The Audi R8 V10 demonstrates just how capable a supercar can be: a useable engine, safe as houses four-wheel-drive system and comfortable interior present a genuine supercar for every day (we even went to Sainsbury’s in it). Whether that represents the true passion of a supercar is up for debate – the R8 will carry you along at speed that could leave you struggling to comprehend what just happened, but never feels like its about to let go; certainly the tail is never going to step out. Even if you turn the traction control off, the safety blanket of understeer is much more likely to crop up than any hint of oversteer. But does that mean it loses some of the on-edge soul of a supercar? To say it does would be to miss the point of the Audi R8. With the first generation Audi presented the world’s first truly day-to-day useable supercar, with the second-gen that effect has been refined and distilled into a staggeringly able machine. The R8 is happy at 30mph in town, its big V10 quietened to the noise of no more than an A3, but take it into the countryside and it can open up whole new avenues of performance. There lies the conundrum of the R8: is it one of the most astonishing machines in the world? Yes. Is it a true, heart-stopping supercar? We’re not so sure.
Photography by Tom Shaxson