2008 Audi R8: Mary's Peak Road
July 09, 2008
It wouldn't be worth taking our long-term 2008 Audi R8 on a 2,300-mile road trip if we didn't find some crazy-good roads to experience along the way.
Route 34 lies just outside of Philomath, OR. It winds gently through the countryside and then forms a clump of cambered switchbacks just before the right turn to Mary's Peak Road. Mary is our kind of woman, judging by the way her 9.3-mile ribbon of joy jags through the Oregon woods, gaining 2600 feet of elevation on its way to a clearing near the summit.
The R8 is scintillating on this road. There is zero indication the front wheels are driven other than the fact that you're accelerating away from apexes in a way that few two-wheel-drive cars can (the 911 excepted).
Altitude saps some of the Audi's power up here, but the fact that you can fearlessly thrash a wide, $130,000 mid-engined supercar on bumpy pavement like this is a testament to the R8's versatility. It's forgiving, fast and totally engaging.
This is a special car. The more I drive it, the more the thought of returning its keys pains me.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 12,246 miles