2013 Audi R8 5.2 FSI Coupe : First Drive
How do you define a supercar? Well, many people have said many things about it. It should be very fast, it should be very expensive, it should look stunning and the usual fare. Some people also say that a supercar should only be mid-engined and have a 10 to 12 cylinder engine. But probably the most important aspect that makes a car “super” is its exclusivity. So one look at the R8 should be enough to convince you that it truly deserves the “supercar” moniker… or does it?
Well, while the R8 does fit the bill on the most part, it doesn’t quite meet the requirements of exclusivity, considering that over 25,000 of them have been sold since it entered production back in 2006. So what exactly is the R8? To answer that question, we found ourselves staring squarely at one of the latest one of these to hit the streets, the brand new 2012 model R8 V10 coupe, in orange.
Does it look the part?
Over the years, Audi has tweaked a lot of aspects about the way the R8 looks. But even so, the basic design of the car is unmistakable. Low slung, but not intimidatingly so, riding on massive wheels with the cockpit located smack dab in the middle of the wheelbase, there is no denying the purposefulness of the way it looks. The forward slung body with barely any rear overhang makes the R8 look like it’s in motion even while at standstill. And when you catch a glimpse of its gorgeous engine clearly visible in the middle of the car through its glass cover, it’s easy to feel a case of the goose bumps coming on.
For the latest model, brand new LED headlights, which are fast becoming the norm on most of Audi’s road cars, adorn the front, along with a redesigned single frame grille with tapered corners at the top. Round the back, you get a new rear diffuser with large, round tail pipes, further enhancing the sporty stance of the car. In general, there’s more use of exotic materials such as carbon-fibre all around and let’s face it, more carbon-fibre is never a bad thing.
As hot as the R8 does look, in the presence of proper supercar royalty from Italy, it does pale a bit in comparison. We would imagine the subtle design is for someone who doesn’t want to shout out to the world “Hey look at me, I’m in a supercar”, but instead wants to say “I have panache and taste”, or in light of recent silver screen flirtations, say “I am Ironman”.