I Tracked the 2017 Audi R8 V10

All this 2017 Audi R8 V10 content looks pretty great eh.

Truth is – I stumbled on it, and when it was time to drive, I’m nervous for many reasons.

First, it’s wasn’t a media track event, as in, totally different setup.

It was the 3rd and final stop in Audi’s pilot program of their all-new sportscar experience.

So it’s 20 owners & enthusiasts and me, the only girl and only auto journalist… only one darting around taking 400 photos, paper and pen in hand, I’m awkward.

Today is my 1st time with 500+ hp, making it the most powerful car I’ve ever driven.

Specifically, it’s a 2017 Pre-Production German-spec Audi R8 V10.

It’s the fastest production Audi ever.

Audi R8 v10 = 540 hp, 398.3 lb-ft, 0 – 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds, top speed of 320 km/h

Audi R8 V10 plus = 610 hp, 413.0 lb-ft, 0 – 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, top speed of 330 km/h

During lunch I was photographing the 2017 when, “You excited to drive that, Keri?”

WHAT?! YES.

I had no clue it was part of the program, thought it was display-only. I’m about to be the first journalist to drive it in Canada. 

There’s only 4 of these R8s in Canada.

The VIN # isn’t even 3 digits, look – #98 in the world.

And it’s my 1st time around a real track, a world-class one.

I have some autocross experience, done 3 small tracks, the end. Oh boy.

Wreck this car, and KeriBlog.com is on the cover of Jalopnik for all the wrong reasons, omg please no never no.

Coming out of a corner,
all the above is repeating in my mind.

2017 Audi R8 KeriBlog WOAH

Always and forever, say it with me – Queen of the Late Brakers.

How’s it handle compared to the 2015 R8?

The 2017 has more grip, the additional about 50 hp makes a real difference, and the all-new instrument cluster and steering wheel are ergonomic elegance.

But let’s be real here – I’m not experienced enough to give a proper comparison of the two. The Audi instructors are though – they’re some of Canada’s most decorated racers.

They feel it’s better balanced than the 2015, with more power, better brakes, and a better vehicle overall, “a huge leap ahead.”

Below – Top Left > Clockwise: 

  • centre stack
  • centre console
  • driver’s door

The Canadian model can be equipped with lasers. LASERS. More here.

And Audi’s new virtual cockpit too, more here.

Couple more laps and I start to settle in.

2017 Audi R8 KeriBlog Driving

Choose between the quilted seats, or upgrade to RECAROs.

Tested both but can’t comment on a preference, I was floating the entire time.

20 minute chunks of lead-follow. I’m fully settled now.

So I stand on it, straight up to to 200 km/h.

2017 Audi R8 V10 hits 200 by KeriBlog

That’s what I’m saying, “that’s 200.” First time I ever did that. Did not need another addiction.

It’s ok, flipped it in post.

There’s 5 main difference between
the 2015 and 2017 models.

See the post here.

The 2017 R8 will arrive in dealerships about 6 months from now.

For a detailed account of the sportscar experience, read my story at The Co here.

 

 

5 Differences Between the 2015 & 2017 Audi R8

The 2017 is slightly wider and longer and weighs 50 kg less, but that’s tough to see.

Here’s a quick guide to the main differences between the 2015 and 2017 Audi R8.

1 – Exhaust

Round is so 2015.

2 – All-new Steering Wheel

Modelled after a racecar, all main functions can be controlled using your thumbs.

3 – Interior

It’s all-new, and much less cluttered. The addition of the electronic parking brake helped.

And see what’s missing? The dash screen has been deleted.

4 – Instrument Cluster

Gone are the dials and dash screen, and in its place is one 12.3″ screen in the instrument cluster than can be configured in multiple ways.

It’s called Audi virtual cockpit, learn more in here.

5 – Engine has an X

Probably the easiest way to tell – there’s now an X-shaped-bracket atop the engine.

Also, its token note is now fuller, and fuel economy is improved by 13%.

Bonus – Canadian Lasers

If it has laser headlights, it’s a Canadian 2017, because we’re the only country to get this tech.

More about the lasers here.

Either model year is fine with me.

I tracked both, that story here.

Blog tag = 2017 Audi R8

 

 

About Audi’s All-new sportscar experience

I arrive to massive white tent, RS 7s and R8s lining the walk up.

Sign in and then, “would you like a made-to-order omelette?” What?! Why yes please, extra bacon.

Our group of 20 is paired off, then is further divided into 4 groups, with both types of vehicles in each group’s fleet.

The morning is spent cycling through 4 exercises, like slalom and braking. And quickly, too; it’s the most efficient drive event I’ve attended.

That’s why these photos are good not great -there is very little downtime between sessions, as in, there’s a LOT of seat time.

Plus you’ll drive backwards around Mosport, come ON.

The afternoon is all track.

You’ll have access to some of Canada’s most decorated racers, the Audi instructors are all very experienced.

They drive around the track with you, watching in the mirrors and coaching over the radio.

Later in the day it hits me, and when we pit I approach Jeff Boyce (above left):

“I’m laser-beam focused to keep up to you, while you’re operating the radio AND coaching me?!” He smiles, “actually there’s two radios Keri, one is back to base.” Cartoon eyes.

At about 1.5% of the car’s total cost, it’s wise money spent. Because ever seen someone mess up while driving an exotic?

Last summer I was walking through downtown Toronto, oooh that’s a _nice_ car. So I’m watching, the guy stumbles when the light turns green and I burst out laughing. Along with the rest of his audience.

If you’re lucky, a friend will photograph you from the sidelines, so you too can pose at 180 km/h.

Vision. Vision. Vision.

It’s easily the most repeated lesson of the day. Look further down the road, turn your head more, racing comes down to vision more than anything else.

Holy woah to turn 5.

“Just look for the cone Keri,” ok, but WHERE IS THE CONE :O

Having an engine this large behind me?

Ohhh, I liked that.

The event concludes with you in the passenger seat for a hotlap with an instructor.

Richard Spénard took me around, and yup, I didn’t come close to reaching this car’s capabilities.

For the price tag of about $2,000 – you’re on the track 9am – 4pm, with a small group, testing vehicles in an environment they were designed for, while the instructors encourage you to push it. Plus 3 homemade meals.

Just the cost of brakes and tires would come close.

Because do what I did, and keep handing back the car reeking of both every. single. time.

Audi is expanding their sportscar experience next year, find details on their site – Audi sportscar experience.

For a detailed account of my experience, read my story at The Co here.

 

 

Audi’s All-new Virtual Cockpit

Audi virtual cockpit is a 12.3″ high-res digital instrument cluster that completely replaces the dash screen.

It debuted on the 2016 Audi TT, and is coming next to the 2017 Q7, A4 and R8.

Doesn’t an interior look so much better without a black hole in the dash?

The system is controlled using either the steering wheel controls, or the completely redesigned MMI interface selector wheel.

Instead of 4 function buttons there’s now 2, and the rotary dial acts like a joystick – nudge left, right, like that.

Plus its top is touch-enabled. Use your finger to zoom in or out, or if scrolling a list, write a “K” to narrow in on all results that start with K.

I’ve tested Audi’s virtual cockpit twice.

First was on the active display at the Canadian International Auto Show back in February 2015. I was filming a segment for MotoringTV.

I arrived 10 minutes early before the crew, and in that time, learned the entire system.

That’s not to say I’m a wizard with electronic interfaces, but that the system is intuitive.

It encompasses my favourite type of design – functional and fashionable.

Because dipping your eyes from the road, to the instrument cluster, is a much shorter distance than to a dash screen.

How good does navigation look eh.

The second test was while driving the all-new 2017 Audi R8 at Mosport.

It wasn’t the best test though.

My saucer-eyes were glued to the track, can only confirm the speedometer is bright and visible.

I predict this setup will be copied by other automakers.

It’s logical, safer, and makes for a more aesthetically-pleasing interior. Plus there’s probably production cost savings by installing just one screen instead of two.

Blog tag = 2017 Audi R8