The Audi R8: Why I Became a Car Enthusiast (Part 2)
There are just some cars that shape your car enthusiast identity. For some, classic muscle cars were there entry to the car world. For others, Italian supercars won their hearts. For me, I have to hand it to ze Deutsche people (please excuse the poor imitation of the German language).
In my last article, I recalled how my encounter with an E60 M5 introduced me to the world of cars, and how the BMW M5 still holds a special place in my heart to this day. Today, however, I am back to discuss another car that occupies a special spot in my heart's garage: the Audi R8.
In late 2009, my parents brought Young Me with them to "see our new car" at the Audi dealership. They recently purchased our first Audi, a 2010 A4. When we arrived, there was a beautiful Audi R8 sitting in the front of the showroom. What Young Me failed to realize when I saw it was that my parents most certainly had not purchased that R8. I was very excited to see it, and unsurprisingly disappointed (though still very excited) when they pointed towards a black A4 sitting outside the front door instead of to the R8 that lay before my eyes. Although the R8 never made it to my driveway, it made it to a part of the deep recesses of my brain, where it has lived ever since.
As I grew older, I became even more enamored by the Audi R8, and began noticing them more often as I saw them on the roads. With its iconic LED running lights and its signature Singleframe grille, the first generation R8 stole my heart from the beginning. Naturally, learning that it shared a V10 variant with the Lamborghini Gallardo definitely helped me love it even more. Plus, Tony Stark drove one, which definitely helped the matter, too. This car was the first car I ever knew to have a dual-clutch transmission, and it is the reason that the dual-clutch transmission is one of my favorite transmissions to this day (shout out to the gated six-speed manual, though).
An R8 not unlike the one I saw on that fateful visit to the dealership
Just under three years ago, Audi launched the latest generation R8, this time featuring two V10 engines sourced from the Lamborghini Huracán's parts bin. Also new for 2017 was the more angular bodywork that made the car look more like an angry robotic bullet or a roadgoing spaceship, as well as a new interior with one of the coolest instrument clusters I've ever seen. Plus, the drop-top R8 Spyder that debuted in 2010 also received the redesign, making it cooler than ever before. Some people don't like the R8's new design, but I have to respectfully disagree. I think it looks sinister and futuristic, which is why I made the angry robot reference a few sentences back. The Type 4S had everything I loved about the Type 42, but with "more" in every category.
An angry robotic bullet lowers its top
I hope that the laws of depreciation will eventually work well enough in my favor to land one of these (cars from either generation are welcome) in my garage someday, ideally parked next to an E60 M5. I hope you enjoyed the second installment of my "Why I Became a Car Enthusiast" series. There is still one more car that solidified my identity as a car enthusiast, which I will reveal to you soon.