Edgy and elegant

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With nothing but praise for its style and high horsepower, Anthony Healey waxes lyrical about the 2012 Audi R8 sports car

The body is a perfect marriage between curvaceous arcs and razor-sharp edges for an elegant, futuristic look, a true beauty. The front of the sports car maintains the classic Audi look with curved hood and LED high beam and low-beam lights, surrounded by a halo of 24 LED daytime bulbs. This signature style combines innovative design and technology, adding a new breed to the Audi line.

The grill stays true to Audi style with horizontal and vertical blades in all black; beneath the headlights, the lateral side blades resemble wings. Six-spoke cast aluminum wheel rims add another edge to the body’s sleek design.

“Observers left in its wake will be captivated by the rear of the R8”

As the car zooms past them, observers left in its wake will be captivated by the rear of the R8. With two generous air vents beneath the rear LED lights, the winged side blades make it look as if it is ready to take flight. The dual angle-eye rear lights resemble rings of fire. But beneath its appealing exterior, drivers will find that beauty in the case of the Audi R8 is more than skin deep.

Inside features a race-inspired, driver-oriented cockpit design. With the entire cockpit tilted towards the driver, the interior design maximizes performance for both car and driver. The multifunction racing-style steering wheel provides easy access to CD, radio, navigation and voice control functions.

Audi has finished off with excellent comfort and luxury, with leather seats, dash, and door linings. The seats feature ten-way power lumbar support and heating features to take the edge off of a long journey in the cold. The car also includes a DVD-based Audi navigation system with real-time traffic as well as the Audi parking system with rearview camera and ultrasonic parking sensors.

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Set low to the ground, the R8 hugs the road and maneouvres with ease. With adaptive suspension, drivers can adjust between ‘normal’ and ‘sport’ mode and the car continuously adapts to road conditions and driving style.

It isn’t all about looks and power. The fuel injection system provides increased performance and fuel efficiency, with a precise amount of fuel fed directly into the engine cylinders. This technology ensures more complete combustion, thus diminishing waste and increasing power.

This two-seat supercar is available in a variety of trims and engine size, including: 4.2 Coupe, 4.2 Spyder, 5.2 Coupe, 5.2 Spyder and GT 5.2 Coupe. The R8 has three engines available for 2012: the base 430-horsepower R8 4.2, the 525-horsepower R8 5.2 and the whopping 560-horsepower R8 GT. But most reviews agree that the 4.2 model performs well and is best in its class.

For anyone interested in buying an exotic sports car, the Audi R8 is an excellent alternative to its competitors, the Lamborghini Avnetador, the Ferrari FF and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, with an impressive blend of performance and luxury, not to mention a comparatively modest price tag.