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2013 Audi R8 V10 review, test drive

The thought of buying a supercar in India is quite baffling. Their low stance looks more apt for scraping speedbreakers than carving corners, and seeing them struggle in our chaotic traffic is quite disheartening. So when we got an Audi R8 V10 to ourselves for three days

The R8 V10's track capabilities are well known, but just how well does the supercar do in everyday conditions.

The thought of buying a supercar in India is quite baffling. Their low stance looks more apt for scraping speedbreakers than carving corners, and seeing them struggle in our chaotic traffic is quite disheartening.

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So when we got an Audi R8 V10 to ourselves for three days, I took it upon myself to find out just why people would even consider buying a 518bhp supercar in an environment like ours.

Now three days is not a lot of time to get to know a car intimately, so I snapped up the keys and hit the road right away. Trouble is, 'right away' was during peak-hour traffic. But to my surprise, I found the R8 no harder to drive than any big luxury saloon. The view out of the front was fantastic and despite the mid-engine layout, visibility out the back was not too bad either. The 5.2-litre V10 motor felt relaxed, although driving such a car on our crowded streets needs a lot of restraint, especially when you know how much power there is on tap, which can get frustrating.

Then there's this car's most significant update for 2013 - a new seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox in place of the clunky old R-tronic single-clutch unit. And what a difference it makes. In auto mode, it was butter smooth, and it's only when I suddenly got on the power that there was a sudden jerk from the gearbox as it rapidly downshifted for quicker acceleration.

But the fun didn't last long, and the traffic started thickening again. So I left the city and headed out onto the Mumbai-Pune expressway. Time to put this car's handling to the test on the twisting section of the Lonavala ghats and Aamby Valley. Where most supercars can feel intimidating charging up a mountain road, the Audi simply doesn't. Perhaps it is the steering, specifically the amount of reassurance it offered in being so accurate, maybe it's the safe understeer you sense when you push hard, or maybe it's just grip from the 295 section tyres and the Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Whatever it is, I could go up and down this road all day without breaking a sweat.

  • First Published Date : 13 May 2013, 02:18 PM IST