I Got to Drive an Audi R8 Spyder!
Audi allows everyday people like me and you try out their exotic cars!
How could this even happen? I for one didn't think it was possible! The first car I ever owned was a '99 Mazda protégé. It was fun and zippy and I think it just had over 100 hp. I now own a 2010 KIA Forte Koup. Although my relatively newer car is a little faster than my previous car, it only has about 150 hp. The 2018 Audi R8 Spyder has a whopping 600hp! I knew I was in for a hell of an experience!
Let's start it off with how I got to try it out. I got a text message from a friend of mine. He sent me a link to Audi's annual Sport Tour event. It's an inclusive event that allows the general public to test drive the best of the best Audi cars. I thought "no way!" I looked at the sign-up and there were still a few open spots! I signed up and luckily got accepted. Demand was obviously high so I got really lucky.
I was excited and did a little research on the car. I've seen the car in movies but never in real life. It's the car Tony Stark drives in the the movie Iron Man 2! I found out the retail price was $250,000 Canadian! That's almost the cost of a freaking house!
So I took the time off work, got dressed up and got to the place on time. I get to the dealership. This place looked high tech and classy. I was wondering if they were going to let a working class Joe like me sit in this thing. I walked to the registration area and the guy asks me for my license. I give him my information and fill out a waiver.
He then tells me, "you're going to be driving the car."
I nearly fainted right there. "Are you serious? I thought I was just going to be sitting in the passenger seat!" I replied.
When he said yes I kept staring at him. I'm sure he felt a little uncomfortable but he's probably used to reactions like this.
They treated me like royalty at Audi. They had snacks for guests, they let me peruse their cars and even took photos of me. Next they introduced me to my driving buddy. He was this young race car driver that would give me instructions to drive the car. I was freaking out. Wait, a race car driver? What are we doing with these cars? They're really going to let me drive it!
We get into the car and I feel like I'm in a futuristic spaceship! This car has all these techno gizmos and features I didn't know even existed. I'm so low to the ground that regular cars look like SUVs and SUVs look like giant pick up trucks. It was a glorious sunny day so it was the perfect day to drive this convertible. I wasn't used to having an engine that big in the back. I couldn't really see over it too well. My driving buddy tells me to put the car in comfort mode just to start me off. I hear crackling and engine revving from the other test driver in another R8. Holy crap!
We then received instructed not to pass each other and stay in single file. They would allow us some space to let them rip but any dangerous driving would result in the driving buddy to taking our places. Excitement overwhelmed me and my heart started racing. It just dawned on me that this was actually happening when we started to merged into traffic. I was paranoid about damaging the car. I'd take years to pay off any damages! I could barely understand what my driving buddy was saying because I was so stressed. Surprisingly the car responded just like a regular car would. I thought the car would go crazy the instant I put any gas on but it didn't. We soon approached the parkway which is almost like the highway but a little slower. To merge onto the parkway I had to give the car some gas and boy did this car zoom! I wasn't used to the jerking of the car. I regularly drive a standard manual transmission and the R8 is an automatic. So whenever I let go of the gas the car would jerk as it slowed down. I heard loud crackling and popping from the exhaust. The instructor assured me it was the car down shifting. I've heard these sounds in cars from fast and the furious movies but never from the car I was driving.
We finally get to the country road. This is when the instructor shifted my car into sport mode. He told me this is where the fun begins. I already thought the car had good power when we got on the parkway. You mean this car has another level?! It did! We started from a standstill and were told to launch the car. One after the other I saw the cars in front of me fly away like rockets! My mind was racing as my turn suddenly approached. What if I screw this up? Screw it! It's a once in a lifetime experience just soak it in! Just then I slammed on the gas and boom! I felt like I was on the millennium falcon going at hyper speed! The trees and grass flew by and looked like lines. I was feeling the g-forces pushing me against my chair. A loud "woohoo" came out of me involuntarily! Quickly the pace car was in front of me and I had to brake hard. Thank goodness the brakes were so responsive!
I couldn't keep pace with the rest of the cars for fear of crashing, but as we went through the course I gained more confidence in my abilities with the car. Soon I was going faster without having to clench onto the wheel so tightly. I loved how there was a lot of space within the driving cabin, I never felt claustrophobic. This car acted like an everyday car except it was super fast when you needed it to go fast.
There was a turn that the instructor told me to go fast on. I asked him if he was sure. He was the race car driver so when he replied yes I gunned it! Man this car stuck to the road like nothing else! My Forte would have rolled at that speed but I felt confident in this car. It felt like it could take corners with ease. So much ease that the instructor told me to go faster!
I replied, "Are you serious?"
He reassured me it was okay and he was right! I was freaked out not only by the fact the car could do it but the experience of doing it!
Soon they brought me to a bridge. The objective was to get me hear splendor of the R8 V10 engine. I was going to be able to floor the car while driving under the bridge. I wasn't caged with a roof so I'd be able to experience this to the fullest. As I waited for my turn I could hear how crazy the other cars sounded. I couldn't wait for my turn. When my time came I braced myself. When I gunned it, I could hear the full harmonics of the engine. It was like a car commercial times 100! I loved the growl of this car and how aggressive it sounded! I only wish I could do it again!
The test drive came to an end after 45 minutes. It didn't feel like it that's for sure. I came to the realization that I had to drive in traffic again. My stress levels went back up. I didn't want to ruin this masterpiece of a vehicle but I eventually got back to the dealers and thanked them for such a great experience! I hope any of the readers out there get a chance to try this car out. Check out your local dealers for an opportunity. It's definitely worth the experience!