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Old 7th July 2012, 13:47   #1
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Default Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Audi launches their Sportscar Experience Program in India; this will be held periodically at the Buddh International circuit (Greater Noida) and the MMSC track (Chennai). The Audi Racetrack Experience is the starting step, which aims to introduce regular folk to track skills (handling, braking etc.) under the guidance of Audi's instructors. They have brought in a fleet of R8 5.2L V10 Supercars exclusively for this program. Priced at Rs. 98,000, it is a half day event.

Next up is the Racetrack Experience Advanced which will be available only to those who have completed the regular racetrack experience and are deemed eligible by the instructors. The instructors for this program are Mark Allison, Prithveen Rajan and Aditya Patel.

Participants will have an opportunity to graduate further to Audi's International racecar experience program. The International program is a multi-step one that includes qualification for the Audi race experience @ Germany.

If interested, drop an email to drive@audi.in

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7112.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2012 at 11:04.
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Old 7th July 2012, 13:54   #2
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Default re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7166.jpg

Audi India head Michael Perschke introduced us to the Audi Sportscar experience, followed by a briefing from Instructor Mark Allison. He walked us through the basic concepts of braking, steering, indicators, following the race line and the R8's controls.

The batch was divided into 2 groups, with 5 cars each. The first round of 5 laps had us following the instructor's car. Aditya Patel was the Instructor for our group, and each car had a radio handset so that Aditya could give us constant feedback. At the end of each lap, the first car (following the instructor) moves down to the last position.

Obviously excited, I sat in the R8, strapped on my helmet and adjusted the seat to its lowest position. Nearly all of the controls looked familiar (from my drives in other cars of the VW group), except the gearbox. With the strange looking sign-age, it looked complex at first (even through my daily drive is a DSG). The 10 cylinder engine fired with a deep throated exhaust roar...I blipped the throttle and just couldn't control the wide grin plastered on my face. Started getting familiar with the gear lever and exploring the available transmission settings. It was actually quite simple. Push left to select either Manual or Automatic mode, while the sport switch behind the lever can be activated for both modes. I decided to avoid the paddle shifters and manual mode at the start, preferring to play it safe with Automatic + Sport mode until I got more comfortable with the car & the track.

Our batch started rolling behind the instructor's car, with Aditya Patel explaining the dos & donts. The apex was marked with a cone at every corner. All we had to do was follow the instructor's line. Past the first two corners comes the long straight where Aditya started accelerating. As I was driving the last car, I let some space develop between the cars ahead to experience how hard this mid-engine V10 can accelerate. Gap made, I floored the a-pedal all the way till the kickdown triggered. What followed made my lower jaw drop...the gearbox in Sport mode responded instantly, dropping several gears, bringing the monster V10 into its powerband. We were left pinned to our seats and the car shot forward, accelerating furiously and closing the gap to the cars ahead in just a handful of seconds.

The R-tronic Dual clutch gearbox in sport mode gets very aggressive, a sudden blip on the throttle can send a big jolt. The car goes insane even at half throttle!! I switched off the Sport button for now. At the end of the long straight, we must have been doing 180 kph with light accelerator inputs! The stability is top class and 180 kph felt like a mere 80 - 90 kph. At the end of the straight, cones were placed to indicate the braking points. The brake pedal has a lot of feedback, clearly telling you what the tires are up to. With massive discs and wide performance rubber, grip levels are tremendous.

The session continued for 5 laps with us progressively increasing the speed a little bit on each lap. I started taking the corners a lot more aggressively.

The 5th was a cool down lap where we slowed down and avoided using the brakes to cool them down, before pulling into the pitlane to switch seats. I rode as a co-passenger for the next 5 laps. Then was a quick refreshment break and I'm back in the driver's seat again.

The 2nd session began in the same 4 + 1 lap format. Only difference : we were faster this time around . After doing a few laps, I was a lot more comfortable with the car and started pushing the R8 around corners. The small diameter steering was not heavy at all, something I expected from a car of this class, yet it was communicative and extremely quick. Accelerating hard in a long sweeping corner with a little more lock than required was so much fun; the rear wanting to pull out, tires protesting and screaming continuously, but the car accelerating and remaining comfortably composed. By the end of the 2nd session, I could tell just by the sound of the tires how hard I was pushing the car (compared to the last session). Not matter how fast I went, the car never protested and always retained its composure. For a beginner like me, the R8 is a truly forgiving car with the ESP on. At the end, I'd experienced the Audi R8 V10 for a total of 20 laps, with 10 in the driver's seat. I probably hit speeds of 220 - 240 kph. Even then, the R8 kept begging me to push harder and harder.

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7144.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7120.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7167.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7158.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7168.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7174.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7149.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7156.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2012 at 11:11.
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Old 7th July 2012, 14:00   #3
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Default re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

This 5.2L FSI V10 is a slightly detuned version of the Lamborghini Gallardo's engine. Making 518 BHP @ 8,000 rpm and 530 Nm torque @ 6,500 rpm, the R8 V10 will do a 0 - 100 in 3.9 seconds. It's a mid-engined All-Wheel-Drive with 15% of power going to the front wheels, and 85% to the rear. The Quattro system can send upto 30% power to the front wheels when required. Standard is a mechanical locking differential for improved traction.

Another engine option is the 4.2L FSI V8 with 414 BHP & 430 Nm torque on tap.
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7125.jpg

Small diameter steering wheel is superb to hold. Ergonomics are as good as in any of Audi's regular passenger cars. If you drive a European car, you'll feel instantly at home in the cockpit, with all the switches and controls being where they ought to be. The seats go all the way back and space is sufficient for the tallest of us. Getting in and out of such a low car requires effort though:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7130.jpg

While the engine makes its peak power at 8,000 rpm, the super free-revving engine goes all the way upto 8,500 rpm:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7131.jpg

Audio System with integrated MMI controls. Climate control is intuitive to use. The A/C is a chiller. Even in the super humid 43c afternoon and with the helmet on, I had to increase the temperature after a couple of laps.

The R-Tronic is a modified version of the DSG dual-clutch transmission. It can be driven in full automatic mode or manual mode (with paddle shifters). Sport mode can be activated in both. The car is also available with a 6 speed manual transmission (shared with the Lamborghini Gallardo):
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7126.jpg

Audi's favorite badge
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7127.jpg

CD Changer between the seats, but I'm sure you'll prefer the 10 cylinder's soundtrack. There is some space behind the seats with a protective net...good enough for small sized bags. My Nikon SLR bag fit in comfortably and was held in place during hard cornering:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7129.jpg

There is some luggage space at the front:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7121.jpg

Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7122.jpg

Massive Ceramic brakes are a preferred choice for Supercars. Lighter and thus reducing unsprung weight, high heat resistance and longer maintenance intervals. Feel and feedback through the pedal was phenomenal:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7141.jpg

All cars were shod with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tires. 235 section at the front and 295 at the rear on massive 19" rims:
Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!-dsc_7117.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2012 at 11:02.
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Old 7th July 2012, 14:43   #4
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Default re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!


Last edited by GTO : 9th July 2012 at 10:02.
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Old 9th July 2012, 11:17   #5
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Supercars Forum. Thanks for sharing!

We'd driven the R8 V8 earlier this year, but with a manual transmission (Thread Link (Club Torque : Drive a Super Car in India *without* owning one). Here's my post from that thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Audi R8 (4.2L V8 FSI)

Get into the R8 and you feel right at home. Instantly. All controls have a logical layout and are right where you expect them to be, just like in any other German car. I was going to drive the Porsche, but the Club Torque team insisted that I pick the Audi instead. In their words, "its a whole lot more fun". The R8 is the only 6-speed manual from the group so I didn't need much persuasion. After the Ferrari experience, the Audi is more grounded to reality. Yes, it's scary fast but in a more manageable, user-friendly way than the Ferrari. The torque available at low rpms will blow your mind and the engine is so unbelievable free-revving that you hit the revv-limiter much earlier than expected. The initial lot of gears are too short though. When the pedal is to the metal, the R8 pulls like a scalded cat and there is no letting go throughout the revv range. "Ferocious" is the only word that comes to mind. The short 6-speed gearbox is wonderful to use and the engine + transmission combination is amongst the best there is. The R8 feels like a f-a-s-t German muscle car, rather than an outright supercar (read = F430). It even handled the irregular patches of the Bandra Worli Sea Link better.

The R8 turned out to be a pleasant surprise; it's the favourite with the Club Torque management as well.
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Old 9th July 2012, 11:33   #6
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Im so jealous !
Had the privilege of driving this absolutely bonkers piece of genius in its Sepang Blue guise (WOW!) at the R-drive earlier this year and i was absolutely stumped (the 4.2 v8 RS5 felt so clinical and boring compared to this) ! Even right now i am at a total loss of words as i look for superlatives in my relatively poor mental library. Such was the effect of that...of that..i duno..'THING"!
My experience was on the well paved streets of BKC (Bandra-Kurla complex) and though they were relatively empty (and i took full advantage of that fact so much so that we were stopped by cops for 'too much noise' in-spite of them being aware of it being an Audi event) ,it still was no racetrack and i can imagine the fun you had. I repeat, i envy you & how !
I wish they offered the R8 GT for these drives. Alright this in itself is plenty quick but with the amount one ends up paying , that much more power & torque (560ps/540nm) makes a difference and takes the car right into Ferrari 458 territory (3.6 seconds to the ton)

An Audi with a Lamborghini engine right into Ferrari 458 territory. How i love this world !

Last edited by PlatzdaTurbo : 9th July 2012 at 11:35.
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Old 9th July 2012, 21:37   #7
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Great report Anshuman! Your reviews/reports always give me a stock of wallpapers for my desktop!

Now, I noticed from the picture of the interiors that all the R8's for the event were actually left-hand drives. Why was it so? Had the car's been manual, it would've been a real buzz kill!

By the way, the video reminds me of GT5 on PS3. Hope they get this track on the next-update.
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Old 10th July 2012, 11:12   #8
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhinav667 View Post
Great report Anshuman! Your reviews/reports always give me a stock of wallpapers for my desktop!
Drop me a PM if you need Wallpaper sized version of any of the pictures above.

Quote:
Now, I noticed from the picture of the interiors that all the R8's for the event were actually left-hand drives. Why was it so? Had the car's been manual, it would've been a real buzz kill!
The whole batch of cars for the program are LHD. I see no harm, since these cars are not intended to be used on public roads, i felt instantly comfortable driving LHD.

Some people prefer Manuals, like GTO loves only manual transmission in performance cars, while i enjoy Dual Clutch Auto(or any well sorted AT) as much as Manual transmission. In this case Automatic is a better choice for this basic program because AT helps the drivers pay attention to more important aspects like steering and navigating through corners. On a flatout track day Manual transmission might be the preferred choice.


Quote:
By the way, the video reminds me of GT5 on PS3. Hope they get this track on the next-update.
Expect this track to be included in a lot of games over the time.
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Old 10th July 2012, 11:37   #9
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Excellent report Anshu. I'm sure it must have given you sleepless nights just thinking about driving this beast on the track. I hope you have an in-car video of your driving experience.
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Old 11th July 2012, 13:55   #10
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

You lucky bloke! Being in the pilot seat of the four ringed monster itself must have been super overwhelming, let alone at the nation's latest favourite driving destination!
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Old 11th July 2012, 14:38   #11
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Holly Molly!! Wow!! Very nice pictures there Anshuman.. Were these clicked by D5100?? and a very nice crisp log. I am sure it would have been a fantastic experience driving a proper super car on the Budh International Circuit.

I am going to really pester you in our next meet to share the adrenaline felt during the drive.

And yes I wouldnt mind some High Quality versions of these pictures, as they have come out really nice!!

CHEERS!!
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Old 11th July 2012, 15:18   #12
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

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Originally Posted by Rachit.K.Dogra View Post
Holly Molly!! Wow!! Very nice pictures there Anshuman.. Were these clicked by D5100?? and a very nice crisp log.
Thanks! Used Nikon D5100 with 55-300(18-55 for close up).


Quote:
I am going to really pester you in our next meet to share the adrenaline felt during the drive.
Surely!

Quote:
And yes I wouldnt mind some High Quality versions of these pictures, as they have come out really nice!!
PM me your mail address
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Old 11th July 2012, 16:05   #13
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Just noticed. When AUDI produces right hand drive R8's, then why do they use LHD's for this programme?
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Old 11th July 2012, 17:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scuderiamania View Post
Just noticed. When AUDI produces right hand drive R8's, then why do they use LHD's for this programme?
It is probably because Audi is using these cars all-around the world for such track event's and since majority of the country's have left-hand drive, they opted for LHD over RHD. Also, had they used another set of RHD's for India, it would've cost them a lot of money as those ten R8's would have depreciated in value after the event got over. Another reason could be that they didn't have enough RHD V10's in stock, hence they opted for the LHD's.
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Old 11th July 2012, 17:46   #15
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Default Re: Audi Sportscar Experience at Buddh Int'l F1 Circuit. R8 V10 Driven!

Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Priced at Rs. 98,000, it is a half day event.
Attachment 952534
For a group of people. Right?

On lighter note you guys could have planned and broken out of the race track "Death Race" style.
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