Stick around in this business long enough as an automotive writer, and you'll be privy to some really wonderful driving moments. Great roads and amazing cars have a way of burning into one's memory banks like few other life experiences. But almost more than the visceral shove of a high-powered engine or a piece of sheetmetal that's been sculpted just so, the sounds that accompany great automotive experiences get lodged in one's hippocampus perhaps more than anything else.
News on the next-generation 2015 Audi R8 has been spilling forth for a bit now, but a report in Autocar has begun to put them into a single package. We knew that next R8 wouldn't offer a manual option, only a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and that the monocoque would be a lighter, aluminum and carbon affair. Audi has apparently pegged a target weight of under 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds), meaning it will shed more than 135 kg (305 lbs.) versus today's 4.2-liter V8 manual.
While most of the industry is busy with new debuts in Los Angeles, things aren't slowing down one bit on the racing side of the business. In the past couple of days alone, Chevrolet has debuted a new Corvette Daytona Prototype, Dacia has launched a new ice-racing minivan, Mini has announced a new B-spec Cooper, and now Audi has released their latest customer sports racing car.
When Motor Trend tecnical director Frank Markus decided he needed to get away, you should know that his 'time out' wouldn't merely be a weekend at the local hot springs or camping down by the river. The MT crew has made fine work of taking glorious trips in glorious cars – and a Subaru Outback – and Markus would keep it up, tracing Viking routes and his own heritage in an Audi R8 V10 Spyder along Norway's Atlantic Road.