2008 Audi R8: Cats Like Mid-Mounted V8s, Too
July 31, 2008
Last night my neighbor's cat let me know that our 2008 Audi R8 is the greatest thing since the Pontiac Solstice and its hammock-style cloth top. The cat, who goes by the name Mr. Fuku, partied hard on the right quarter panel before bedding down over the engine compartment.
This morning the manager at our local car wash let me know it would be $30 to remove the paw prints and dander, which is actually not bad for a true hand wash in West LA. We've decided not to risk putting on long-termer on the tracks for the customary semi-hand wash.
Now for the substantive half of this post: Recently, I drove an R8 (but not this R8) on a road course. In that setting, where obviously you're either on the throttle hard, or not at all, the Audi's single-clutch automated manual gearbox worked fairly well. Although, it would be nice if you could vary the shift speed.
Around town, though, it's amazing how much less acceptable this transmission feels. Five years ago it would have passed muster, but today, compared to all the dual-clutch transmissions we've sampled lately, it feels antiquated. If it weren't for the terrific sounds during a half-to-full throttle upshift or a rev-matched downshift, driving it in traffic would almost be a drag. Almost.
Erin Riches, Inside Line Senior Editor