Pushing the R8 to its Limits at the Audi Driving Experience
As you’re probably aware, we love ourselves a great sports car here at Man of Many. Hence, being invited out to Eastern Creek by Audi for their Level 3 Driving Experience was like having a fantasy uploaded from the recesses of our souls. The program entailed testing three RS models and the new R8 on the Grand Prix Circuit. Yes, you read that correctly – we got to fly down a professional race track at high speeds in the highest precision Audi cars. We’re still pinching ourselves just to make sure we’re not in the matrix.
Our mini-adventure was part of the new Audi Driving Experience, where regular gearheads get to live out their wildest dreams behind the wheel. To call our experience a blast is like a ten-year-old boy calling Christmas morning a decent time. This was more like a blast on steroids. We tested four models: the RS3, RS6, RS7, and R8. The “RS”, by the way, is short for “RennSport”, which is German for “Racing Sport”. And let us tell you, these cars freaking rule.
Our adventure began with three “training session” in the morning, but don’t let the name fool or bore you. An instructor was on hand to hone our skills in emergency situations. We learned things like how to overcome oversteering (i.e. drifting) on a slick track, how to make an emergency lane change and how to handle emergency breaking and swerving. It was equal parts intense, fun and informative and the Audi RS cars handled each task with ease.
Once afternoon rolled around and we were set loose on the full Grand Prix Circuit at Eastern Creek. Leading the way was an instructor and the better we drove behind him following his lines, the faster he went. To finish the day, the experts got behind the wheel of the R8 and we each took a hot lap in the passenger seat. Let me tell you, these cars can fly.
For the car lovers out there, you might be wondering what it was like testing the new 2017 Audi R8? Well, to put it bluntly, it was awesome. For starters, the Coupe is an aerodynamic marvel to behold, and a true thoroughbred that bridges the gap between track and road. On the outside is a muscular, lightweight carbon body with honeycomb grid and wide air inlets. On the inside is a monoposto cockpit design that rounds out the racecar aesthetic. Under the glossy carbon skin is a naturally aspirated 5.2 V10 engine that delivers crazy power and acceleration.
The R8 hangs low to the ground like a jungle cat. When we were behind the wheel it almost felt at first like we were pushing the car up, but any doubts were eliminated as soon as the instructor took over for the hot lap. He put the pedal to the metal and showed us what that powerful V8 engine was truly made of. Needless to say, the gorgeous R8 Coupe is fast, furious, and primed to conquer the road.
Our adventure was part of a broader program being offered by Audi and something which you can experience for yourselves. The Audi Driving Experience allows you to get behind the wheel of a suite of best in class sports cars and test them to their limits, exploring various terrains at high speeds. It’s almost like skydiving for car junkies, or at the very least like bringing a racing arcade game to life. We participated in Level 3, which took us to the Grand Prix Circuit in Eastern Creek. But there are other options like Level 4, aka the Race Driving Program which puts you behind the wheel of the legendary Audi R8 LMS racecar before setting you loose on either Victoria’s Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit or in Sydney’s Motorsport Park. Also offered is the Audi Ice Pro Experience, where you’ll get to drive Audi S5 models on a frozen lake in Sweden. Yeah, Audi is not playing around. To see the full spectrum of available Audi Driving Experiences, be sure to visit their site.
With every experience comes a professional instructor to ensure your safety (and Audi’s), but nevertheless these programs are not for the faint of heart. Those of you brave enough to take an Audi S5 out on a frozen lake in sub-zero temperatures, or an R8 LMS out for a few high speed laps, are guaranteed to have an adventure you’ll never forget for a long time. Trust us.