that it is not very technologically advanced when it comes to gadgets.
No iPod integration (wasn't the CD player dead 5 years ago?)
No keyless entry
Bluetooth phone integration is poor with iPhone. It finds recent calls but not the phone book.
Nothing like "onstar" or "BMW Assist" that detects accidents or tracks car position when stolen.
No heads up display option
If you are on order for one of these cars, beware the dealer delivery! Audi North America has a delivery checklist that a mechanic is supposed to perform on public roads. This includes an acceleration and braking test where the mechanic is supposed to do 0-redline at full throttle and then slam on the brakes. Repeatedly. On public roads.
Not only is your car being put at risk from damage in an accident, but the owner's manual clearly states that if you drive the car at full throttle or above 6,000 RPM's during the first 1500 miles, it will "significantly reduce the long term quality of the engine and transmission". My dealer also lied about the delivery date (car arrived a month early) and tried to keep the car for the weekend.
If you are on the waiting list for one of these cars, insist on being there when the car arrives, and don't let it out of your site. Refuse the portion of the delivery inspection that requires someone else driving your car on public roads.
Bottom line is this is a fantastic car that is extremely rare. The only one I have seen on the road is mine. Rides like an Audi S4 on road trips, handles like a Lamborghini Gallardo on the track, and looks like a German UFO.
Pros Advanced Modern Design; Beautiful Ride.
Cons I agree, get the Manual Transmission
Summary I got to drive this car at the 2007 www.Audidrivingexperience.com what a thrill as we received instruction right on the raceway from professional racing drivers. For 2008 I see they expanded the tour across the USA and have a special classes in Sonoma Wine country. Thinking of taking my family this Summer to Sonoma. The wife can go wine tasting while I punce on the R8 for a couple of days
Pros What's not to love, the lines, the engine, the interior?? Amazing craftsmanship once again!
Cons 118k might be a bit now that Porsche, and other more mainstream car makers have broken the 100k mark, is 118k still that much??