KMorrill

Audi R8

39 posts in this topic

On what it is like to drive the Audi R8 by the Top Gear host:

"Driving most supercars is like trying to man-handle a cow up a back staircase. This is like smearing honey into Keira Knightly."

I guess that pretty much explains it. ;)

That line stuck out for me too. I guess I'd better buy one then. :lol:

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From what I read in evo, a little homework Re where the traps in the UK are, a good detector, and a reflecting film on your license plate can spare your license.

Eh, I would be quite skeptical of the latter. One episode of Mythbusters covered every known touted such device, including the reflecting film stuff, to thwart speed cameras and not one of them made any real difference. Also, I've read that some roads in the UK are so dense with speed cameras that it doesn't sound like any fun to drive at all. (see http://www.abd.org.uk/cameras/map.htm) The cops there also use roaming, mobile cameras. (Cops in the U.S. use mobile radars as well, of course, but I haven't heard, yet, that they're using them in conjunction with speed cameras to snap speeders en masse as in the U.K. - all I've seen are the fixed location ones.)

One thing they did not try was a clever gadget reputedly made by Caltech students some years ago, which put a relatively transparent LCD screen over the plate hooked to a controller that blacked it out above a certain speed (the idea being that at lower speeds you wouldn't arouse suspicion from the cops because the plate would be visible.)

Thanks, Phil.

Too bad about the films.

I liked the radar/laser jammers that retailed in the US for about a second. The courts took care of that "option" quickly. (Truth is, detectors, jammers, reflective films, transparent LCDs, etc, interfere with police work. I find them helpful but I'm not sure that they set a healthy precedent.)

We have a ghastly vociferous anti-speed lobby, with the absurdly thoughtless strap-line 'speed kills' Basically it's some kind of alliance between bores, the jealous and the anti-car lobby. There are ways to proceed both legally and technically however.

The appalling Gatso cameras take rear photos of you going through set distances and compute speeds. They are accurate in so far as the calculate the car may have been speeding, but they fail to identify who was driving. Under UK law you are required to declare who waas driving (so bye-bye no self-incrimination) but if you can't remember, even UK courts won't jail you for a bad memory. Some disgruntled UK motorists have taken to burning them by placing bales of hay at the base.

The anti-flash paint seems to work if you test it with a digital camera flash. You can't know for sure, because even if you make a speed camera flash but don't get a ticket, it may have been out of film, as many of these still use film and are not digitised.

Newer cameras pick up your face at a set point and calculate your speed over several miles. These can be beaten by motorists who wear baseball caps, sunglasses and have the sun screen at the right angle. Again, they may not recall who was driving.

I love satellite navigation technology, but maybe giving it up, as there are plans afoot to force GPS companies to relay all data to the government who will then calculate if you EVER speed and prosecute accordingly. This is grossly disproprtionate to the original legislation laid down in te 1970's when cars were technologically worse and rarely had ventilated disk, servo assisted breaks etc Back then most UK cars had drum brakes.

Our laws are such that if you get one violation it's 3 penalty points. Rack up 12 and your are banned. Points stay on licences for three to four years for most violations. And this is for minor stuff like say 38mph in a 30mph zone at 4.15am (like I had several years ago, an absurd abuse of the legislators intentions). Drive at 100mph on an open motorway and it's instant ban and you risk jail, though happily our jails are full so this is rarely implemented.

Combine this with the refusal of planners to allow you to have enough parking spaces in new housing developments, the deliberate blocking of roads with obstructions, closing some roads to all but buses thereby creating congestion, London's absurd congestion charge and it's not much fun being a UK motorist...

...but if you can get on a country road (no cops, cameras or bumps) early one morning, there is still some joy to be had from driving an Audi (albeit not the R8 right now).

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Newer cameras pick up your face at a set point and calculate your speed over several miles. These can be beaten by motorists who wear baseball caps, sunglasses and have the sun screen at the right angle. Again, they may not recall who was driving.

Another solution:

(See sidebar for parts 1 and 2.)

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I saw one!

The Audi showroom on New York's Park Ave has a white R8 on a turntable. For once, the Press is right: the car looks far better in person than it does in pics -- I was even ok with that stripe of color behind the side intakes (I almost always hate that sort of graphic, seeing it as a band aid for less than great styling.)

The other Audi product I'm thrilled about is the 4WD Mini rival they're launching soon. Current plans are for the front wheels to be powered by a 1.4 liter engine that's both supercharged and turbocharged (I posted on this tech a while back.) The rear wheels will be powered by an electric motor that scavenges energy much the same way hybrids do.

Danke Herr Piech!!!

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Some more news:

-- Audi is doubling production of the R8 to 5000/year.

-- The V10 version will be out by the end of this year.

-- A Targa version is coming.

-- A diesel V12 twin-turbo engine is being considered (It was shown at the Detroit Auto Show.) For some time now, Audi has dominated races like Le Mans by exploiting generous allowances made for diesel powered race cars. I guess they want to take that success a step further. This engine is said to be capable of 493bhp and an astounding 737lb-ft of torque. (This engine will have a 4500rpm redline -- boring for a sports car, IMHO, no matter the impressive peak power and torque.)

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Looks like the Dutch are also fighting the cameras:

If almost seven minutes of footage is too much, see from ~4:05 on. (Consider making a stop at ~2:20 for a fine example of Dutch gusto.)

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I have seen 2 in Paris the last few weeks, and found the cars not-so-attractive from a design standpoint.

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I have seen 2 in Paris the last few weeks, and found the cars not-so-attractive from a design standpoint.

They're by no means pretty. It's the dynamics and ergonomics of this mid-engined car that are noteworthy and bar-raising.

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I have seen 2 in Paris the last few weeks, and found the cars not-so-attractive from a design standpoint.

They're by no means pretty. It's the dynamics and ergonomics of this mid-engined car that are noteworthy and bar-raising.

Thanks for helping me understand.

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Review of the V10 R8

(Click on "2010 Audi R8 V-10" under "NEW" on the right.)

From the article, regarding the Porsche GT2:

but we frankly want something naturally aspirated, direct-injected, and with at least eight cylinders [in a supercar.]

A-freakin'-MEN!

(BTW: WR features some tof hte best automotive writers around. They've gone a little more pop in tone, depth and scope lately, but it's a good magazine -- and it's free!)

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Note the article called "An Object Lesson In Direct Injection."

I can only hope that we'll see autonomous valves that can run to ~10Krpm in production sports cars before the Anointed One has us all on bicycles.

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I have seen a couple of R8s around town and think that they look even better in person while they screamed by me on the freeway. I think that it is funny that my wife was driving both times and I could not convince her to catch up to either one of them. :wacko:

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