Illustration by Lesley WimbushM
The 2008 Audi R8 Trans-Canada Performance Tour Begins

Entering one of the country’s most exclusive and discriminating market segments with the introduction of the highly-anticipated 2008 Audi R8 mid-engine sports car, Audi Canada has announced a cross-country tour without precedent in the brand’s illustrious history in Canada.

“Inspired by every great idea we have ever had, the all-new R8 will create an even higher profile for Audi in Canada,” said Diego Ramos, Executive Vice President of Audi Canada. “Equipped with the expertise that Audi has garnered through its involvement in motorsport and from building sporty premium-class automobiles, the R8 is a bold sports car that will cause many to revise their list of dream cars.”

A 4.2-Litre, 420-hp, FSI V8 engine, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and an aluminium space-frame body along with its excellent driving qualities and Audi’s acknowledged standards of perfection in quality and finish all endow the new Audi R8 with outstanding qualities to challenge the current leaders in the segment.

To showcase the stunning new Audi R8, Audi Canada today announced an unprecedented cross-Canada introductory tour. The “Audi R8 Trans-Canada Performance Tour” will offer 15 select members of the Canadian news media an invitation to drive the sensational R8 in relay from St. John’s Newfoundland to Victoria, British Columbia.

The legs each journalist will drive vary in distance and completion times required will incorporate suggested sights and stops suitable to the exclusive image of the R8. The Tour commences in St. John’s at Cape Spear (the most easterly point in North America) on Wednesday, September 12th at 12:00 P.M., and concludes October 9th in Victoria.

The Audi R8 left Cape Spear today in rather wet conditions

“I am really happy to be part of the Audi R8 Performance Tour,” said owner Russ Bond. “I have had the good fortune of going on the Canadian launch of the R8, which we featured here a few weeks ago. I have the press R8 booked next week, and then to cap off the ‘perfect month’ I’ll take one from Barrie Ontario to Thunder Bay Ontario. It doesn’t get much better than that. I will also have plenty of decals with me, so if you see the R8, just pull up and get your very own decal – delivered!” will follow Bond live on his two day journey with pictures and video. “It’s impossible not to have a good time in this car,” Bond said. “I’ll be updating our trip on as often as possible.”

Due to high global demand for the R8, the number available for the Canadian market will be necessarily restricted. To permit the public to view this incredible new super car, Audi Canada and it’s retailers in St. John’s, Halifax, Moncton, Sherbrooke, Ottawa, Waterloo, Barrie, Winnipeg, Regina Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna and Victoria are inviting their customers to special events at their
facilities when the R8 arrives in their communities.

To heighten the excitement and allow people to experience the exhilaration and savour the adrenaline rush, the elation of Audi’s luxury performance cars, Audi Canada will be providing each participating retailer with examples of the Audi S8, S6 and RS4 premium sports sedans in which they may conduct demonstration drives for their guests.

“Local events such as this allow us to share the exciting new R8 and other limited edition Audis with Canadians right across the country while, at the same time, getting our retailers involved in an unprecedented national new product launch,” said Douglas Clark, Audi Canada’s Director of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations.

With a base price of $139,000 for the 6-speed manual version, the 2008 Audi R8 is positioned very competitively considering its technological standards, road performance, high quality and its extensive standard equipment levels.

Audi Canada
Audi’s history in Canada dates to 1969, when the brand was first introduced on the Canadian market. Today, a network of 37 Audi retailers nationwide sell and service a range of premium vehicles that include the Audi A3 sportback; the sporty A4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high performance S4 sedan, Avant and Cabriolet models; the high-revving RS 4 sports sedan; the designleading A6 sedan and Avant; the Audi Q7 performance SUV; the all-aluminum Audi A8; the V10-powered S6 and S8 performance sedans; and the all-new 2008 TT Coupe and Roadster models and the unparalleled new mid-engined R8 sports car.

More information on all Audi models can be found at

Our Turn!

Intrepid Killerz pilot extrordinaire Rustye Bond has been at the wheel of Audi's R8 for most of the day on the northern shores of Lake Superior. We have added some photos taken by Killerz photog Chip Young and anxiously await word from Rustye...

Audi “Experience”
By Russ Bond
Well, there is good news…and bad news. First the bad. My month of Audi R8 days has sadly come to and end…all too soon I might add.
The good news is that I, along with my girlfriend, were fortunate enough to be part of the Audi R8 Performance tour that is taking an Audi R8 from coast to coast.

The wait to take part in the tour was lessened by having a bright white R8 the week before the tour as a press car….you saw our failed attempt at gambling for an R8 last week here on

This is a new week, and a new challenge for us. Our job was to get a silver R8 from Barrie, Ontario to Thunder Bay, Ontario in just two days…there was going to be a lot of picture taking from the windows.

We met Garry Sowerby, who is the President of Odyssey International for the past 25 years. Odyssey is an event production company specializing in automotive adventures and award-winning media drives through more than 75 countries. Sowerby also had the great job of piloting the second R8 from coast-to-coast.

He handed over the keys to our R8 and off we went. Trips in cars can be entertaining or painful, depending on the car. The Audi R8 adds new light to the term “entertaining” in several ways. Firstly, it’s just incredible to drive…and listen to. The attention it gets puts you in the league of celebrity, or in our case, celebrity for a couple of days. Secondly, thank God for good seats. Remember, this is a 420 bhp supercar, most of which aren’t exactly known for the most comfortable seats around. The R8 is different. The seats are great, you can go nine plus hours with no problem. With the cat like grip of the Quattro all wheel drive system, and the monster brakes we were as safe as could be. We also brought along Chris Daughtery’s CD…see our music video…but it took us until the second day to put it in the CD player…I was listening to the V8 symphony behind me on day one.

Having the R8 for these two days, on this trip, was an experience to say the least. It was an experience that my girlfriend and I will never forget. The R8 was the difference. We could have done it in any other car, and it would merely have been a road trip. The R8 made it the experience that it was….that, in part, is why it’s worth the $150,000…it’s an experience you can’t have without one.

Right now you are asking yourself, “What’s the difference, a car is a car?” On second thought, you’re not really saying that as you wouldn’t be reading this on if you were….anyhow, never let a few facts get in the way of a good story.

Russ Bond introduces another Canadian to the Audi R8

Our first day – you can see the full video log we made below – we went from Barrie to Wawa (yep, I never heard of it either). On our first “Timmy’s” stop we were met with two OPP vehicles, one very friendly officer who took a picture with the car, and two German tourists that rightly pointed out that in Germany, you could drive this car as fast as you “can” not as fast as you “want”…point taken.

This meeting set the stage for the rest of the trip. We got our first taste of just how this was going to go. We made our way past Sudbury and over to Sault Ste Marie, where guess what…there’s a Casino. After listening to “Russ….slow down” for the past six hours…(just kidding, I heard it maybe twice…), my girlfriend insisted on a Casino stop. While filming the video, guys were all over the car…just like everywhere else we stopped…or drove. One Semi truck driver waved frantically at us to slow down so he could snap a picture on the way by.

As we left the Casino, back on Hwy 17, we ran into road construction, and 18 cars ahead of us was Sowerby in the other R8. It was the first time we’d seen him on the road. As we made our way past the construction, he pulled a pretty good lead on us…but I was determined to catch him. I tried for about 17 kilometers until we saw the “Liquor Store” sign. I had to pull in. It’s that Italians and wine thingy.

While we were there, I ventured over to the hitchhiker, and asked him if he’d seen another car like this. “No”. I asked if he was sure, he still insisted that he hadn’t….damn, Sowerby must have stopped.

Oh, well, off we went – wine being nicely chilled in the front trunk of the R8 – and headed for the hotel in Wawa. When we arrived we checked in with Sowerby, who was laughing when I told him about the hitchhiker. “Three places I went today, they told me my buddy had just left,” Sowerby said. We had passed him when he stopped.

The next morning I got a bit of a scare. Firstly, I woke up at 5:30 am in a cold sweat…. “IT’S MY LAST DAY WITH AN R8….WHAT AM I GOING TO DO……AHHHHH!” Then I opened the hotel door, and the R8 was gone… “this is not good,” I thought.
I went around to Sowerby’s side of the hotel thinking that if his car was there, I knew were mine was…he had it.
His was gone. This really isn’t looking too good.

Finally I found it, I had the wrong room number for him. Phew!

The second day was the run into Thunder Bay, which started off with some photos with the Wawa geese (no explanation required.). I kept seeing the little rock sculptures on the road, so during one stop, I made a little R8 rock sculpture… “R”’s are friggin hard to make out of rocks. At another stop, we ran into more Germans…they are invading two tourists at a time. They had been on the road in a FIAT van for 14 months. They went from Germany, to Singapore, Pakistan, on to South America, up to Florida, across to LA, up to Fairbanks Alaska, down to Vancouver and were heading across to Nova Scotia to take the boat home. They had done 46,000 kms so far!

Look for this between Barrie and Thunder Bay... blinked? You missed it!

This bit makes her go!

I made them laugh when I said to them, “Boy, is your dog going to be happy to see you!”

They like everyone else took pictures of the R8, we shared a laugh, and they were off. I don’t think the R8’s were on the market in Germany when they left!

The closer we got to Thunder Bay, the more I was trying to come up with reasons to either a) keep this R8 or b) come up with a way to get another one for a while….long term tester comes to mind….nah, they’ll see right through that I think.

While I was pondering that I noticed the OPP going by the other way, and minutes later my rear view mirror was blinking…oh, oh. He had done a U-turn and run us down. I was doing 94 kph in a 90 kph…

The officer just came to the passenger window and said. “I just pulled you over so I could have a better look at the car.” This is the kind of attention the R8 gets…from everyone. We answered his questions and headed out to Thunder Bay.

Several years ago I ice raced in Thunder Bay, and I called Paul Peterson, the guy whose car I raced to come and see the R8…we’d meet at…wait for it…the Casino!

After meeting Paul, our time was up. Off to the Keg we went for dinner, and we called Sowerby to join us. He came in, minutes before my steak was to arrive, and said. “We have a problem.”

It seems a hail storm was five minutes away, and it was strong enough to damage cars…not good.

We went outside and saw a Days Inn across the street that offered cover. Over we went but they were less than impressed with us blocking their lane as people were arriving to check in. Peterson solved the problem by calling the owner of the hotel….I went back to my now cold steak.

A quick trip to the airport and our fantastic voyage with the R8 was over. Peterson “offered” to help Sowerby take “my” car back to the hotel, and with that it was gone…

You can say what you want about cars being plastic, metal and rubber all mixed together - a mechanical being. But I can assure you some cars have sole, and the R8 has it in spades. It made our trip an experience. It did what not too many other cars can do, it made us forget about our daily troubles and just enjoy ourselves.

It was “the” experience of a lifetime.

(A very special thanks to Audi Canada, Garry and Lisa Sowerby, and all the folks that we met on the way.)

Pina and Rustye are somewheres near Wawa Ontario tonight.

Uhhh... it's a Canadian thing

These German tourists have driven around most of the world!

Ooops! OPP...!

"I am confiscating this car for evidence."

R8 innukshuk

A sad Rustye...

An art exhibit in the middle of the Prairie near Hartney, Manitoba on Day 20 of the Trans-Canada Tour.

Island Park in Portage La Prairie & just plane fun.

Edmontonian Cal Belsher and his truck checked out the R8 on the road in Saskatchewan.

At a stop in Radisson, SK. No energy drink required!

Nine mathematical, architectural and engineering firsts were achieved to build the 2,270 kg Ukranian Pysanka, in Vegrevill, Alberta.