Audi R8 V10

Price: £99,580

Top speed: 196mph 0-60mph 3.9 seconds

Consumption: 21mpg

CO2 emissions: 351g/km

Best for: Attention seekers

Also worth considering?
Lamborghini Gallardo; Aston Martin Vantage; Porsche 911 Turbo

James Bradley was the highest bidder in the 'Wheels on Fire' category in last year's Independent Christmas Charity Appeal – and his prize was a road-test and review of a new 2009 model. Here is his review of the new Audi R8.

I have only one serious negative thing to say about Audi's latest version of the R8, and it's my fault, not the car's. You see, I suspect that, like a lot of people, I don't really like to be the centre of attention.

In fact, my response is to look around frantically for the nearest escape. And in this supercar, you are constantly stared and pointed at – in fact, people stood in front of the car at the traffic lights and took photographs with their mobiles.

I could see their disappointment when they looked inside the cabin – hoping perhaps to catch a glimpse of Wayne Rooney or Daniel Craig, and instead all they could see was little old me, piloting this chariot of the gods.

The car itself does exactly what it says on the tin, or rather, the lightweight aluminium body. It is a sublime balance of form and function. If I am really, really pushed to criticise its looks, all I can think of is that there are a couple of angles from which it is not quite as photogenic or as beautiful as, say, the immaculate Ferrari 246GT. But, like the general public, I just couldn't stop looking at it.

I even liked the controversial side panels. Everyone seems to have an opinion about whether the panels are unnecessary or ugly – or both. To me, though, the question of how a car looks is rather similar to the argument over modern art. First and foremost, it should evoke a response; it doesn't have to appeal to everyone's taste. Bland, this car is not.

The engine is awesome and looks gorgeous. And what power: any gear, any revs, just dial it in and it will deliver. The G-force and accompanying engine chorus would make even Jack Dee smile. At 2,000 revs, pulling from fourth gear, the depth of bass could only come from a bull with a scrotum so large that it brushed the clover. Then, as the rev counter spins clockwise, the V10 makes a sound so wonderful that if it were recorded and available on iTunes, it would undoubtedly reach number one in the Petrol Head Charts.

I trust the people who make this car. At no point did I worry about its ability to deliver me from A to B safely, no matter how good or bad my driving. The Archbishop of Canterbury would disapprove, but the R8 has soul.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine