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'Dawn' might not sound very Rolls-Royce, but - as with
almost everything the company does - there's a clear
link to the past: the Silver Dawn was produced in the late
1940s to the mid-1950s. The new Dawn is in essence a
convertible version of the existing Wraith coupe, although
we're told 80% of the bodywork has been changed.
We've not driven it yet, but we can tell you it looks utterly
gorgeous and will have one of those price tags that places
it in the realms of a fantasy lottery win purchase for most.
ou need to recalibrate your expectations to appreciate it,
but the new Audi R8 Plus manages to pull o a very neat
trick - o ering supercar performance at a serious discount.
Because although being priced against sportscar rivals like
the Porsche 911, this new second-generation R8 shares
almost all of its oily bits with the £181,000 Lamborghini
Huracan. The two cars use the same engine, the same gearbox, even
the same part-carbon bre under£ oor structure. Yet the R8 V10 costs
£45,000 less - a serious chunk of change, however you look at it.
The R8's outstanding feature is that howling V10 engine. Where
almost all its rivals have switched to small capacity turbocharged
powerplants this remains the real deal, producing its towering 602bhp
through high revs and with a soundtrack that stands comparison with
the more intense operas. Although it's happiest when being worked
hard, the engine feels strong and re ned at lower speeds too; indeed
the most impressive aspect of the R8 is probably the breadth of its
abilities, from urban trundling to a £ at-out assault on a race track.
In fact, the grip levels are so high that you will need time on a
private circuit to have any chance of experiencing the R8 at the limit.
It lacks some of the adjustability
and sense of involvement of rivals
like the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but
on the £ ipside it delivers e ortless
speed and feels supremely secure
while doing so. It's a remarkable
piece of performance engineering.
Best bits: Snarling V10 engine,
e ortless speed.
Worst bits: Lacks a bit of
AUDI R8 V10 PLUS
Engine: 5.2 litre V10, petrol
0-60mph: 3.2 seconds
Top speed: 205mph
The most impressive aspect of the R8 is the
breadth of its abilities, from sedate urban
trundling to a fl at-out assault on a race track
AUDI R8 V10 PLUS
As fast as almost anything on the road, but cheaper than its rivals, there's lots to like about the new Audi R8 Plus
COMING SOON: Rolls-Royce Dawn