Test Drive – Mclaren 570GT and Audi R8

I was fortunate enough to be able to test drive two cars thanks to Silver Arrow here in Victoria. They are an exotic used car dealership and have very unique cars in on a regular basis. I didn’t buy but i’m looking for something exciting. Here are my thoughts on these cars.

First was a 2017 Mclaren 570GT, which is like the baby of the product line but I haven’t driven any others to compare. In summary this car is like a very luxurious spaceship. With 560 HP it pulls really hard when you step on it which I love.

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The paddle shift is natural and intuitive to pick up. When you slow down it will automatically down shift so you don’t have to worry about stalling it which funnily makes me miss standard.

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The doors open out and up easily and it’s no issue getting in and out for me any way.

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Some things I didn’t like, one visibility to the rear side only works through the side mirrors which makes merging and parallel parking nervous. The front pumper hood looks odd in my opinion. Also when I got out my left let had pins and needles because of a miss aligned seating position. It’s both a firm and comfortable ride but you have to adjust it to get the one you want. The other critical complaint is the price, at 240K cad + a 25% tax the price is high. While the quality is there I would be happy with half the car for half the price.

The second car was a 2012 Audi R8 with a manual transmission. This car is very elegant and indistinguishably just as fast as the Mclaren with over 500HP. It is very spacious on the interior with lots of headroom. One thing that can’t be conveyed in words or even a sound clip is the sound of the engine, it is a musical instrument both from the outside and in. The sound is amazing, you feel it and it’s not obtrusive in the cabin. I can see why people rave over the engine, it’s worth the price alone.

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Driving the R8 felt natural and easy to get comfortable with. There is a price premium on the manual and they were asking for 140K. It checks a lot of boxes but i’m not sure I love it.

These cars are luxury purchases and here are a few thoughts on how I think about financing. Any money that would go to a car in this category would be excess from an amount I need to live off of the interest at a 4% return per year. I’m not looking to lease even though it means paying tax up front and 95% of customers go this route.

In addition to the purchase cost I will set up an investment of stock index funds so that a 4% return on the principal will cover the cost of insurance, regular maintenance and fuel. For an Audi R8 this looks like $2000.00 insurance, $3000.00 fuel and $4000.00 maintenance for each year. This means I would set aside $225K in diversified stocks and bonds just to hold to cover the costs of owning the car. The value will depreciate but I could keep the car or decide to sell it at it won’t cost me any additional capital. All of this depends on having investments that return my cost of living from a 4% estimated return. Personally I wouldn’t buy a car if I didn’t have twice a living savings because there are so many opportunities for investments now.

I will probably post more if I take a look at other cars later in the year.

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