I am a very lucky boy indeed. At Le Mans this year, David Ingram, Audi UK's Product & Technology PR Manager, mentioned to me that he might be able to let me have an Audi R8 Spyder to try out at the end of June. Well, this morning a bright red Audi R8 Spyder was delivered to my front door for me to drive for a few days.
What a spectacular car it is! I don't think I have ever sat in a car worth more than £100,000 before, let alone driven one. Taking my young son to school, and then on the drive to work this morning, I hardly explored its potential, but it certainly does what it does in a very wonderful way. Fast? Of course it's fast. Very fast. But it is the handling that is most impressive. OK, so I'm not the kind of guy who's going to slide it around corners and try to get the tail to hang out. But on the couple of corners where I did attempt to go around more quickly that I would in my usual transport (an S4 - itself with 333PS and quattro drive) the R8 felt as sure-footed as you could possibly want.
And it has a fantastic exhaust note. The V10 purrs at low revs, no V8-style burbling, nothing raucous at all, but when you accelerate remotely sharply (even from 5mph to 30mph in town) you get this lovely, powerful sounding roar. 5.2 litres and in excess of 500bhp. That's more than a Formula 1 car had when I first started watching Grands Prix.
In terms of specifications, I haven't really noticed much. It has a radio, a CD player, a SatNav and it's supposed to connect to my mobile phone, but I couldn't get that bit to work. But I didn't try very hard. Who'd want to be on the phone when you've got the experience of driving to enjoy?
Thank you very much Audi. I am going to enjoy the next few days a lot.