Why the Wheels garage is glorious. Sometimes.

Some days the Wheels garage truly is a wondrous place, full of the kind of metal that would raise the heart rate of even the most spoiled sheik.

Why the Wheels garage is glorious. Sometimes.

Some days the Wheels garage truly is a wondrous place, full of the kind of metal that would raise the heart rate of even the most spoiled sheik, or even Clive Palmer (the man has a huuuge car collection, check out the current issue of Wheels for details), which might be dangerous, come to think of it.

To be fair, a lot of the time it would barely raise the pulse of a 15-year-old boy – when we’re doing a Mazda 3 vs Corolla vs Eternity Spent in Purgatory kind of group test, for example, but on the good days, it’s very good.

It’s been a particularly good week just past, with a triple test of Porsche Cayman, Boxster S and 911 Carerra S being immediately topped by the arrival of an Audi R8 V10 Plus.

An R8 painted in the most beautiful hue – a kind of flat matt blue that no photograph can really do justice to – that I’ve ever seen.

No, it may not have the presence of its twisted sister, the Lamborghini Gallardo, and it’s also true that from behind it looks merely wide rather than wicked, but from front on, particularly in this colour, it’s got to be one of the sharpest, meanest looking supercars on the planet.

The good news is that it now feels like it, too.

The previous R8 V10 was no slouch, but it did fulfil every preconceived idea you might have had about an Audi entrant into the rarefied air of supercar world.

It was quick, savagely so, but it was polite, mannered, easy to drive, and far, far too quiet.

The Plus fixes all that, particularly when you hit the Sport button.

The gearbox produces explosive, gunshot downchanges, completely unnecessary ones most of the time, as soon as you so much as prod the brake pedal.

The exhaust opens up newfound depths of ballistic braying and barking and suddenly there are whooshes and whistles and what sounds like a foundry and an anvil factory coming from the big V10 parked so invitingly beneath a pane of glass, just behind your left shoulder.

This is what a supercar should feel, and sound, like.

Even at half throttle, Sport mode is properly window-licking mental, put your boot into it and explore the 8700rpm rev cutout and your insides will turn into smelly water, which will quickly leak through your pores.

You know that kind of fear sweat you get when, say, you’re jumping out of a plane? This car produces it.

Changes of direction are savage, acceleration is brutal and, with its ceramic brakes, stops from high speed will rearrange your molars and incisors, and your tongue.

The only disappointing thing is that the steering is, in all too typical Audi style, a little sleepy.

It’s not awful, but it is overly light, and nowhere near a patch on the Lambo’s. Nor, shamefully is it anywhere near as good as the steering on even the base Porsche Cayman we drove earlier in the week.

And what a comparison test that was. You’ll have to wait until it turns up in the mag to hear just how good.


How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at feedback@whichcar.com.au.


Subscribe to Wheels magazine

Subscribe to Wheels Magazine and save up to 44%
Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.



Stephen Corby

We recommend


Stelvio Veloce

Alfa Romeo completes Aussie Stelvio line-up with Veloce SUV

13 hours ago
Kathryn Fisk
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.