We’d come of course to the Hakone Turnpike, a legendary strip of enthusiast tarmac that’s featured in countless Japanese car mags, videos and on the net.
It’s Japan’s own Col du Turini, a storied and picturesque mountain road that’s fast, well surfaced, quite wide, full of high G-force corners, dips under and over bridges and throws in some heart thumpingly long straights as well.
Do it once, do it a dozen of times, the Turnpike is always great and at this time of year with the leaves changing colour amid the clear, crisp mountain air, it’s more compelling than ever.
The Audi predictably makes mincemeat of the Turnpike. You just can’t argue with the precision and feel of that stellar mid-engined chassis, nor with the power, sound and shove of the 5.2-litre V10. The R8 is also beautifully presented and dripping with cool design touches.