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The Fateful 8 – Audi R8

In a world of supercars that are all beginning to resemble each other, the Audi R8 stands out for its ease of drivability on a school run as it is hitting 300km/h on the Autobahn. How then to go about modifying it without sacrificing that? Here’s one way…

Performance models were never scarce in Audi’s portfolio. The madmen scientists from their RS division maintained the flow of obscenely powered sedans and wagons that put the fear of god into soccermoms and gave dads that had to sacrifice their impractical coupes the fix for their need for speed during the daily commute or school runs.

Nonetheless, the RS models were all based on generic, ho-hum family vehicles that weren’t designed from the ground up as dedicated performance models. Audi wanted a thoroughbred performance machine to stake a claim in the supercar segment and its ownership of Lamborghini since 1998 gave it the insight it required.

The Audi R8 was a breath of fresh air in the world of supercars. It had all the performance chops without sacrificing on daily drivability and was simply easy to drive.

Supercar performance with sedan practicality (with a slight stretch) elevated the R8 into the spotlight and gave Audi what it desired; a genuine entrant amongst the exotics.

When it first rolled out in 2007, prices were understandably sky high and much like the company it kept, modifying supercars was still in its infancy. Owners kept them stock as the performance was deemed sufficient from the factory and the aftermarket was catering towards tuner vehicles whose owners wanted to exploit their potential.

Over time though, the aftermarket opened its arms towards supercars as the thirst for power pointed owners in the direction of tuning and upgrading their exotic metal.

The R8 pictured here has been on the receiving end of some minor but choice mods to free up a little more power from its 4.2-litre V8 as well as ensure it stands out in the sea of supercars that grace our roads.

Sounding fast is almost as important as going fast and in that respect, the rumble of a V8 is hard to miss. Fresh out of the showroom, the R8 wasn’t quite singing to its full potential with the restrictive factory exhaust system.

Some singing lessons, along with the right instruments, has extended the vocal range of this R8. A Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic exhaust system. The beauty about the Kreissieg system is the five different levels of sound owners are able to select from when ordering.

It ranges from a stock sounding level to something a little sportier before diving into variations of the high-pitched F1 sound for that signature shriek when the throttle is floored. The system itself utilises control valves to switch between the selected mode and something a little less vocal to keep the neighbours and boys in blue happy.

On the intake end, a pair of BMC air filters replaces the stock units to allow the engine to breathe in a little easier.

When the R8 first came out, you could have it with either a six-speed manual or six-speed R-Tronic transmission; something similar to BMW’s SMG in that it utilised a computer controlled single clutch.

At high engine speeds, the R-Tronic was almost racecar-like. However, in city driving and at slower speeds it was notoriously clunky and slow as the transmission’s ECU wasn’t quite up to the sophistication of today’s control modules.

To quicken the process, the R8 here has been fitted with aluminium paddle shift extensions for easier reach on the go. Stopping is almost as important as hitting top speed and the R8’s massive brake calipers from the factory were left in place with only the brake pads swapped out to some Endless pieces for durability and a more useable temperature range.

Given the accolades the R8 has garnered as well as its ease of drivability, the owner has decided to leave plenty of the components stock. The suspension is untouched, as is the electronics and the wheel plus tyre combo.

Still, you can’t argue that the factory wheels in black look every bit as an aftermarket rim with those bright red brakes peeking out behind them. Of course, the PPI Razor GTR wide body kit steals the show with its pumped arches and unique bumpers.

In addition to the kit, some tasteful additions from the PPI catalogue also found their way onto the car. A PPI custom front lip and PPI rear diffuser add to the aggressive stance while a carbon fibre wing throws an extra helping of downforce into the mix as well.

The icing on the cake however has to be the custom crystal white paint that was mixed specifically for this R8. It manages to mimic a satin finish from certain angles yet shines bright like a diamond the moment you take a few steps away.

Completing what could be the most drivable supercar is a classy interior comprising of custom Nappa leather upholstery with some unique cross stitch designs that lend it a touch of luxury normally associated with limousines.

Some might wonder why modify a supercar. After all, they’re among the fastest things on the road in stock form. Well the truth is; and we all know it, is that this hunger for speed and power never ends. Furthermore, this R8 hasn’t been transformed into a mile-munching machine or focused track-terror. Finding that balance between keeping it streetable and a little more power has been achieved here.

Car – Audi R8 V8

Engine Mods – Kreissieg F1 Valvetronic exhaust system, BMC air filters,

Transmission – Stock, aluminium paddle shift extensions

Electronics – Stock

Brakes – Endless brake pads

Suspension & Chassis – Stock

Wheels & Tyres – Stock

Exterior Mods – PPI Razor GTR wide body kit, PPI custom front lip, PPI rear diffuser, carbon fibre wing, crystal white paint

Interior Mods – Custom Nappa leather upholstery + custom cross stitch design

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