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CAR OF THE MONTH December 2007

2008 Audi R8

Purebred Racer

A front view of a black 2008 Audi R8

In short: A high-performance, mid-engine supercar.

How can such a futuristic car look so familiar? The R8, based on a concept car featured in I, Robot with Will Smith, is on the streets now. It takes its name from the winningest thoroughbred at Le Mans, and, of course, a lot of the technology came from racing experiments on the track. The track is where this racer excels, but you can drive it on the street, and it’s tame enough to be a daily driver. That in itself is a feat in engineering. The car is magnificently designed. No matter what angle you look and re-look at it from, it’s gorgeous, fast and ready for performance road-going business. We drove it in the city, on the highway, mountain road and the track, and rarely has something of this caliber given us such satisfaction. This would be the best present to receive, ever.

2008 Audi R8 Engine, Interior, Logo and LED Headlight

Distinguishing elements of this mid-engine car are an all-aluminum structure, a carbon or polished aluminum side blade, a racing car-reminiscent cockpit arrangement, some cool LED headlamps, and a museum-style display case engine bay, complete with illumination. Cargo space in the front is extremely limited, but you can fit a golf bag behind the seat or grocery bags, too, if you dare to hit the Safeway in this purebred.

It is a select car that has become a halo product in an already successfully-growing premium car company with the likes of the RS 4, S5 and S6

Related Content:
2013 Audi R8 V10 plus Coupe

A three-quarter rear view of a black 2008 Audi R8

Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000 mile limited warranty, twelve-year limited warranty against rust, 24-hour roadside assistance for four years/unlimited miles.

Base Price: $109,000 / As tested: $125,000

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: mid-engine, all-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door coupe

Engine: 4.2-liter V8
Horsepower: 420 hp @ 7,800 rpm
Torque: 317 lb-ft @ 4,500-6,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual

Curb weight: 3,580 lbs
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
174.5/75/49.2 in
Turning circle: 38.7 ft

Suspension: 4-wheel independent suspension, double wishbone front and rear suspension

Brakes: four-wheel disc with ABS and electronic brake assist, front and rear ventilated disc brakes

Traction: all-wheel drive, traction control, vehicle stability control
Safety: dual front airbags with head protection chambers, side-mounted airbags

0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
Top Speed: 187 mph

EPA City: 13 mpg
EPA Highway: 20 mpg

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The Audi RSQ, which was designed for the movie, I, Robot, was the model for the Audi R8.

Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 08/20/13 NW)