Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Test Drive: Audi R8 - V10, Porsche GT3, BMW i3

I have some friends who bought some new cars end of last year and I got to try them all today in the below zero temperatures.

Firstly, I was surprised that internally, nothing much has changed in terms of the console. Since I've been in a 2008, 2011, the 2015 R8 is not much different. I must say, I like the looks of this car. When you listen to the sound this baby put out, its simply intoxicating.

I would say, driving this car seems very fun. The 4WD and V10 engine feels very powerful. The acceleration is pretty fast. I really like the 7 speed dual clutch transmission which offers precise shifts.

The second car I've driven is a Porsche GT3. Strangely, I was with my friend when he bought his Prius in 2010, and when the gas prices fell, he called me at the dealership when he collected this GT3.

It seems like every time they have a new GT3, it seems to be lower and wider than the previous models. The car seems to sit low and when you look inside the car, it is not like any 911. The interior and exterior does scream out "sports car!"

However, when I tried the car, I was shocked... Shocked that this car is an automatic! Setting it to drive, this 6 cylinder does feel very punchy... 

With the Audi R8 with over 500hp, this GT3 is no push over too. The GT3 is naturally aspirated with 475hp and it reveals it easily with a push of the throttle. After driving the V10, this GT3 did not feel slower when it has only 6 cylinders. I've been a a GT3 back in 2008, and this certainly feels much faster.

The grip on this car is also fantastic, probably its the 20" rims and 305 rear tires. The brakes and suspension are improved, giving you comfort on the bumpy Boston roads while enough stiffness when you take corners on the curvy roads. 

I was told that there is a new clutch thing with the new shift pedals, however, when I tried driving this car hard, this car just springs to life! The grip and feedback you get from when you turn or accelerate is incredible. When the corner was tight, this car also has amazing braking power to stop on a dime.

I really enjoyed driving the GT3 more than the R8.


Lastly, I looked at the BMW i3. Its cute and the door opens up really wide. Sure, I'll give it a spin.

This is a full electric car, and it felt very zippy with full of torque. It felt fun, however when I started pushing hard on the car, it easily oversteers and the brakes are weak. There is also heavy bodyroll and I did feel that I was about to flip the car or crash into something when I take corners hard.

I don't think I am ready for a BMW i3, I really like the Porsche GT3, but I think the Audi R8 is the fastest car of the 3.

-- Robin Low

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