In describing the climate of Las Vegas, people tend to lean on the cliché "it's a dry heat." I assume if they had built this city on the sun, they'd describe it as a "bright heat." So how did the Audi R8 I'm campaigning across the U.S. hold up in 112 degree "dry" heat?

As explained, I'm driving across the U.S. from Los Angeles to D.C. in a burnt "Samoa" orange Audi R8 Spyder. Yesterday, I landed in Los Angeles, picked up the car, and had a wonderful lunch with Jason Torchinsky and his family (if you're curious, the one thing the Audi R8 probably can't do is baby. We briefly tried).

Then the journey took us towards Las Vegas, a place I've only seen in the movies or from the airport on a connecting flight. It was warm. Once we crossed over into the Joshua Tree-dotted landscape I watched the built-in thermometer rise from the low 80s all the way up to 112, where it stayed for a prolonged period of time.


I knew that this was why the tested cars in nearby Death Valley, I just didn't expect to find a test car in this remote area but, alas, when we pulled over near the California/Nevada border to take some photos I saw a brand new 911 with Georgia distributor plates.

I immediately pulled behind them and asked if they were fellow journalists, but their curious clothing choices made it clear to me before I even heard their accents that these were German engineers sent here to test the cars.


It was then I took a wider view and saw that, yes, this was a 911 Turbo. I explained who I was and asked if I could take a photo. They confirmed it was the Turbo and, politely, let me take a photo before leaving. I was expecting to have to chase them down but, surrounded by people, they either didn't care or didn't want to risk harming anyone or anything.

And now I know why the R8 didn't seem to mind the heat at all. It's been here before. I, on the other hand, was new, and the furnace that is Las Vegas required a little adjustment. Nothing too many crab legs and the Bellagio fountains couldn't cure.