UPDATE: Photos added from Neal M. and dc, play-by-play account from Ahmed
UPDATE 2: Video of the Auto Union Type D on the street after the jump
This morning New Yorkers on their way to work were greeted with Audi's Park Avenue parade that marked the R8's first official drive on U.S. soil and the opening of the company's new Audi Forum located at 250 Park Avenue. Autoblog reader Ahmed M. was on hand and armed with a camera phone. He sent us these pics of the R8, R10 Le Mans racer and 1938 Auto Union Type D Silver Arrow, the latter of which was one of the world's first mid-engined racecars. NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg was reportedly on hand to deliver the R8 to the Forum, which is not a dealership but rather a brand awareness space that will educate New Yorkers on the Audi experience and can also host events up to 150 people.
If any other readers were present and have pictures they'd like to share, specifically of the Forum itself, send them to abresearch at gmail dot com and we'll post them here.
Check out Ahmed's play-by-play account of the parade after the jump near the bottom of the page.
PHOTOS: Neal M.
PHOTOS: Ahmed M.
At 9:45 Audi unloaded the Audi Union car. The car was stunning. Long and narrow with big wheels, which would make 20's look tiny. Looking through the wheels I was wasn't sure what to expect. I found massive drums with hundreds of exposed parts, which combined looked like a masterpiece. The interior was tiny to say the least with a massive tachometer the size of a wall clock, no speedometer and where's the seat belt? I guess they figured if the driver didn't know how fast he was going he wouldn't be concerned about his safety.
At 10:00 the driver jumped in while the technician tuned the car. Initially the technician couldn't get the car started. After tuning for about 15 minutes the technician reattempted to start the car. It roared into life sending shivers throughout the unsuspected crowd of bankers and other types. This is one loud car which probably had the Park Avenue residents dialing 911 (sorry all of the police officers are busy watching the show). Immediately the driver put the car into gear and drove down Park Avenue to the Audi Forum. The trip took roughly a minute while the crowd (including myself) chased after it.
At the Audi Forum the Audi Union car was parked next to the Audi R8 and the Audi TDI Le Mans.
My first impression of the R8 is its smaller then I had expected and almost looks like someone flattened the TT from the top making it lower, longer and wider. It is one beautifully elegant car, something you would expect your local CEO to drive while drinking his latte. You could hear the mixed reviews in the crowed about the exposed carbon fiber in the center of the car. I was more interested in the exposed engine. It's a simple looking engine and I have to say in looks department of the engine Ferrari has them beat. Then interior is what you would expect in the TT, which says a lot about the TT's interior.
As for the Audi TDI Le Mans, this is one serious car. If you think your M3 is fast, stand next to this car. Your heart will begin to race and you'll become carsick just thinking about being in this car at speeds.
VIDEO (courtesy of Jalopnik):