2008 Audi R8 – Click above for high-res image gallery There's been considerable debate about whether the Audi R8 is a bona fide supercar, able to hang with the best and brightest from Maranello, Stuttgart and beyond. But power figures and price points don't tell the whole tale. What's been missing from most reviews is how Audi's midship masterpiece handles the rigors of daily duty. And that's what we wanted to find out. So no track tests, no slalom numbers, no skid pad hijinks -- just a comprehensive review to illustrate how the R8 deals with the day-to-day tasks its above-average owner will ask of it. But before all that, let's get one thing out of the way: it's absolutely breathtaking. %Gallery-24395% Photos Copyright ©2008 Brad Wood / Weblogs, Inc. Sure, there may be a few detractors who don't think the proportions are spot on, or that the side blades are a poorly-executed attempt to take "cutting edge" to its aesthetic extreme; and yes, one ill-informed soul in a Mexican restaurant parking lot asked if it was the new TT, but after bludgeoning her with a stale tortilla, she saw the light. For the rest of us, the R8 has all the crowd-stopping presence of Heidi Klum walking down Wall Street wearing only a pair of Pradas and a matching handbag. It's positively stunning in person and rolls right up to that cliff separating elegant grand-tourer from ostentatious supercar, looks down from its elongated snout and pisses into the abyss. View the R8 from any angle and it's clear that Audi's designers were sweating the details like Richard Simmons on an ephedra binge. It's got attitude up front, a cleanly defined profile and a posterior we could -- and did -- gawk at for hours. And we weren't alone. During our week-long stint in the R8, we lost track of how many heads spun, and interrogations by curious onlookers had us reciting stats like a Fantasy Football fiend. And what about those stats? By now, you're well aware that the R8 is packing the same 4.2-liter, FSI V8 found in the devilishly delectable Audi RS4. That means 414 hp and 320 lb.-ft. of torque (peaking between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm) are at the beck and call of your right foot. The run to 60 is dispatched in 4.4 seconds and the R8 will top out at 187 mph given a suitable stretch of tarmac. Beyond the engine's 8,250 rpm redline (250 more than the RS4) and trick dry sump lubrication system, it's Audi's application of quattro all-wheel-drive that impresses. With a healthy amount of rearward bias and a 44/56-weight distribution, the potential for tail-out merriment is simply a flick of the wheel and stab of the throttle away. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Audi's patented blend of function and form is instantly apparent from the moment you open the door. Unlike other mid-engine exotics, you don't have to be a double-jointed gymnast to get planted in the supple …
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|MPG||13 City / 20 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd man w/OD|
|Power||420 @ 7800 rpm|
|Drivetrain||quattro all wheel|
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