My interest in cars that go fast is totally democratic.
Formula E? Cool, the battery-powered open-wheel race series is new and full of innovation and is run by a ton of F1/IndyCar talent. Its caution laps are led by a sexy, hybrid BMW i8 safety car. The race noise is not much more than drivetrain whine and tires squealing over apexes.
Formula 1 – bring back the V8s, you globe-trotting masses who want to sell us the idea that the hybrid tech from 20 cars with limited in-season development will trickle down to the consumer level. Go ahead and give us back the spine-dissolving V10s, while you’re at it.
A good friend was looking to get a new car after his supercharged, V8, 510 hp Jaguar XJR, and at my suggestion, bought a Tesla P85D. The electric car that’s made domestically, the one with the “Insane Mode” that sleeps while its battery recharges overnight.
And my car of choice for the past two years: a red 2010 Audi S5. Let’s get this part out of the way for those of you who are thinking it: yes, it’s a manual V8, and yes, I’m a girl who loves boys. I adore it. So, I’m writing my first-ever car review about my S5.
This car feels like it has you, the driver, built in to its German design. The steering wheel is a taut, glossy leather, which after 60,000 miles has developed a surface that requires only the lightest touch to throw the quattro’s all-wheels-in-action stance around corners or up highway on ramps. The seat bolsters are just enough to offset g-forces as you plunge in to 3rd gear on a twisty drive. There’s no fake engine noises being pumped in to the speakers –windows up and you’ve got a silent, proper touring car, windows down and you want to drive through every tunnel and crevasse you’d risk taking this car into. The interior is spacious, has real back seats, layered with leather and carbon fiber accents, and has enough trunk space that I used it to move from one apartment to the next.
When you’re going along in 6th gear on highway 130, the 85mph tollway just East of Austin, a slight depression on the gas pedal will pull you from 90 to 100mph in the fastest, smoothest way you can imagine. Similar to a BMW, you’ll find yourself pushing triple digits without realizing it as the car is just that balanced for the driver. It’s for this reason I love having the stick shift over the paddle shifters as it feels like you truly have a connection to the car – as if the engineers are letting you disturb the balance of the car they’ve crafted, if you really want to.
For being a 6-year old car, the design still turns heads on a daily basis. The bright Audi red, that tornado line running from nose to tail, and the LED lights that inspired countless imitators are earning their way to being a timeless combination. With no modifications, the base model is enough to draw attention from Audi enthusiasts and I often get advice from dudes to never sell this car. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this car appreciate in value in the next 10-15 years. In fact, I moved closer to my workplace twice to justify the terribly inefficient fuel economy of this car (9mpg in the city).
For me, being able to walk to the garage and see this car every day, and after these years still get a smile on my face, is worth every trip to the fuel pump.