Through Ian's Lens: 2008 Audi R8

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The new 2008 Audi R8 is, quite simply, a head-turner. With its low, wide stance, extremely wide tires and blade-like side air intakes, the newest car in Audi’s lineup looks like it’s ready to go from zero to 175 in an instant. The R8 is a production car that has the look and feel of a concept that’s skipped all scrutiny and gone straight to the assembly line.

Audi has upped the ante in the design field by bringing material touches to the R8 that are normally found on cars that cost twice as much. Pieces of carbon fiber (or carbon-fiber-like materials) are found throughout the exterior and interior of this car, from the side intakes to the engine housing, from the dashboard to the door handles. Audi’s interior design has always been top-notch, and the R8 is no exception. The fit and finish of the seats, dash, instruments and controls is truly fantastic, with Audi’s coordination of like-colored metal, leather and plastic.

The R8 is a low-wedge coupe whose shape is cut from the same cloth as the Lamborghini Marcielago, but without all the pomp and circumstance of oversized front and rear spoilers or scissor doors. Don’t let the shape fool you, though. The R8, in this photographer’s opinion, is the first truly unique-looking car produced in the past couple of years. It looks like a supercar from the future, yet the designers still made it look distinctly Audi by adding the company’s trademark headlights, highlighted by an “eyelash” of bright white LEDs. It’s a striking car in photos, and it’s drop-dead gorgeous in person. A full set of photos is below.

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