Audi Gets in the Fast Lane

The audacious R8 is the emblem of the company's ambitious goal to overtake BMW and Benz

The Audi R8

The Audi R8 is the German luxury automaker's first attempt at producing that most rarefied of motoring beasts, a super-sports car--a high-priced combination of verve and vroom. As I drive down the main drag of this English coastal town, the road narrows and I stop to let an oncoming car through. It turns out to be a vintage Mercedes SL sports car. As the R8 idles, its 420-h.p. V8 engine purrs with a low growl, and I can't resist revving it. As the Merc passes, its driver slows to a pause, nods at the sinuous, sleek lines of the pearly dark...

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