Perhaps concerned about the imminent withdrawal symptoms I’ll suffer when my season running the Radical SR1 comes to an end, the editor has compassionately placed the R8 under my care for its time with us. But it’ll spend many of its days based here at CAR HQ, so keeping its keys to myself is an unlikely dream.
There’s no longer such thing as a V8-engined R8, the latest generation driven solely by the same wondrous naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 as the closely related Lamborghini Huracan, with either 533bhp as standard or 602bhp in ‘V10 Plus’ trim. Our R8 is the latter, £15k more than the standard model with carbon-ceramic brakes, fixed rear wing and a 40kg weight reduction to go with its extra 69bhp.
Luckily for me, Audi had put out cones as suggested braking points; that reassurance was slightly undermined by the concurrent warning that, if we missed one, we’d probably be goners. If there’s any takeaway, it’s that there was a little bit of driver experience but a whole ton of safety and driving technologies going into the 2017 R8, which allowed me to safely negotiate what’s considered one of the scariest and most dangerous left turns on the entire racetrack. Happily (both for me, and for Audi’s legal team) I walked away in one piece and didn’t harm an R8 either.