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GR8 Balls of Fire

Hailed by many as one of the best cars ever created, the Audi R8 shot to fame almost overnight. Its provocative shape, advanced drivetrain and reputation as Tony Stark’s car made sure that the R8 would have a legion of new fans for generations to come as it cemented its position as the bedroom poster car of choice for pimply-faced, teenaged car nuts around the world.

The Audi R8, which also happens to be Audi’s first supercar, is the direct result of Audi’s ties with Lamborghini. Although the R8 shares its name with Audi’s Le Mans prototype racer, the road going R8 shares nothing with its racer counterpart and is essentially a re-skinned Lamborghini Gallardo as the R8 shares many of its components with the Gallardo, such as the floorpan, chassis, door handle mechanisms and transmissions. So, is Audi’s supercar really an Audi after all? Well, yes and no.

Volkswagen owns both Audi and Lamborghini, so it’s inevitable that both car companies would share certain technologies and parts. When Lamborghini was first taken over by the Germans, Lamborghini’s Diablo (the only car that they were producing at the time) was softened to make it easier to drive and updated to more strict quality standards. Gone were the wild wings and strakes found on the early Diablos and what followed was a smoother and less ‘shouty’ looking Diablo. This laid the foundation for future collaborations between the Italians and Germans.

The following years saw Lamborghini go from a passionate supercar manufacturer that produced provocative but unreliable cars which proved difficult to drive, to a supercar manufacturer that placed as much emphasis on build quality and user friendliness as it did on horsepower, design and passion. Lamborghini’s rough edges had been polished to perfection and were ready to take on the world and the result of that are the Murcielago and the Gallardo. So it could be said that Audi and Volkswagen helped to build the Lamborghinis of today and they’re just taking some of the technology they helped to create to build a supercar of their own. So yes, the R8 is an Audi after all.

This particular Audi R8 belongs to the owner of Exotic Mods, Shedden. Shedden is a guy who’s been there and done that, especially when it comes to cars, having owned cars such as a B-powered 2nd generation Civic, a Mazda RX-7 and a Porsche Cayman, so it comes as no surprise that he would ultimately end up with a car like the R8.

Being the owner of one of the nation’s top auto styling houses for continental marques, Shedden couldn’t leave his R8 stock for long. The first thing he addressed was the R8’s appearance with a few bolt-on parts, including a front lip, side skirts and a dry carbon fibre spoiler from Rieger Tuning. Adding more carbon fibre to the R8’s exterior are the Exotic Mods carbon fibre side mirrors and Exotic Mods carbon fibre side blades. Finally, instead of leaving his R8 in the hands of a paint shop, Shedden sent it to Motorsport Playground for a complete body wrap in Frost White with a matt finish.

Vinyl body wraps are becoming increasingly popular amongst car enthusiasts as body wraps cost only a fraction more than a full paint job and are much less messy. Vinyl body wraps can also be completed much more quickly than a paint job and the wrap also acts as a protective layer, protecting the bodywork beneath from stone chips, oxidation and harmful UV rays.

Shedden also swapped out the standard wheels for 20 inch rollers from German wheel maker, AEZ. The AEZ Lascar wheels feature a custom finish and bring a tuner look to the magnificent R8 and fill up the wheelarches very nicely. Wrapped in grippy Toyo T1-R tyres measuring 245/30ZR20 in the front and 285/20ZR20 at the rear, the R8 is hardly ever short on grip. Shedden also had the stock calipers painted yellow to add a bit of flash to the very monochrome exterior and the yellow calipers do a great job of adding a bit of life to the black and white theme that Shedden’s R8 has.

The R8’s also been lowered to give it an even lower ride height and to make those wheels sit flusher in the massive wheel wells. Shedden had a set of H&R lowering springs fitted to the R8 and they work together with the standard adjustable magnetic dampers which were developed by Delphi to give a comfortable ride and great handling.

Moving on to the interior, we also find that Shedden has worked the Exotic Mods magic inside as well. Audis (well, German cars in general) are known to have well built but boring interiors and everything on this R8 is still standard, but the seats and steering wheel have been rewrapped in the finest Alcantara and carbon fibre effect leather to give the R8’s interior that extra dash of excitement it needs.

With a 4.2-litre, highly strung V8 ready to unleash all of its 414bhp on the road through the R8’s four wheels, something had to be done to unleash the melodious bellow of Audi’s beloved V8. Shedden had an Exotic Mods catback race exhaust system fitted to the R8, unleashing the V8’s true voice as well as a few extra horsepower. Optimizing the air/fuel ratios and releasing even more horsepower is a custom ECU remap performed by Exotic Mods. By Shedden’s estimates, his beautiful R8 now churns out 450bhp.

The R8’s clean shape and impressive powertrain make it one of the best cars every created by Audi. Having won many Car of the Year awards from numerous publications, the R8’s ability to outshine other cars in its class is proof that Audi do know a thing or two when it comes to creating excellent supercars, especially when they get little help from Lamborghini, of course.

Car: Audi R8
Engine: 4.2-litre V8, FSI, DOHC
Engine modifications: Exotic Mods catback race exhaust system, Exotic Mods ECU reflash
Transmission: Stock
Suspension/Chassis: H&R lowering springs
Brakes: Stock brakes, painted calipers
Wheels & Tyres: 20 inch AEZ Lascar wheels, Toyo T1-R tyres (245/30ZR20 Front, 285/25ZR20 Rear)
Interior: Exotic Mods custom alcantara steering wrap, Exotic Mods custom alcantara sport seats wrap, Exotic Mods custom carbon fiber look sport seats wrap
Exterior: Exotic Mods carbon fiber side mirrors, Exotic Mods carbon fiber side blades, Rieger Tuning front lip, Rieger Tuning side skirts, Rieger Tuning dry carbon fiber rear spoiler, Motorsport Playground complete frost white body wrap, VPS (Vehicle Protection System) security film, Prius 6000K xenon bulbs
Tuner: Exotic Mods – 603-7803 3938

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