What do you get when you get into a 600 horsepower coupe on a sunny weekend? NOISE. There’s just something about the sound of a performance exhaust that makes me smile with every growl and melt with every pop it shoots out the back echoing off the street buildings. That was my love affair when I visited Downtown Audi to take in the 2018 lineup and test drive the 2018 R8.
My bud Ronan Frawley (Sales Manager at DT Audi) extended an invite to come check out the joint and take a few whips for a rip and I jumped at it. As a recent Jaguar owner, I’ve come to adore the power and pleasure of having a large engine under the hood. Driving a high performance vehicle has an odd sensation of challenging you yet also gifting you with an effortlessness at the same time. You push your limits behind the wheel but the technology and sophistication of a well made car guides you and does so much of the heavy lifting.
Cars serve two purposes and they naturally attract two types of people. You’re either one to use an automobile for transportation and convenience or you’re the other guy or gal who also takes an infinite amount of joy out of driving and caring for a vehicle. I think it goes without saying that I fall nicely into category two. It’s stereotypical of course, but I’m that dude that cleans his car weekly, rubs out every finger print on the dashboard and glances back at my car sitting pretty in the parking lot.
I’ve driven my fair share of auto makers in my life but I actually have never had the chance to trial an Audo beyond a very quick test drive when I was contemplating an A4 and an Infiniti M35x about 7 years ago. I went with the M35X only because I had an emotional attachment of driving an old girlfriend’s dad’s car from time to time that was the exact same model in the exact same colour combination. Tan on beige, baby. I was essentially a kid at the time and declared to myself, “one day you’re going to buy one of these, Daniel”. Well I did but I still think about the bright blue A4 I almost pulled the trigger on. Audi certainly has come a long way the last decade and the amount of them on the road are a testament to that. The Q5 quickly became one of my favourite designs on the road and it too was a contender when I first started to explore a new vehicle at the beginning of 2018. If you want style, technology and reliable, sporty performance, Audi absolutely should be at the top of your wish-list when car shopping. The fun part is you can always opt for the S-Line package for more stylish and sportier trims alongside engine and suspension upgrades OR you can really deck it out with an RS package which essentially means a boat-load of more power and performance. Yes, RS stands for Racing Sport and yes, it will certainly feel like a race car.
I had the chance to take both the RS7 and the R8 for a spin and my impressions of both were excellent. To be honest, I think the A7 model is my favourite silhouette in the collection being a longer bodied car with a head-turning eloquence. Of course the RS version just made it as angry as it was sexy on the road. The quickness from such a large vehicle nearly 200 inches in length was stunning. All wheel drive with a frigging 8 gear transmission. The truth is, it’s a lot of power and maybe too much for many. The price tag isn’t light either so if you haven’t made your first M yet and you’re not looking to funnel 600 horsepower into your morning commute, go with the A7. A beautiful car with ample performance.
But that S5 though…the new Sportback S5 is a babe and absolutely on my hit-list whenever I car shop again which is likely next year looking at my history. Or maybe just maybe I’ll add even more Frenchies to the family and my hand will be forced to go with the Q5 SUV. But I love racing performance…RSQ5 it is, I guess.