Project yourself, if you will, many years into the future to the Museum of German–Italian Relations. Little Jacob and Andy are on a school trip, and they stare wide-eyed at the 2017 Audi R8 Plus that sits in the lobby. The museum guide is a decrepit, ancient creature who once worked as an auto-journalist back when gas flowed freely and pot was illegal.

“Welcome, children,” he sputters. “My name is Mr. B. I drove one of these cars once. Can anybody guess what made it go?”


“No Jacob, not beer. How about you, Andy.”


“Nope. A liquid called gasoline. It was beautiful. It smelled of speed, sex and hallucination. The more you burned, the faster you went.”

“But, Mr. B, isn’t gasoline why the earth is so hot now, and the trees all died, and the cities flooded, and Trump and Putin got married, and…”

“Details, kids, details. When new, this second-generation Audi R8 Plus cost $213,900. It was better than the old one because it was lighter, faster and handled better thanks to an all-new structure that included some carbon-fibre in the floor and bulkhead. It also got a redesigned front end and a new electronically controlled clutch that sent power quicker to the front wheels. So, children, do you know why this German supercar is in the Museum of German–Italian Relations?”

“Did Berlusconi pick up one his hookers in an R8?”

“Probably, Jacob. But the real answer here is the rear mid-mounted 5.2L over-square naturally-aspirated V10 that came from Lamborghini. It’s a masterpiece. In a time when super performance cars like Ferrari, Porsche and McLaren used smaller displacement turbo engines to meet emission and fuel economy targets, the Audi R8 and sister Lamborghini Huracán flipped the bird at all that nonsense, spinning their V10s to a racecar-like 8,700 rpm. The engine also sported both port and direct injection along with cylinder deactivation.”

“Was it noisy, Mr. B? Our new Apple iSnooze is so quiet you could hear a mouse fart. Well, except for that time when it ran over our dog.”

In Pictures: 2017 Audi R8

“Well Andy, the 2017 Audi R8 Plus could very well have been one of the greatest-sounding road cars ever built. There was a little button on the steering wheel that activated the sport exhaust. I had this on all the time. At 6,000 rpm the heavens opened up. Then from 7,000 to 8,500 rpm old Satan had his say. Jeeeezuz, that V10 sounded like the colonoscopy room at a hyena hospital. One that had run out of Propofol. And it was freakin’ fast, kids. Hit 85 grand, flick the right paddle and it started all over again. Seven gears… seventh heaven.”

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