2016 Audi R8: Where Performance and Art Unite

The highly anticipated second generation Audi R8 was unveiled this March at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. With the great success of the first generation, the second-generation model only improves from the last generation. With production cars soon to hit North America, let’s take a look at redesigned 2016 Audi R8.

 

The R8 will now be available in three models: R8 Coupe 5.2 FSI Quattro, R8 V10 Plus, and for a limited time the R8 e-tron. In previous years the R8 was available with a V8 engine, however, that option has been discontinued.   The base R8 will come with a 5.2 liter V10 engine that produces 540 horsepower. If you need more power, the V10 Plus model adds another 70 horsepower to bring the total to 610 horsepower. Also, the engine will be faceted with 7-speed dual clutch transmission, making shifting response nearly instant.

 

Along with engine and power upgrades the R8 has shed over 100 pounds off the previous generation. With the weight loss handling is improved and acceleration is blistering: 0-60 mph comes in just 3.5 seconds. Top speed will come at 201 mph or 205 mph, depending on the model.

 

The all-new 2016 R8 has been redesigned as well. While keeping the same overall body look, there have been changes to make the car much more aggressive looking. The front vents are now vertical instead of horizontal, the side blade has now been cut into two pieces, and the exhausts are now rectangular rather than circular. The sharp edges and fine details of the new R8 really give the car much more of an eye-catching ability compared to many other supercars on the road today. The interior has also been updated with clear inspiration from the Audi TT. The dash and gauges are now electronic and the flat bottom steering wheel now comes with perforated leather and a red start up button and who doesn’t love a red start up button?

 

The 2016 R8 is highly anticipated here in the US with models soon to be coming. With a big V10 engine producing unrivaled performance and sharp aesthetics, the R8 is the supercar for anyone that wants to blur the lines between performance and art. 

TOP 5 NEW SPORTS CARS OF 2015

It’s been quite a year of new sports cars coming on the market. I have to say it was hard to pick just 5 cars to recognize as the best of the best. So here are my top 5 sports cars of 2015, let me know yours!

5. While number five is the worst rating you can get in this competition, the Porsche 911 GT3 RS is by no means a bad car. In fact, the car is brilliant. Like all other RS’s before it, the 991 RS is ready to attack whatever track you throw at it. With 500 horsepower coming from a traditional Porsche six-cylinder engine, the 991 RS is blisteringly quick, 0-60 mph comes in 3.1 seconds and top speed clocks in at 193 mph. The design of the GT3 RS is striking with turbo-like air vents at the rear and more air vents up on the front fenders. In the back you get a massive rear wing, every little bit of down force helps. Undoubtedly this 911 GT3 RS is one of the fastest cars here, but all the cars on this list are fast. So why does this car get number five in the rankings? Well unfortunately Porsche has scrapped the beautiful manual transmission that you can find in all of the RS’s before the 991. Now to change gear you just pull a flimsy chrome paddle on the back of the steering wheel, keep your foot down, and off you go. This makes the car faster in all respects; however, it takes away the emotion from the driver. No longer is the driver really in full control of the weapon that is the GT3 RS. There are some rumors that Porsche is bringing the manual transmission back to the GT3 RS in the future. All we can do is hope.

4. In fourth sits the Ferrari 488 GTB Spider. Ferrari took a gamble bringing a turbo to their flagship model, but they delivered with an incredible engine, as it seems they always do. While I dread the fact that engines are downsizing or going turbo, Ferrari did a phenomenal job with their new 3.9 liter V8 turbo engine. The engine is faster than before and has almost instant throttle and gearbox response. But it must be said that it’s just not the same compared to the naturally aspirated engines of previous generations. The new 488, which replaces the legendary 458, has lost some of the Ferrari passion. The sound is not quite the same as before. I also don’t quite care for the large air intakes on the sides. Despite these gripes I have with the 488, I can still live with the package Ferrari has brought to the car. I think the design of the car is gorgeous and especially in the Spider version. Additionally I think the Spider gives the driver greater enjoyment with fresh air circulating through the cabin and the exhaust sound a little bit clearer than in the standard 488.

3. The Mclaren 675 “Long Tail” or “LT” is on another level of performance. The car is wicked. The LT uses the same twin-turbo V8 from the 650S (the car its based on) but has 25 more horsepower and is nearly 220 lbs lighter. These numbers are crazy considering how good of a sports car the 650S is. Some people call the LT a “baby P1,” and I would have to agree. The 675 also comes with carbon aero pieces on the front splitter and a massive active aero spoiler at the rear to generate greater down force and to act as an air brake under breaking. Mclaren claims that the 675 LT will hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, wow. You could call this car the “track” version of the Mclaren 650S. The Mclaren 675 LT is an all-around awesome supercar that will surely turn heads and set the fastest lap times.

2. If you thought the Mclaren 675 LT was a wicked supercar then I don’t even know how to describe the Lamborghini Aventador Super Veloce. Maybe I could say it’s beyond wicked? Either way the Aventador SV is the definition of what a supercar is and should aspire to be. With its unrivaled aggressive looks, long and wide body, a new rear wing and diffuser, a roaring V12 engine, and adrenalin pumping speeds, the Lamborghini Aventador is the ultimate supercar. Thanks to its 740 horsepower and AWD system the SV sprints to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, the quickest on this list. However watch out for the hefty price tag eclipsing the $500,000 mark.

1. The best car of 2015 is, without a doubt, the Porsche Cayman GT4. Why? Because the Cayman GT4 is everything I could ever want in a car. A 6-speed manual transmission, a nice rear wing, a 3.8 liter V6 engine from a 911 Carrera S, and many performance parts straight from the GT4’s big brother, the GT3. While the Cayman GT4 is all about performance, it isn’t about the numbers when you compare it to a Ferrari or an Aventador SV. It’s refreshing to see a car that’s all about driving pleasure and an experience centered on the driver. Another great factor about the Cayman GT4 is the price point: $85,595. This is by no means cheap but what you get out of the car for the price is like no other car on the market. As it stands so far the GT4 is only appreciating in value because of the rarity of the car, sounds like a good investment. The Porsche Cayman GT4 is just such a balanced car all the way around the board. The power, cornering speeds, transmission, looks, investment, and driving pleasure are all balanced to make a car of near perfection. That is why I believe the Porsche Cayman GT4 is the best sports car of 2015. 

TOP 3 CAR VIDEOS TO WATCH THIS WEEK

Here are your top 3 car videos to watch this week! Please enjoy!

 

1. Pit-stop comparison from different motorsport

F1 is all about the speed, WEC is all about the strategy, and Nascar is all about the precision. Which one is coolest? Let us know below!

Video courtesy of: rdwomack2

 

2. Ferrari 250 GTO Hillclimb

Every car lover will enjoy this. Incredible video from Petrolicious, as always!

Video courtesy of Petrolicious

 

3. Evo Car of the Year Film

It's well worth your time watching this! Enjoy 30 minutes incredible cars and beautiful landscape.

Video courtesy of: Evo Magazine

TOP 5 NEW SPORTS CARS OF 2014

2014 brought many new cars to the automobile buyer's world. We saw several great sports cars produced from top brands, however, Through the Gears is counting down the Top 5 Best Sports Cars of 2014. Lets get right into it!

5. Lamborghini Huracan

The Lamborghini Huracan was the replacement or update to the legendary Gallardo supercar in Lamborghini's line up. The new Huracan kept the same V10 from the old Gallardo that we all love, however, it was not paired to a manual transmission, instead a paddle shifted automatic. Another new feature on the Huracan is its AWD system that allows for more usability in many conditions but it still allows for skids! The design is breathtaking as always and while the Huracan is not the top car here it definitely deserves to be in the top 5.

4. Jaguar F-Type Coupe R

If this competition was purely judged on design the Jaguar F-Type Coupe R would win, hands down. This car has to be one of the best designed cars right now. Besides its flawless looks it has a great V8 paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. This car also gives us things to look forward to in the future. New in 2015 this car will come with a 6-speed manual transmission, can't wait!

3. McLaren 650S

Not a whole lot is new to the 650S compared to the older 12C that it's based from. However, it is still a great car. With a few slight styling adjustments and a little boost in power, the 650S is striking and quick. It has a V8 engine that produces a mighty 641 hp. The 650S proves Mclaren make great sports cars.

2. Porsche 911 GT3

The Porsche 911 GT3 is yet another great 911 variant from Porsche. The 911 is one of the best cars to buy and the GT3 version makes it even more attractive. The GT3 is powered by a V6 that revs all the way to a screaming 9,000 RPMs. The PDK transmission is lighting quick and may even be the best gearbox in the business. However, it is not enough to be number 1 on our list.

1. Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta

The Speciale is one hell of a car. It is perfect in every way. The mid engined V8 produces 596 hp and is paired to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. It has F1 inspired suspension making the handling sharp and precise. The interior is designed for ultra weight reduction and materials like carbon fibre and alcantara will be found everywhere. The design makes good use of aerodynamics and has some cool exterior features that aid the aero. Also, the Aperta has roof removing capabilities to increase driving pleasure and so that you can hear that glorious V8 rip through the gears. All in all, the 458 Speciale Aperta is top class in all categories and that is why Through the Gears has named it number 1.