There’s a saying – “If it appreciates, buy it – if it depreciates, lease it.” There’s no greater example of this than when it comes to exotic cars - they are habit forming not to mention expensive and the car will depreciate faster than some hedge fund portfolios. Think about this – If one were to pursue their investment portfolio the same as when buying an exotic car, said portfolio would always be in the red. How does that make sense? Luckily there's a support group for those who enjoy the ride but aren't fans of the financial hangover, and it's called the DRIV Luxury Car Club in San Francisco. I recently had the opportunity to meet with Brad Johnson, Managing Partner, to test drive the latest additional to their portfolio, the Audi R8.
Audi has incorporated the name and the genes of the five-time Le Mans winner, the Audi R8, into a spectacular sports car. It is a fascinating driving machine and the pinnacle of the Audi brand. The mid-mounted 420 hp V8 engine, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and Audi Space Frame aluminum body form the basis for truly outstanding driving dynamics. Even at first glance, the performance caliber of the car is plain to see. The Audi R8 sits wide and low on the road, the strongly accentuated rear end appearing to flex its muscles like a sprinter anticipating the strike of the starter pistol against the blank. Behind the doors, a large-surface 'sideblade' air deflector sweeps between the wheel arch and the roof section, delivering air for the V8 to breathe as well as for cooling. The paint finish of the sideblade is coordinated with the body color or can be finished in a beautiful tapestry of carbon fiber as has been optioned on DRIV’s Mugello Blue R8 – one of only four in the country with the sandstone tan leather interior (as of mid-November). When viewing the car from the rear, the observer looks through tempered glass directly at the V8 - the very high revving heart of this dynamic sports car. Indirect engine compartment lighting by white LEDs bathes the handcrafted engine in an otherworldly glow reminiscent of Doc Brown’s ‘Back to the Future’ Delorean… but much cooler. The performance figures are equally impressive: the R8 accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 187 mph – that’s Ferrari hunting territory at approximately 2/3’s the price.
The range of optional extras leaves virtually nothing to be desired. A Bang&Olufsen sound system, featuring an output of 465 watts and 12 specially designed speakers, delivers surround sound of the highest standard. A microphone-based vehicle noise compensation system adjusts audio levels to changing road conditions and speeds. The acoustic parking system and a rear-view camera (think targeting display from a Star Wars X-Wing fighter) help the driver to maneuver into even the tightest of spaces. The radio/navigation system, featuring a large-format color monitor and MMI keypad, combines extensive functionality with extreme user-friendliness.
Brad asked me to pass along to our readers that for a limited time, you can choose any membership level and get double the driving time. Select the $8,000 Introductory Membership and get between 12 and 20 driving days or the $15,000 Leisure Membership and get between 25 and 44 driving days. This puts you behind the wheel of the Audi R8 for under $600 per day. And yes, complimentary days for extended reservations are still included further driving down your overall cost allowing even more seat time. For more information, contact Brad at (866) 539-8680 or visit www.clubdriv.com.