A friend of mine told me before I left Australia that Germany might be a little cold, even in late April. I briefly looked online and the internet informed me Frankfurt was about 17 degrees. Cold? I think not.
So here I am, standing 1700m up in the German Alps, it’s four degrees and I’m pretending that my leather jacket is sufficient to keep me sane. Thankfully, there is an ABT tuned Audi AS 5R and R8 to keep me warm.
Day seven started rather differently, having picked up the BMW M5 the day before, we now had two cars to get around in. We went downstairs, put everything in the Ford Focus and the M5 to start our day.
I pushed the start button and the V10 in the M5 came to life, a beautiful note, meanwhile as I was about to go for reverse, I could hear George struggling to turn on the Focus, tick tick tick… nothing… tick tick tick … nothing.
Perhaps sitting at 200km/h in the Ford the day before had killed the poor car, five motoring journalists began their diagnosis. “Maybe the fuel isn’t getting to it” – “Maybe its too cold” – “Let’s clutch start it…”.
No, no and no. Our Focus had been sabotaged! Seriously. We opened the bonnet (which is opened from the outside on the Focus) and quickly noticed that all four spark plug leads had been neatly disconnected! Hmm.
We never worked out how or who, but after a few minutes of playing mechanic, the Focus sprung back to life and we headed for ABT (pronounced AwBT).
Tuning companies are a dime a dozen but a few stand out from the crowd. ABT is a perfect example, dealing only and specifically with the Volkswagen Group of cars, the company, which has been around for more than 100 years, provided us with two of their finest examples, the ABT AS 5R and R8.
They also gave us a tuned Volkswagen R32 to get around in (given the Focus was a little iffy). I started the day in the R32 following Anthony in the AS 5R.
I then switched to the AS 5R and finally to the ultimate in ABT speciality, the supercharged ABT R8.
There is something to be a said about the ABT R8, not since driving the Bugatti Veyron had a car felt so quick at high speed.
So quick in fact that I suggested to George, our internal camera man, that I am positive I can get the car to 300km/h safely.
We found ourselves a stretch of pothole free, speed limit free, traffic free autobahn. Third gear merge on to the Autobahn, foot flat to the floor, fourth gear, there is just no let up in acceleration, overtake a few cars, fifth gear, 81kW more power than the standard R8 becomes noticeable as you go past 250km/h.
A quick shift into sixth gear and I was now more determined than ever before. 300km/h was only seconds away. 270, 280, 290, 300…. 310… 320km/h and I ran out of road.
Of course it’s all well and good for me to say this to you, but we decided to record my attempt, click here to see the result.
Watch the ABT R8 Video Teaser.
In eight hours the Full Throttle team heads for a military barracks to record the ABT R8 alongside German tanks.