Audi R8 V10

After a 4 AM alarm, a 1-hour flight, a 1-hour drive, five minutes of paperwork, and a very short elevator ride, this was the sight that greeted us in the bowels of Audi’s Ingolstadt headquarters. We giggled like schoolboys. Little did we know what would await us.

Audi R8 V10

Being proud practicioners of the mandatory-Nazi-references-when-dealing-with-excellent-German-cars school of motoring journalism, our first detour was to Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps, site of the Berghof, Adolf Hitler’s mountain residence.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

The light was very pretty in Berchtesgaden. Hence the multiple photographs. Notice the wonderful contrast between the Audi’s cold futurism and this guesthouse’s quaint floral window decorations.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

My mother grows prettier geraniums. In the car department, she is beat.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Some say the sideblade—that piece of off-colored carbon fiber by the engine’s air intakes—is superfluous. I disagree. It’s an integral element of the R8’s design.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Here is the angle to use to tell the R8 V10 apart from the V8-powered version: in place of the quad exhausts, the V10 gets a pair of giant oval units. By giant, I mean now-where-did-the-cat-go giant.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Mr. Fenyő’s masterwork shows off the intricate play of surfaces, angles and colors. Take the time to enlarge this photo and study it in detail. You will be surprised and delighted.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

We left the guesthouse at Berchtesgaden and pulled into a Bavarian farmer’s private driveway. Bavarian grass is marvelous, a lush, thick carpet of green. Little wonder that the tastiest milk available for sale in Budapest comes from these very mountains. A fleet of R8’s could be put to excellent use delivering it fresh from the fields—of only those pesky Austrians would adopt Autobahn-style speed limits on their fabulous mountain highways.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

While Hitler wasn’t exactly a military genius, he did have quite a knack for real estate. Given the funds, who wouldn’t want to place their mountain hideout right here?

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

The Bavarian fields also provide excellent contrast to the R8’s most controversial angle—which is nothing but a function of mid-engined construction. Although that kink between the trunk and the windshield will probably always look weird. Weird in a good way.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

This is the Mondsee, a private lake in Austrian hill country, a stone’s throw from Salzburg. We drove around it for an hour in the 100-degree heat until we found this spot. Worth it, wasn’t it? Note to owners of cars with lovely exhaust notes: the way around includes a tunnel.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

The powers of photography are inadequate to describe the furious, volcanic heat in this photo: combine a running V10 engine with 100-degree weather and the hair will melt off your scalp. We couldn’t stand over the engine bay for more than a few seconds.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

This is a random house on the shores of the Mondsee. We imagined living there. Late mornings would look like this.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Thank the lord for glass engine covers! Missing from the picture: yours truly jogging by the car in English dress boots, making sure a lone bump or an inadequate suction cup would not send thousands of dollars of photographic equipment careening into thousands of dollars of Sepang Blue paintjob.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

It took us until viewing this photo large to notice the perfect right angle cheekily hidden on a body of curves.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Okay, ridiculous sunset shot! The original plan was to drive into the courtyard of the Melk Abbey, a Benedictine abbey in the village of Melk, which is located on the south shore of the Danube. The abbey was closed for the day, so we drove out of Melk and stopped in a minuscule agricultural hamlet, where a tractor almost ran us off the road.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

This is the most beautiful photo I have ever seen of the R8. It’s all about the minutes-after-sundown light. Also: Fenyő is a fucking genius.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

The engine comes with lots of superfluous carbon fiber to impress your lesser Bavarian playboy friends.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Not shown: yours truly with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels, furiously going at the accumulated bugs and grime to make for a pretty picture.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

The following photos were taken at dawn on the greatest driving road in Hungary. I could give you a Google Maps link, but then I’d have to kill you.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Ok, here’s a clue: it’s in the Pilis Mountains, northwest of Budapest.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

One more clue: it’s very close to the best French pastry shop in the country.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

All right, you have persevered in clicking: it’s the road between the villages of Pilisvörösvár and Csobánka, snaking across a national park.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Get a proper car and give it a shot. It works both ways, although I prefer the Pilisvörösvár to Csobánka approach.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Want to become Der Bayerischer Playboy and do a Lynndie in your very own field? Here’s how (field not included):

Sunglasses: fake Ray-Ban aviators
(store in Shanghai, ¥1200)

Shirt: Péter Anna made-to-measure
(peteranna.hu, HUF 15,000)

Cufflinks: vintage silver latticework
(Sofia flea market, BGN 20)

Shorts: Polo Ralph Lauren
(ralphlauren.com, €50)

Socks: Duchamp Trailing Flowers
(duchamplondon.com, £15)

Shoes: Terra Plana Wittgenstein
(terraplana.com, £225)

Car: Audi R8 5.2 FSI quattro
(audi.com, $155,100)

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő

Audi R8 V10

Our motley crew, brain-dead after 24 hours of work. From left to right: me, Natalie Polgar, Dániel Farkas, Gábor Bazsó.

Photo Credit: Balázs Fenyő