German Hype: The New 2017 Audi R8 Is Angular And Beautiful. Its Also A Lot Faster!

Posted on 03.02.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The new Audi R8 has finally arrived and it is…well its just better.  Outwardly, it doesn’t stand apart from the previous (well, current) R8 all that much besides a much more angular design with a much shorter rear end and more than a few rectangles hidden in places like the taillights and a few vents.  While the visual changes are subtle they combine for a significantly better looking R8 in my opinion.  However, this new R8 is about more than just the superficial changes.  The real story comes from the new R8’s performance.  A V8 is no longer an option for the 2017 R8 and now buyers have a choice of two different 5.2 FSI V10 engines.  The base engine is tuned to 540HP but for those who want more (and who wouldn’t?) buyers can choose the R8 Plus which has an additional 70hp bringing the total to 610.  With the optional engine the 2017 Audi R8 makes it from 0 to 60 in about 3 seconds and has a top speed of 205.1 mph.

The new R8 comes in at 110lbs lighter than the current model thanks to a new space fame with a few areas such as the tunnel and B pillars made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic or CFRP.  This new space frame will also be the platform in which future R8 variants such as the confirmed e-tron will be based on.

The 2017 Audi R8 will hit the wallet to the tune of 165,000 euros for the base and 187,400 euros for R8 plus.  That’s about $185,500 and $210,500 in USD respectively.  Audi states that sales of the new R8 will start this summer but they do not specify if that is a world wide release date or just Europe.  We’ll likely find out in the days to come.  In the meantime click the thumbnails below for HD resolution pictures and pick some more information from the press release.

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Press Release:

The second generation of the high-performance sports car makes its debut in Geneva

  • 5.2 FSI engine with up to 449 kW (610 hp), 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.2 seconds
  • New multimaterial Audi Space Frame with high proportions of aluminum and CFRP

 

 

No model with the four rings is closer to motorsport, none is more striking and more dynamic: at the Geneva Motor Show, Audi is presenting the second generation of its high-performance R8 sports car. The V10 mid-engine and a newly developed quattro drive ensure breathtaking driving performance, especially in the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW (610 hp): achieving 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.2 seconds, its top speed is 330 km/h (205.1 mph).

A high-revving mid-engine with superior performance, a consistently lightweight construction concept and an extremely dynamic chassis with quattro drive system and fully variable torque control – this is what makes the R8 the sporty spearhead of Audi. The high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating both on the race track and on the road.

“Motorsport is in Audi’s genes, it has always been a permanent feature of our brand’s character,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi. “With the new Audi R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion. The new R8 V10 plus is therefore the most powerful and fastest series-production Audi of all time.” Thanks to the close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, the Audi R8 has seen a clear performance increase – this benefits both the series production car and the R8 LMS developed on the basis of this.

The engines: 10 cylinders in two versions
The 5.2 FSI is available in two versions: one with 397 kW (540 hp) and another sporting 449 kW (610 hp). The range-topping model accelerates in a mere 3.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) and keeps going to its maximum speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph). The sound of the freely aspirated V10 engine, whose maximum torque is available at 6,500 rpm, has become even fuller and sharper. A 7-speed S tronic transmission and a newly developed quattro drive system transmit the power to the road. The distribution of the drive torque adapts to the respective driving conditions – in extreme cases, 100 percent of the torque can be transmitted to the front or rear axle. The new performance mode in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system enables adaptation of the most important ride dynamics parameters to the friction coefficient of the road.

Lightweight construction: only 1,454 kg (3,205.5 lb) dry weight
The top model R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms (3,205.5 lb). Despite a lot of extra equipment and greater rigidity, the new Audi R8 weighs up to 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than its predecessor. The multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF) ensures low weight and optimum axle load distribution. The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame opens up new dimensions with regard to weight, rigidity and crash behavior. The aerodynamic underbody which integrates a long diffuser boosts downforce. The chassis, too, with its double wishbone suspension demonstrates how close the new Audi R8 is to motorsport.

Design: flat, wide, muscular
The design reflects the powerful sporty character of the R8. A visual distinguishing feature which also provides enhanced safety comes in the form of the standard LED headlights. For an extended field of vision and more brightness, Audi offers the laser spot for the high beam as an option – complemented by the dynamic turn signals at the front. Dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear.

In the new Audi virtual cockpit, the displays are digital. The most important controls are grouped together in button clusters on the steering wheel, also known as satellites. In the interior, the driver has the impression of sitting in a race car. The air conditioning controls emphasize the simplicity of the control panel with its floating effect. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard.

Sales of the new Audi R8 start in summer 2015. Prices are 165,000 euros for the R8 V10 and 187,400 euros for the top-of-the-range version R8 V10 plus.

New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
The new Audi R8 is produced at a new quattro GmbH production site that was specially built for the sports car – the “Böllinger Höfe” site in Heilbronn. An elaborate manufacturing technique ensures that Audi-typical quality is produced.

Specialists: the Audi R8 e-tron and Audi R8 LMS
The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for more models. The latest evolutionary version of the electrically-powered high-performance R8 e-tron sports car achieves a performance figure of 340 kW and a torque of 920 Nm (678.6 lb-ft). It sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds. Thanks to new battery cells, the range could be more than doubled compared to the first version of this technological wonder – it is now more than 450 kilometers (279.6 mi).

The new Audi R8 LMS race car was developed based on the new GT3 regulations due to come into effect worldwide from 2016. This year it will already be put through its paces at the factory. Despite massive performance increases, around 50 percent of its components are the same as the series-production car.

The new Audi R8
The R8 is the dynamic spearhead of Audi. In its second generation, the high-performance sports car has been newly developed from the ground up – it is more taut, more striking and more fascinating. The high-revving V10 engine is available in two performance variants. In the top-of-the-range version with 449 kW (610 hp), it develops breathtaking power.

“Motorsport is in Audi’s DNA, it is part of our brand’s character,” says
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Board Member for Technical Development at Audi. “With the new R8, our engineers are bringing accumulated racing expertise from the race track onto the road. No other model of ours evokes more dynamic emotion, none is closer to a race car. The new R8 V10 plus is the most powerful and fastest series production Audi of all time.”

The mid-engine principle used for the Audi R8 is not only a classic concept in motorsport but also an important piece of Audi tradition. The powerful engines were located in front of the rear axle even in the Grand Prix race cars brought to the start line by Auto Union in the 1930s – a revolutionary step at the time. In 2000, Audi won the 24-hour Le Mans endurance race with the LMP R8 prototype for the first time. By 2005, the car which provided the name for today’s series-production high-performance sports car had secured five overall victories at the Sarthe – the name chosen for the road version of the super sports car from Audi, R8, indicates the technological relationship between the two winners.

As the R8 LMS, the Audi R8 is also highly successful in customer racing. The basis for its success: motorsport was part of the development strategy from the very beginning. In 2009, the R8 LMS customer racing race car began its success story which would lead it to more than 190 victories and 23 championship titles worldwide. Technically speaking, it is closely related to the road version of the sports car with around 50 percent of the same parts.

Up to 449 kW (610 hp): the two V10 engines
The new generation of the Audi R8 utilizes the latest development of the ten-cylinder engine. With its spontaneous throttle response, quick revving up to 6,500 rpm and inimitable roaring sound, the naturally aspirated 5.2 FSI engine is enough to give you goose bumps. In the new R8, the freely aspirated V10 engine offers even more power and torque than before. Controllable flaps in the exhaust pipe and an optional sport exhaust system make the car sound even more characteristic.

The ten-cylinder engine is available in two versions. In the R8 V10, it develops a power of 397 kW (540 hp)  from its 5,204 cc displacement and a torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at an engine speed of 6,500 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes just 3.5 seconds, and it can reach a top speed of 323 km/h (200.7 mph). The R8 V10 plus is even more powerful and is the fastest series-production Audi of all time. It develops 449 kW (610 hp) and its maximum torque of 560 Nm (413.0 lb-ft) is available at 6,500 rpm. The performance figures are equally impressive: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.2 seconds, 0 to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 9.9 seconds, and a top speed of 330 km/h (205.1 mph).

A further innovation in the 5.2 FSI engine is the additional indirect injection. It complements the FSI direct gasoline injection, lowers fuel consumption and enhances engine output. Moreover, the R8 features yet another innovative system in the form of COD (cylinder on demand). It shuts off one of the two cylinder banks by deactivating injection and ignition. The R8 V10 consumes an average of 11.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (19.9 US mpg) with CO2 emissions of 275 grams per kilometer (442.6 g/mi), for the R8 V10 plus those values are 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers (19.0 US mpg) and 289 grams per kilometer (465.1 g/mi). The fuel consumption reduction of up to 10 percent compared to the previous model is also due to the new start-stop system.

The dry sump lubrication completes the technology package of the 5.2 FSI. The ten-cylinder engine is hand built in the Hungarian engine plant in Gy 014Å‘’ type=”#_x0000_t75″>r. As a traditional motorsport technology, it allows for low installation of the engine, which is particularly beneficial for the car’s center of gravity. What’s more, it also ensures oil supply even under extreme lateral acceleration.

Fast as lightning and highly variable: the power transmission
In both engine versions, power is transmitted to a rapid-shifting seven-speed S tronic transmission installed behind the engine. The S tronic has three automatic modes and can also be controlled manually. Shift commands are transmitted electronically (shift-by-wire). The launch control system manages full-throttle acceleration from a standing start.

Another function of the S tronic comes into play when the driver’s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal at speeds above 55 km/h (34.2 mph). In such cases, both clutches open and the car goes into coasting mode. This function saves a considerable amount of fuel, especially in everyday use by the customer.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive system gives the new R8 a decisive plus in terms of stability and traction when compared with two-wheel-drive competitors. On the front axle, an electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch replaces the Visco clutch of the predecessor model. The newly developed quattro drive system enables completely unrestricted and fully variable distribution of the drive torque to the front and rear axles depending on the driving situation and weather. In normal operation, up to 100 percent is transmitted to the rear wheels and, if required, the clutch continuously diverts up to 100 percent of this torque to the front wheels. Thanks to the mechanical differential lock on the rear axle, the driver experiences maximum traction without any slip.

Audi drive select: the chassis
In the chassis of the new Audi R8, double wishbones made from aluminum guide all four wheels. The R8 V10 plus has a particularly sporty setup – for both engine variants, variable adaptively controlled Audi magnetic ride shock absorbers are available as an option. The newly developed electromechanical power steering system provides close contact to the road surface and makes a further contribution to reducing CO2 emissions. As an option, Audi offers dynamic steering, whereby the steering ratio varies in accordance with the road speed and the settings in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.

As standard, the new Audi R8 V10 has 19-inch wheels with size 245/35 tires at the front and 295/35 at the rear. Upon request, Audi is also offering 20-inch wheels for the first time in the R8. With this option, the tires are size 245/30 at the front and 305/30 at the rear. The steel brake disks have a weight-saving wave design and the calipers can be painted red upon request. In the R8 V10 plus, high-tech disks made from carbon fiber ceramic are responsible for deceleration of the 20-inch wheels (optional for the V10).

In the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, the driver has the choice of four modes (comfort, auto, dynamic and individual) to control the way in which important technical components operate. As standard, the system takes into account the engine characteristics, steering, S tronic transmission and quattro drive system as well as optional extras such as Audi magnetic ride, the exhaust flaps and dynamic steering. On top of that, there is also the new performance mode (available as an option for the V10 and standard for the V10 plus). The driver activates it by pressing a separate button on the steering wheel. He or she can select between the programs dry, wet and snow using a rotary wheel. These programs support dynamic handling on dry, wet and snow-covered surfaces. In performance mode, Audi drive select also makes use of the ESC stabilization control function.

New Audi Space Frame with high proportions of aluminum and CFRP
The R8 V10 plus has a dry weight of 1,454 kilograms (3,205.5 lb). The key factor behind the consistent lightweight design is the body shell with multimaterial Audi Space Frame (ASF): It weighs only 200 kilograms (440.9 lb). The resulting unladen weight of 1,555 kilograms (3,428.2 lb) leads to a superior power-to-weight ratio of 3.46 kg/kW (2.55 kg/hp).

The ASF body shell features a completely new multimaterial lightweight construction concept. Components made from carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) form the B‑pillars, the central tunnel and the rear wall. The front section of the vehicle, the roof arch and the rear section form a framework made from cast aluminum nodes and aluminum profiles which, in some cases, employ new alloys. As always with the ASF, each component is precisely designed for its location and purpose. Accordingly, the engineers have now integrated some components into the body shell due to their function. Leaving aside its components, the body shell is now around 15 percent lighter than its predecessor. At the same time, torsional rigidity is roughly 40 percent better. Particularly with regard to rigidity, the body of the new Audi R8 is a benchmark. The resulting lightweight construction is unparalleled among the competition.

The multimaterial Audi Space Frame in the new Audi R8 is extremely light and rigid, whilst also being acoustically comfortable and offering a high level of safety. The outer skin is made entirely of aluminum, but as an optional extra (or as standard for the V10 plus), Audi also offers attachment parts made from clear-coated carbon fiber, for example the front splitter, the diffuser or the side blades. A long, rising diffuser in the underbody produces downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds.

Design: flat, wide, muscular
A cockpit positioned very far forward, a long, flowing back and a relatively short wheelbase – the exterior design makes the technical concept of the mid-engine, high-performance Audi R8 sports car clear upon first sight. At 4.42 meters long (14.5 ft), 1.24 meters high (4.1 ft) and with a wheelbase measuring 2.65 meters (8.7 ft), its dimensions have only slightly changed in comparison to the previous model. Its width now measures 1.94 meters (6.4 ft) and has thus grown by about four centimeters (1.6 in). The car’s proportions convey more of a race car character, with characteristic design ideas from the previous model now more pronounced.

The four rings sit proudly on the hood, the Singleframe radiator grille with honeycomb design is wide and flat. Modeled plastic surfaces allow it to merge into the flat headlights – facets of the vehicle which highlight tension, provide an impression of depth and add an air of logic to the design. The grid-type signature of the daytime running lights with vertical elements replicates the structure of the air inlets and emphasizes the width of the car. The entire appearance of the Audi R8 conveys a feeling of lightness and technical precision. LED headlights are standard. Available upon request, Audi can also supply the laser spot which doubles the range of the high beam to 600 meters (1,968.5 ft) as well as the dynamic turn signals at the front. The dynamic turn signals are standard at the rear. The rear lighting signature also combines two vertical elements with a horizontal line. This gives the Audi R8 an even more powerful appearance.

As part of the new laser high beams, one laser module per headlight generates a cone of light with twice the range of the all-LED headlamp. Each module comprises four high-power laser diodes. With a diameter of just 300 micrometers, these generate a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. A phosphor converter transforms it into white light suitable for roadway use with a color temperature of 5,500 Kelvin – ideal conditions for the human eye that enable the driver to recognize contrast more easily and help to prevent fatigue. The laser spot is active from a speed of 60 km/h (37.3 mph) to supplement the LED high beam of the R8 and, thanks to its long range, greatly enhances the driver’s field of vision as well as safety. An intelligent camera-based sensor system detects other road users and actively adjusts the light pattern to exclude them.

On the sides of the high-performance sports car, characteristically curved contours are drawn over the wheels. The shoulder line, shaped like a powerful muscle, connects the wheels with one another while at the same time dividing the side blade in two to leave an upper and a lower half. This new design solution makes the car appear even longer and more dynamic.

At the rear, as well, the lights and the air inlets visually connect to one another. The two tailpipes of the exhaust system have a trapezoidal design and the rear window offers a clear view of the illuminated engine compartment. The R8 is equipped with an electrically extending spoiler, the R8 V10 plus with a fixed wing made from CFRP.

Just like in a race car: the interior and the controls
Behind the steering wheel of the new Audi R8, the driver feels like a race car driver. All functions are driver-oriented and allow easy operation even when the critical limits are reached – and all without the driver having to take his or her hands off the steering wheel. The newly designed sport seats with integrated headrest provide excellent lateral support. Even more radical seating for a sports car comes in the form of the newly developed R8 bucket seats. These make a clear statement confirming the relationship between lightweight construction and comfort (optional in the V10 and standard in the V10 plus).

The start-stop button and the Audi drive select button are located on several satellites on the new multifunction plus steering wheel. The Performance steering wheel in the Audi R8 V10 plus features two more satellites. One button is for performance mode together with a rotary wheel for selecting the dry, wet and snow programs as well as a button for controlling the sports exhaust system.

The Audi virtual cockpit is set in a free-standing housing and presents all the information on its 12.3-inch display with elaborately computed, fascinating graphics. The driver can toggle between different display modes and also adjust the digital instrument cluster to his needs in individual mode. In performance mode, the driver is presented with information on the driving programs, acceleration, deceleration and lateral forces as well as power and torque. The Audi virtual cockpit also displays a shift light which informs the driver that the engine speed limit has been reached. The driver operates the Audi virtual cockpit using the multifunction plus steering wheel. The driver’s hands remain on the steering wheel and he or she can concentrate on the road. Alternatively, operation can take place via the touch wheel or the buttons in the center console.

In the design of the interior too, the taut geometric lines emphasize the aesthetic lightweight construction of the brand. Its characteristic element is the monoposto, a large arc in the area around the driver’s seat. The MMI monitor of the previous model is no longer available. Instead, the three central control elements of the air conditioning system have taken its place. The three-dimensional design of the air outlet vents bring to mind the air inlets of a race car. The dashboard appears to float weightlessly. The wide console of the central tunnel accommodates the standard MMI terminal as well as the newly designed flat selector lever of the S tronic transmission.

When it comes to upholstery, customers can choose between Alcantara/pearl Nappa leather and fine Nappa leather. Also available are trim elements in clear coated carbon fiber, two leather packages and a new diamond stitching pattern.

Customization
There are numerous customization possibilities for customers of the new Audi R8 – for both the exterior and the interior. The colors for the body have been newly mixed and can be freely combined with the colors of the side blades – a blade made from glossy carbon is a particular highlight of the range. Ten standard exterior colors are available, for the R8 V10 plus there is an additional matt paint finish available, Camouflage Green.

Among the five equipment colors available for the interior, two color ranges can be found, whereby the interior is always characterized by a sporty feel. Additionally, there are numerous options to further customize both the interior and the exterior, for example with headlining in Alcantara with dynamic diamond stitching pattern. The Audi exclusive program makes it possible for you to turn the new R8 into a one-of-a-kind model.

Completely connected: infotainment
In the new Audi R8, the Audi virtual cockpit replaces the analog instruments and the MMI monitor. The driver can switch the all-digital display between two different view modes. These bring either the virtual dial instruments or the large navigation map into focus.

The Audi R8 makes use of the latest technology in terms of infotainment. MMI navigation plus is installed as standard; the MMI touch touch wheel is the central control element. In the background, the second generation of the modular infotainment platform sets about its work – just like the Audi virtual cockpit, it integrates a super-fast T30 chip from Audi’s cooperation partner, NVIDIA.

MMI navigation plus is complemented by the Audi connect module. The passenger can connect a smartphone or tablet via the system’s integrated Wi-Fi hotspot. Tailored online services from Audi connect are displayed on the Audi virtual cockpit. The internet connection uses the fast LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. Optional components such as the fine-tuned sound system from Bang & Olufsen with a system performance of 500 watts or the Audi phone box for convenient cell phone integration round off the infotainment program.

New factory for quattro GmbH: production at the “Böllinger Höfe” site
The new Audi R8 is produced at the new “Böllinger Höfe” quattro GmbH production site, close to the Neckarsulm plant. The production area covering 30,000 m2 (322,917.3 sq ft) comprises a body shop and assembly facilities. The entire production facility is highly flexible, while technical and ergonomic innovations such as the CFRP body shell construction and driverless transport systems ensure top quality.

As was the case for the previous model, production follows an elaborate manufacturing process. In cycle times of about 30 minutes and with up to 400 highly qualified employees, the R8 is created in highly precise craftsmanship. Following completion, each R8 is subjected to a strict quality acceptance process on the internal plant test track and an approximately one-hour test drive on public roads. With the new R8 manufacturing site, quattro GmbH – the high-performance subsidiary of AUDI AG – is further enhancing its small-series expertise, thus creating the opportunity to realize ever more exciting derivatives of the R8.

Electrified: Audi R8 e-tron
The second generation of the Audi R8 forms the basis for two more models. Audi has made major engineering developments in its high-performance electric sports car, the R8 e-tron. The latest evolution of the vehicle takes up the multimaterial Audi Space Frame from the new series-production model.

The supporting structure was enhanced by a CFRP rear-section module comprising the luggage compartment. The walls of the CFRP luggage compartment well are corrugated. This way, in the event of a rear-end collision, more energy can be absorbed despite the reduced material weight.

Thanks to targeted modifications to the outer shell and on the wheels, the Audi R8 e‑tron achieves an aerodynamic drag coefficient (cd) value of 0.28. In terms of performance and range, the car enters entirely new dimensions.

The large T-shaped battery is structurally integrated into the center tunnel and behind the occupant cell – optimally positioned in the car. It supports the dynamics of the R8 e-tron with its low center of gravity. Audi produces the high-voltage battery itself, for the first time based on a newly developed lithium-ion technology which was specially conceived for a purely electric vehicle drive. In comparison to the first technology platform, the battery capacity has grown from 49 kWh to approximately 92 kWh. This progress was possible without changing the package.

The R8 e-tron achieves an electric range of 450 kilometers (279.6 mi) instead of a previous 215 kilometers (133.6 mi) with an energy density that has been increased from 84 Wh/kg to 154 Wh/kg and some other modifications to the car. The electrically powered high-performance sports car has the Combined Charging System (CCS) on board, which allows charging with direct and alternating current. Using this system, it is possible to fully charge the battery in significantly less than two hours.

The power is now twice 170 kW and the maximum torque twice 460 Nm (339.3 lb-ft). The R8 e-tron accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.9 seconds on its way to an electronically restricted top speed of 210 km/h (130.5 mph) or 250 km/h (155.3 mph). Intelligent energy management and an electromechanical brake system enable high energy recuperation rates. Targeted torque vectoring – needs-based distribution of power transmission between the rear wheels – ensures maximum stability and dynamism.

Audi uses the electrical high-performance sports car primarily as a mobile high-tech laboratory. Accordingly, the findings from the R8 e-tron help in creating a vehicle with a sedan character. Upon customer request, the R8 e-tron will be available for order in 2015 as an electrically powered sports car in supreme hand-built quality.

New race car: the Audi R8 LMS
Alongside the new R8 series-production model, the second-generation R8 LMS race car is also making its debut, with colleagues from motorsport and series production working in close harmony as part of its development. Both the series-production model of the R8 and the R8 LMS have seen clear increases in power and performance compared with the predecessor. Both cars have around 50 percent of the same parts.

The body shell of the rear-wheel-drive GT3 sports car is based on a selectively reinforced multimaterial ASF. Engineers have supplemented this feature with a safety cage. Its outer shell consists mainly of carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The vehicle’s type approval weight is 1,225 kilograms (2,700.7 lb). The V10 engine is virtually identical to the series-production engine and produces around 430 kW (approximately 585 hp), depending on the applicable regulations and the restrictor required.

Sales of the new R8 LMS to customer teams worldwide will start with the 2016 season. This year, the new race car will be put through its paces by the works team at international long-distance and sprint races, as well as being available to customers as part of the Audi driving experience.

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Hype News: The Next Audi R8 Will Have Freakin Laser Beams In Its Headlights

Posted on 02.17.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Audi_R8_laser_headlights

The future has arrived people!  Gone are the days when we use silly things like light bulbs to help man kind see in the dark.  Soon, we’ll use lasers!  Yes, lasers.  Powerful beams of light often associated with the “pew pew” sound will now help light our way in the darkness.  Audi is looking to be the first OEM to equip a car, namely the R8 with laser powered headlights.  Well, technically the high beams will be lasers.  LEDs will be used for the regular lights.  The laser high beams will be available as an option in the new R8.  Although how much the option will cost is still unknown at this point but it likely won’t be cheap.  It also likely won’t be available everywhere.  As with most new technologies, different countries and states have to figure out how or if they want to regulate it.

The new laser high beams haven’t been cleared for sale in the U.S. yet and I can’t say I blame our government for taking some time on this.  Many people get blinded today by the reflection of current high beams in their rear view mirrors.  Imagine what could happen if someone gets a laser beam reflected directly into their peepers?  However, this is progress and over time this tech will become the norm and we will be one more step closer to the awesome future that we were promised back in the 80s.  I can’t wait to pre-order my hoverboard…

Press Release

February 16, 2015 | Ingolstadt, Germany

  • New mid-engine sports car features high-tech headlights
  • Laser high-beam offers high light intensity and excellent range
  • Editor’s note: Euro-spec availability

International release from AUDI AG

Currently not available on U.S. models

 

Audi is revealing the headlights of its new R8 as the first of a number of technology highlights of the top sports car. The R8 uses LED headlights which can be supplemented by a laser high‑beam lighting module as an option.

The new R8 will set new standards among high‑performance sports cars – including in its lighting technology. As an option, the latest car development by Audi can be equipped with a laser spot as the high‑beam headlight. The special appeal of laser lighting is that it uses high‑intensity laser diodes, which generate a lot of light energy from a very small component. Compared to LED high‑beam headlights, laser high‑beams attain nearly twice the lighting range.

Each headlight contains one laser module that operates with four high‑intensity laser diodes. This module bundles the four intense blue‑light laser beams. Then a phosphor converter transforms the blue light into pure white light. An identifying characteristic of the laser headlights is their blue light signature. Standard equipment in the new R8 includes an LED headlight system. All lighting functions are produced with 37 LEDs per headlight.

The laser spot for the high‑beam light made its debut in the summer of 2014 in the Audi R8 LMX, a limited edition model of the previous R8 model series. Shortly before that, it was used in the Audi R18 e‑tron quattro race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The laser spot is the latest production technology in a long line of lighting innovations. Audi introduced LED technology to the market for the first time in 2004 – in the daytime running lights of the Audi A8 L W12. Lighting technologies such as LED daytime running lights, Matrix LED headlights and laser spot high‑beam lights are prime examples of technology that visualize the core values of the Audi brand: progressiveness, sportiness and sophistication.

[Source: Audi]

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Hype: Audi May Provide Their Dealers With Virtual Reality Headsets …Because Future

Posted on 01.15.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Audi VR experience

The car buying experience has changed a lot since the early days.  We have come a long way from Henry Ford’s famous quote “The customer can have any color they want, as long as its black”.  Now, there are hundreds of options available for new cars and buyers can get a look at what they look like through an online configurator.  However, even an online configurator is starting to feel a bit dated.  Really, configuring a car online is basically just a webpage widget that can photoshop a byer’s options in to an image of the car in question on the fly.  Audi is experimenting with a way to make the customization experience deeper through the use of virtual reality.

Essentially buyers will be able to put on a VR headset (and headphones) and virtually move around a car that is optioned out to their spec.  They can even “sit” in the car with the leather and infotainment they chose and look all around the interior thanks to the help of a head-tracking camera.  Options can also be instantaneously changed out and called up so the buyer can check out different combinations.  A full audio experience will be integrated as well so that users can hear everything from the doors closing to how a particular car’s sound system, well, sounds…

If you’re having trouble envisioning what this experience would be like, imagine using Forzavista mode from Forza Motorsport but while wearing an Oculus Rift VR headset.  In fact, Audi mentions that if this tech experience aids in sales they may look into pushing this into the home rather than buyers only being able to partake in the experience at dealerships.  I imagine that when tech like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and other consumer level VR headseats are more common, these experiences from Audi will simply be downloadable.

If you think Audi’s use of this tech is in the distant future guess again.  They are actually experimenting with it now in their booth at the Detroit Auto Show and Audi hopes to have the first dealerships equipped with their VR tech by the end of this year. For a closer look click the thumbnails below.

Audi VR experience: das Autohaus im Aktenkoffer Audi VR experience: das Autohaus im Aktenkoffer

Now, if only there was some kind of breathing apparatus so that they could add the new cars smell…

Press Release:

Audi VR experience: the dealership in a briefcase

  • Innovative virtual reality headset extends advisory service at Audi dealers
  • Sales chief Luca de Meo: “Further proof of Audi’s pioneering role in sphere of digitization”
  • First Audi dealerships to introduce new sales tool by end of 2015
 The Audi VR experience gives customers the opportunity to configure their preferred car at the dealership through virtual reality headsets and experience it in a unprecedentedly realistic way. The headset showcases the entire model portfolio of the four rings, including all possible equipment combinations. Audi has become the first automotive manufacturer to develop a dedicated retail software solution for virtual reality headsets.

Audi is taking the next big step in integrating digital technologies into automotive retail: The Audi VR experience gives customers the opportunity to configure their preferred car at the dealership through virtual reality headsets and experience it in a unprecedentedly realistic way. The headset showcases the entire model portfolio of the four rings, including all possible equipment combinations. Audi has become the first automotive manufacturer to develop a dedicated retail software solution for virtual reality headsets.

Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG, presented the Audi VR experience this week on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: “Hand in hand with our dealers, we are bringing digital innovations into the dealership in order to improve convenience and to provide even better advice. With the Audi VR experience, we are once again demonstrating the pioneering role of the four rings in this area.”

With the innovative technology, customers and prospective buyers experience the virtual Audi world on a new level – in three dimensions, with all sound effects, and almost life‑like. They can virtually take a seat behind the wheel of their individually configured dream car or take a look in the trunk. A camera tracks the movements of the user’s head and the system adapts the image displayed accordingly. The full spectrum of the Audi model range, with respective customization options, can be called up: colors, leathers, inlays as well as infotainment systems. The dealer is thus able to demonstrate the diversity of the Audi portfolio in a very convenient way and to provide individual advice to the visitor.

Audi will bring the new sales tool to first dealers by the end of this year – with particular focus on dynamic growth markets where high sales increase for AUDI AG is being accompanied by expansion of the dealer capacity. In future, it will also be possible to provide the Audi VR experience away from the dealership as a mobile solution – while visiting the customer at home, for example.

Thanks to their large field of view and the performant positional and movement tracking, Virtual Reality headsets offer excellent immersion – the observer feels fully integrated into the scene presented. In use at the Audi dealer, VR headsets obtain the extremely detailed data records for the vehicle models from a high‑performance computer that assures superior image reproduction. The Audi VR experience is also equipped with high-end headphones by Bang & Olufsen. They transmit the full range of acoustic information, from the sound of the doors closing to the 14‑channel sound of the Advanced Sound System in the Audi A8 and the conversation with the customer consultant.

AUDI AG has already been pioneering the use of virtual reality in automotive sales since 2012, blending digital innovation with the strengths and services of the physical dealership: Audi City, the cyberstore with a real presence, displays the brand’s automobiles on ceiling‑height digital powerwalls on a very life‑like 1:1 scale. There, visitors are able to configure their individual dream car step by step.

Occupying only little space and offering exclusive services, Audi City complements the brand’s sales networks in prominent downtown locations of major international cities. This year, Moscow will be joining London, Beijing and Berlin as the next Audi City location. In addition, AUDI AG has refined technological components of the digital showroom for use at classic dealerships. In 2014, technical modules from Audi City went into use at the first 16 European pilot dealers. The digitization of around 200 more locations worldwide is planned this year.

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12 Days Of Hype: Exotics Racing Is The Only Way To Drive An Exotic Car Like You Stole It…Without Stealing It..

Posted on 12.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In the last “12 Days Of Hype” post I talked about Skip Barber racing school as a great gift for the hardcore motorsports fan in your life.  However, if you want to just gift someone a day on a race track with crazy exotic cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and the like, then Exotics Racing is a good choice as well.  With Facilities at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in California they are within relatively easy reach for anyone on the west coast.  Exotics Racing offers different packages that allow participants to take hot laps in one of up to 15 cars that cover the gamut.  Want to drive a Lamborghini Huracan? They have one.  What about a Ferrari 458 Italia? They have a few of those too.  McLaren MP4-12C? Yessir!  They even have Nissan GT-R’s available.

Since all of their experiences are one day they are much easier on the wallet than say a full racing school such as Skip Barber.  Driving packages at Exotics Racing start at around $199 and go up from there.  If someone just wants to ride shot gun then there are high-speed ride alongs offered for $99.  I have personally checked out the facility at Auto Club Speedway and I can tell you that the staff really goes the distance to make sure participants have a good experience.  If you are trying to think of a good gift then I would recommend considering a day at Exotics Racing.  Hit the source link below for more info.

[Source: ExoticsRacing.com]

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Hype News: LA Auto Show Expecting To Host 25 Global Debuts. Lets Guess What They Are!

Posted on 08.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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November is one of my favorite months and for good reason.  There is just so much to look forward to on the 11th month of the year: Some of the best football games all year, Thanksgiving, the start of the holiday season, and the LA Auto Show.  The last item on that list should be particularly exciting this year as the LA Auto Show has announced that they are expecting 25 world debuts at the show this year from the likes of Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Hyundai, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Scion, Toyota, Volvo, and Volkswagen.  That is a pretty long list, no?  What will all those brands debut?  Well we don’t officially know yet but if history is an indicator I am sure we will find out about most of the debuts from embargo breakers weeks before the show starts.

However, we are still quite a ways from that as well so how about we play a nice healthy game of speculation?  I am going to list off what I think (or want) each brand on that list is going to debut in LA this year. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

Acura:

Production version of the new NSX (its time Acura, its time…)

Audi:

Production ready e-Tron cars, S3, that cool new R8 with the laser headlights

BMW:

A concept for the Z4 successor, M4 convertible, a new edition to the electric “i” cars (i5, i7)

Chrysler:

We will finally get a production version of the ME Four-Twelve (wishful thinking)

General Motors:

I dunno a truck or somethin’?

Hyundai:

The official successor to the Genesis coupe

Lexus:

Production RC and RC-F coupes

Mazda:

New Mazdaspeed3, Mazdaspeed2 (because we want it), Mazdaspeed6-look they just need to “Mazdaspeed” everything and give it to us.  I want a Mazdaspeed stroller! A Mazdaspeed coffee maker!  Oh, they will also probably show off the new MX-5…and Mazdaspeed it!

Mercedes-Benz:

The new AMG GT Coupe with out that funny looking neon zebra camouflage all over it…that stuff is ugly..

Scion:

The next tC release series, production ready TRD-supercharged FR-S

Toyota:

The next Camry in its new “super beige” color, A somewhat less-concept FT-1 coupe

Volvo:

A consumer version of the semi trucks that Jean Claude Van-Damme did splits on in that crazy viral video

Volkswagen:

Baja bug!

 

 

 

 

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Gaming Hype: Hot Wheels Car Pack DLC Brings Audi Auto Union And Lamborghini Veneno To Forza Motorsport 5 (With Video)

Posted on 07.01.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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The Forza 5 DLC just keeps on chugging along with a brand new DLC pack for this month.  Their newest offering, curated by Hot Wheels brings a slew of classics and a few modern cars to Forza Motorsport 5.  As seen above, owners of the DLC will get to drive the fabled Audi Auto Union (one of the rarest collector cars on the planet) as well as the gundam-esque Lamborghini Veneno!  There are also plenty of other gems included in the DLC but I will let you see it all for yourself by watching the video below!  By the way the Hot Wheels car pack DLC is available now!

 

….pst…hey…did you see it?  ……A-Team van!!!

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Hype Bowl 2014: The Three Worst Car Commercials AKA The Whack Three (Video)

Posted on 02.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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I showed you the best now its time for me to show you the god awful.  It never ceases to amaze me how a huge multi-million dollar company can spend a huge portion of those millions on ad space for one of the most watched television events in the world, yet still drop the ball so hard on executing a commercial.  Heck, really it doesn’t even have to be a “great’ commercial as long as its adequate but sometimes they can’t even hit the mediocre mark!  What’s going on people?!  Sigh…ok lets get this over with.. scroll down please.

Third Place: “Doberhuahua” – Audi

This was more of a disappointment than a straight out bad commercial.  First of all lets not get it twisted: I am not an Audi hater.  In fact, I like Audi a lot which makes this spot all the more disappointing.  Audi has been doing some seriously crazy stuff over the last few months.  Remember all that cool new tech they showed off at CES? Laser beam headlights? Cars that can read street signs and park themselves?  They’re practically living 5 years in the future but instead of showcasing any of that (the way they did when they partnered up with Marvel and Iron Man) they bring us some weird monster movie throw back staring a creepy mutant dog!  What the heck Audi?!  There is so much more that could have been done here!  I weep at the possibilities…  Next year Audi better come correct!

Second Place: “Nice” – Hyundai

Oh Hyundai, like Audi you did so little with so much.  When I first learned that Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki would be the lead in Hyundai’s Super Bowl spot I had very high hopes going in.  Imagine my disappointment after watching what transpired.  I am still not even totally sure what was going on in this spot.  Whatever this girl says just magically happens to poor Johnny yet he still can’t get the hint that he stop trying to hit on her from a moving vehicle? BLAH!  Dude! I know its a cheap tactic but they could have played off of Johnny’s Big Bang character Leonard Hofstadter!  This could have been so much better than it was!  Instead it just ended up as a confusing mess.

First Place: “The Truth” – Kia

Here it is. The worst of the worst.  What Kia did here is so bad its baffling!  No matter what your opinion of the Matrix movies are, I think we can all agree that the character Morpheus is awesome.  Yet, the folks at Kia drove up to Lawrence Fishburn’s house with a truck full of money and convinced him that turning the folk hero for the entire people struggling for freedom from robotic overlords into a shill for the K900 was a good idea.  I guess there really are no plans for another Matrix movie otherwise there is no way I can see the studio allowing this farce to happen!  Thanks to Kia I can no longer take Morepheus seriously!  PRO TIP: When trying to advertise your car, don’t ruin a Sci-Fi icon in the process!! FAIL-SAUCE!!

There you have it.  The three worst (in my opinion) car commercials from this year’s Super Bowl.  Now just to be clear I don’t dislike any of the brands mentioned in this post.  I really like Audi and Hyundai won me over with the Genesis coupe and Kia…well I don’t dislike Kia.  I am only singling these companies out because of the commercials they made this year, which just happened to not be so great.  Really, I want ALL car commercials during the Super Bowl to be awesome but that wont happen unless the OEMs and the ad agencies they hire know what not to do.  So consider this a loving (albeit pointed) critique.  Let us all hope that these guys do much better next year!

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CES 2014: Audi Is All Over The CES Show With New TT Interior, Autonomous Driving In Traffic, And Cars With Freakin’ Laser Beams!

Posted on 01.07.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Audi_CES2014_Small

Ok, I am going to warn you now: this is going to be a long post.  Why? Because Audi just dropped a metric ton (see what I did there? German? Metric system? No? Ok moving on..) of new tech, concepts, and sneak peaks at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today.

CES2014_AudiTTInterior_1 CES2014_AudiTTInterior_2

First of all lets start with what has the car nuts drooling in their computer chairs.  While highlighting their new infotainment display Audi has also graced the world with a glimpse of what the next Audi TT interior will look like.  Astute observers will notice the stick shift lever between the seats which confirms that a full manual option will be available!  This is great news for those who feared the next TT would be a strictly “F1 inspired” mass of tech and “flappy paddle” shifting.  While I personally have nothing against paddle or sequential shifters, it does add something to the driving experience to be able to row through the gears.  While the transmission Easter egg was cool the real point of showing off the interior is to highlight the new MMI “multi media interface” display which will be available on the new TT.  The display allows for integration of navigation, entertainment, and the controls for other systems such as the AC all in one screen which replaces the main gauge cluster.  This also means that all the important gauges: MPH, RPMs, temp, etc will be completely digital as well.  Everything that the driver needs to know will be displayed on a 12.3 inch TFT monitor.  Now for those who are worried about having all that info in their faces, the great thing about the all digital gauge cluster is that it is completely customizable, as in it can be changed to suit visual preferences.  If a driver just wants the see the basic needle style gauges then they can have that!  Everything can be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel or with a set up on the center console.  Audi promises the controls will be easy to use and intuitive but we will just have to wait and see how well it all works out when the TT is released. For some pics of the new TT interior and new digital gauge cluster just click the thumbnails above this paragraph.

Next I want to talk a little bit about Audi’s “Active Saftey” technology suite.  Audi calls it “Active Safety” but really its a collection of autonomous driving features, each increasingly more awesome than the last.  Naturally, “stop and go” adaptive cruise control (ACC) comes to the party but Audi has taken it up a few notches by increasing the distance that the radar can detect objects from 820 feet away.  It can bring the car to a full stop, and then proceed, on its own!  The new ACC also works with other systems in the car such as Navigation, for example if the driving is approaching a scheduled turn it will adjust the speed accordingly.  The system also uses “Active Lane Assist” which essentially keeps drivers in their lane by using cameras to detect markings on the asphalt and then adjusts steering automatically if the driver begins to veer out of it without the turn signal on.  Audi has also brought their Parking Assist feature to a new level by using ultrasound sensors to detect the curb and other objects around a parking space to help line itself up to park and there are also 4 cameras for a “surround view” so that when parking manually drivers can literally see everything around them.  This is definitely helpful for those who still have problems with parallel parking.  Although out of all the Active Safety Systems I think my favorite is the traffic sign recognition.  Yes, you read correctly, it can read traffic signs!  Not only does it read signs but it will give the driver a heads up or adjust the speed automatically for you if you want it to once it reads the posted speed limits.  It also cross references where the driver is via GPS and the local traffic laws for that area and provide notifications incase the driver may be doing something that would get them in hot water.  Yes, these features lean a bit on the “Skynet” side but the fact that the tech has come this far is pretty cool.  To see how some of the Active Saftey tech works just watch the video above.

 CES2014_AudiLaserLight_1 CES2014_AudiLaserLight_2 CES2014_AudiLaserLight_3 Laser spot-3 Laser explo

Finally, we get to one of the coolest/craziest things Audi brought to CES: The Audi Sport Quattro Laserlight concept car.  This is the next iteration of the highly sought after Quattro concept but with one very notable addition.  I will focus on the concept as a whole in a later post but for now I want to talk about this “addition”.  Audi has been leading the way with headlight tech since they began their push on LED headlights.  Well, now they are going beyond that with lasers.  Yes, freakin’ lasers.  The low beams on the Quattro Laserlight concept are still high output LEDs but the high beams are now laser beams!  Despite the laser diodes being only a few microns in diameter they can light the road ahead at a distance over 1,600 feet!  That is three times the power of LED headlights.  Audi has also stated that they will test their laser light tech on the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro race car this year.  That should make for some interesting endurance races!  Hit the thumbnails above for some detailed looks at the laser light tech and stay tuned for another post about the laser light concept car specifically.

[Source: Audi]

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Hype Event: Exotics Racing Opens At California Speedway

Posted on 12.16.13 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Unfortunately, there are many car lovers out there who will probably never get to own amazing cars like the Ferrari 458, the Lamborghini Gallardo, the Porsche 911 turbo, or a Nissan GT-R.  If I had my way everyone in the world would be able to have one of these cars in their driveway, but alas such a thing is not possible (not yet anyway).

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Although there is another way… What if I told you that you could drive six-figure exotic supercars, on a race track no less?  Well thanks to Exotics Racing such a thing is in fact possible.  I know since I got to pay them a visit at something of a soft opening at their new location at Auto Club Speedway (AKA California Speedway).  Exotics Racing is essentially every car nut’s dream come true.  Imagine showing up at a race track with a fleet of top-end super cars parked in front of you.  Then, a professional driving instructor approaches you and walks you to any of the cars you’d like then coaches you through several laps at full tilt?  In a nutshell that is the reality of Exotics Racing.  All you need to do is show up, pick a driving package and then you are off!

Well, there are a few formalities.  After you choose from a range of driving packages that includes everything from laps in any car you want to ride longs, and even drift car ride alongs, you join a group for a short “in class” instruction session in which the teacher (a professional driver) will talk about the fundamentals of how to drive a supercar, how to drive a supercar fast, and how not to crash said super car.

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After the class session the group is split up into smaller groups and taken out in a pair of Porsche Cayennes to take an “introduction lap”.  This is pretty much the equivalent to a “track walk”.  During the introduction lap the instructor will point out all the nuances of the track, covering breaking points, driving line, etc.  All of this is an effort to get the drivers more accustomed to the course.

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From there, you just wait for your name to be called by a driving instructor and you are then escorted to the car of your choice for several laps of awesome!  The really cool part is there are add-ons to help you document your experience the best of which is a video package.  Each car comes equipped with several cameras and track GPS to capture what’s going on outside and inside and it records the entire experience.  For an extra fee drivers can have their videos edited and given to them on DVD or data disc so they can upload their laps to YouTube, Facebook etc.  Trust me, you will want to do this should you pay Exotics Racing a visit.

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Although I’d have to say one of the coolest things I saw in my visit was Tony’s driving experience.  Who’s Tony?  Tony is a great guy who is a huge sports car enthusiast and also happens to be confined to a wheelchair.  Despite being in a wheel chair Tony is a avid driver thanks to the advent of special hand controls that Tony can use for the throttle and brake.  Exotics Racing is as far as I know, the only service of its kind to offer hand controls for participants who use wheelchairs.  And since the hand controls are removable, wheelchair participants still have a healthy choice of supercars to choose from.  Tony chose the black Ferrari F430 Scuderia…an excellent choice if I’d say so myself!

If you are in California or Las Vegas (their two locations) I would highly recommend checking out Exotics Racing for yourself.  Its well worth the price for experience provided!  If you want to try it out for yourself visit ExoticsRacing.com to book a day!

 

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