There are few things better than the visceral enjoyment of driving a supercar.
Ask any car enthusiast which driver’s seat they would like to be in and the answer, almost invariably, will be one that sits low, with a big, thunderous engine out back, and a six-figure price tag.
As true as that might be, it’s almost cliché to say that supercars are the stuff of dreams. Certainly they are for most people. For others — including journalists like myself who get to drive these things from time to time — they are less of a dream and more of a study in harsh realities.
Outside of a racetrack or some flawless stretch of pavement underneath impeccable weather, supercars are otherwise useless. Some of them are works of art to be sure, but once removed from their natural habitats and employed as daily drivers, it is basically a loud, over-engineered land missile that costs more than four times the average annual US household income.
Own one of these cars in a city like San Francisco and you’re in for a stressful experience. And if you’re like me and most other city dwellers who don’t have a personal garage, you can add paranoia and lack of sleep to the mix.
Audi tossed me the keys to a 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus a few weeks ago. All things considered, this is one of the few supercars that tries to make itself livable as a daily driver.
There are more than a few areas where the R8 shines. So, my experience driving this car in and around San Francisco, though challenging, had less to do with the car itself, and more to do with the general headache caused by city living with this much power beneath my feet.
Allow me to explain.