Imagine you're a spy shooter at the Nürburgring. You've got your ancient Ford Scorpio parked nearby, but you've hoofed it up to the top of a hill in the hopes of getting the perfect angle on the track. Three heavy cameras are strung about your body like you're a contestant in The World's Strongest Man competition. It's early and you are tired. And cold. The morning temperature was in the single digits Celsius, and while you're not exactly sure what that translates to in the Fahrenheit scale, this certainly ain't Miami.

Your job is boring. Boy racers driving all manner of would-be performance cars squeal by, inexpertly holding a line that betrays their inexperience. "Go back to your video games, kids," you think as you nurse your cramped and sore legs. You shift your position and the wait resumes. Sport bikes zip by and the wail hurts your ears. You get up and stretch before resuming your regimen. A momentary break in the traffic causes you to do a mental rehearsal, double-checking your gear.

Then you hear it: The tires, disembodied from the roar of an engine, but creating their own telltale sound. You reach for the camera with the longest lens and barely get it up to your eye as the electric sports car whooshes towards you, followed by the loud rumble of something more internally combusted. The camera is now firing on all cylinders as you expertly track the car's pace for the few seconds it's in your field of vision. A Porsche enters the viewfinder and you exhale, lowering the camera and turning your back to the track.

The Audi R8 E-Tron will take just one lap of the Nürburgring that day, but you were there to capture it. It may not surface again before it goes on sale next year, but you don't care about that. You need to hustle back to the car to download the images, so the world can see what an R8 without exhaust pipes looks like, so the fanboys can obsess about the extra cooling vents in the hood for the batteries and the blacked-out rear window.

You will e-mail the photos across the Continent, across the ocean, back home. You'll get a few bucks deposited in your German bank for your trouble, but that won't happen for a while yet. By then you will have taken more photos and sent more e-mails.

And drank countless lagers. It is still early, but you think of the cliche about it being noon somewhere and head off home. Nobody will be in your favorite expat bar at this time, but you think there must be at least one bottle left in your refrigerator.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      moredanyou
      • 3 Years Ago
      Funny article. I now know I never want to switch to spy photography...
      Benny90
      • 3 Years Ago
      The preface to "The Spy Shooters Manifesto" by Jeff Sabatini Fun stuff and cool car!
      creamwobbly
      • 3 Years Ago
      I enjoyed that. More like this please.
      Jcurious
      • 3 Years Ago
      Note the nice nip/tuck on the corners of the three front grilles as well... subtle but there if you're looking for it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      yesaninsider
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow all that drama/build up to get pics of a car that looks exactly the same as the non-electric version...really. That pretty much was a complete waste of time...
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      what you're looking at is the front of the facelifted R8 as well!
        robespierex
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        Is it? The hood is different obviously, and there's a little lip on the rear deck. I don't see any difference on the front though. Great writing on the article, BTW!
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @robespierex
          the new grill with the cut corners and the front bumper will be on the facelifed R8. the hood is exclusive for the e-tron
        trevor-k
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        ahhhh no it isn't........ every spy photo shows different headlights, and a different front end,
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @trevor-k
          that's true...i was talking about the bumper and especially the new grille with the corners cut.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      asdfasdf
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very fast golf cart they've built there.
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