I’ve driven more expensive cars than the Audi R8. I have driven faster cars and cars that make more noise and cars that go around corners faster. But I have never driven anything that draws quite so much attention.
Under way, you’re treated to one of the world’s greatest engine notes, a magnificent high-tech rumble from the quad pipes; think Pavarotti singing thrash metal.
Properly executed downshifts are greeted with a sharp bark from the exhaust and you hear the odd screech of tire before the lenient stability control reins in the fun in tight corners.
It is, ultimately, the sense of theatre, combined with genuine everyday ability, that makes the R8 such an interesting proposition.
It’s as practical as a 911 – save for the Porsche’s tiny rear seats – but looks so much more exotic.
It’s as comfortable as a luxury sedan but exudes so much more drama, whether you’re sitting still in traffic or roaring along the left lane of the expressway.
It’s a car with the visual presence of an Italian supercar, with a generously sized trunk, decent behind-the-seats storage and unflappable build quality.
It is beautiful to behold and a delight to drive, one of the very best performance cars you can (more or less) buy. And, at least for now, definitely the coolest.