Fun Stuff

The Audi R8 GT Exists for the Kids

I’m suspicious of people who are too jaded to get excited.

Someone shows them a video of a water-skiing elephant from the 1950s and they speed-dial PETA. They roll their eyes at a silly dad joke. They see a supercar like the 2023 Audi R8 GT, and they deliberately look in the other direction.

I think they’ve forgotten about a very important person, which is a shame because it’s the one who plays a vital role in how much enjoyment we get out of life. That person is their inner child.

What is the Audi R8 GT?

The Audi R8 GT is a beast of a supercar, low slung with carbon fibre everywhere, a wing big enough to eat breakfast on, exhaust pipes that look more like cannons, and creases sharp enough to make a paper crane jealous. With a huge rear window showing off its glorious mid-mounted V10 to the world, it’s obvious that this is a masterclass in design and engineering. As a special edition model, it signifies the last time the R8 will have a naturally aspirated V10; after this, expect a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) or all-electric supercar from Audi.

Only 333 R8 GTs will be made, and only nine of the rear-wheel-drive special edition models will make it to Canada. Each comes with a serialized inscription in the cockpit so drivers know which of the 333 units they’re piloting. It shares 50 per cent of its parts with the R8 GT3 LMS race car. In short, it’s the most hardcore R8 ever made.

When it first debuted 17 years ago as Audi’s first supercar, the R8 shook the automotive world. It instantly rocketed to dream car status, became the car of choice for Tony Stark, and helped launch Audi into a new era of performance.

With its iconic white paint, trademark contrasting black air intake blades, and razor-like creases cutting a unique supercar silhouette for its time (back then the heavy hitters were the Dodge Viper, Ferrari F430, Mercedes SLR McLaren, and Bugatti Veyron), it’s astonishing how good the R8 still looks today despite how little it has changed visually since it first debuted. That’s how good design works.

What Does the Audi R8 GT Have to Do with My Inner Child?

Behind the wheel of the R8 GT one day, I was irritated with the volume of traffic and livid with the level of driving buffoonery I was witnessing on the roads. I hit every single stop light and wasn’t even first in line so I couldn’t act like a showboat and launch like I was at the drag strip to let off some steam. In the corner of my eye, I sensed some unusual movement.

Glancing over, I saw a kid do a full U-turn on his bike, take out his phone and point it in my direction. Immediately, I flipped open the sport exhaust and revved the engine for him, and his reaction not only turned my bad day around, but it served as an important reminder. I was so ready to be annoyed. I was prepared to be that person who rolls their eyes. But instead, I was met with pure, unbridled joy. The kid’s face lit up, he couldn’t believe his luck. He might have been used to adults saying no to him, and he likely never imagined that a supercar-driving person would give him the time of day.

This happened almost every single day I drove the R8 GT. I saw a grown man stop in his tracks and gasp as I drove by, covering his mouth with his hand as if he saw an actual unicorn trotting down the street. A mom and a toddler waved at me, so I honked the horn at them and waved back. The toddler’s face sparkled, the mom was beaming, and I could sense how special that moment was for both of them.

Final Thoughts

And honestly, how could I be in a bad mood driving this superhero supercar? That kid on his bike and all of those people I caught getting excited reminded me how absolutely privileged I am to be in this R8, its fixed carbon fibre seat cradling me, that incredible V10 screaming all the way to its 8,700-rpm redline, and its enigmatic energy just radiating out into the universe.

They reminded me about the simplicity of joy and the importance of nurturing my inner child. About how it’s vital and healing to allow yourself to get excited about silly stuff. And that it feels good to find delight in the little things like being the reason a stranger smiles today. Opening yourself to the possibility of joy, doing stuff that would make your younger self happy and proud, and then sharing that joy with others around you might be what we all need.