Category Archives: Man Trend


Audi R8 Spyder

Need an R8 Spyder on your immaculately raked driveway but simply won’t stretch to the £110,000 asking price for the V10 version?

Good news, you parsimonious convertible enthusiast! Audi has just announced that the Spyder will be made available with the quite excellent V8 engine from the R8 coupe.

We’ve always been big fans of the, ahem, base spec R8, and we suspect we’ll be just as keen on the V8 convertible. At 415bhp, it’s 103bhp down on the V10, but still plenty quick: with Quattro four-wheel drive as standard, the Spyder will hit 62mph in under five seconds and top out on the exciting side of 180mph.

It won’t be cheap, exactly: although Audi has only announced Euro prices, we’d expect it to tip the wallet-o-meter somewhere between £90,000 and £100,000.

And you can still spec plenty of expensive goodies including the big Bang & Olufsen stereo, carbon brakes and the R-Tronic ‘box if you really must.

Ferrari F430

An astonishing bit of kit, the Ferrari F430 is proof that the prancing horse’s well-worn path through Formula 1 is paying dividends. This is a blisteringly fast and stonkingly hi-tech bit of kit, made all the more so by the uncompromising, and uncompromisingly pricey, Scuderia.

The F430 is entirely useable day-to-day. It rides firmly but well, and is totally tractable in all traffic conditions. Gone are the days of kangarooing through rush hour with a sweaty brow and aching clutch foot.

What can you say? There is virtually nothing to touch the F430, particularly the Scuderia, in the performance stakes. Gear changes are so fast it’s more of a thought than a deed, and there’s almost always more power than there is road.

Sadly no. The F430 is footballer spec motoring, and there’s nothing cool about that. To make matters worse, it’s the default choice for lottery winners (alongside the Lamborghini Gallardo).

The F430 is remarkably well made, moving the game on from the 360 Modena that earned the reputation as the first ‘day-to-day’ Ferrari. Get it, turn it on, forget about it.

There are few cars on sale that handle with the deftness and accuracy of the F430. It’s ‘manettino’ traction settings also make it as safe or as wild as conditions and driver can tolerate.

No mid-engine supercar is going to be terribly practical and the F430 is no exception. You can see out of it all right, and it’ll cope fine with urban crawls, but your clobber and your kids will either have to stay home or follow later with the missus in the C-Max.

Running costs
There are a few. Expect your first insurance quote to greet you like a kick in the crown jewels, and anticipate being on first name terms with the guys running your local petrol station.