Alpha10 R8 Spyder: A Two Week, 6,000mi Cross Country Road Trip

Recently R8 forum member ‘achan’ took his Twin Turbo Alpha 10 R8 Sypder on a 6,000 mile road trip from New York to Vegas and back over the course of two weeks. Here are his thoughts on the journey:

AMS Twin Turbo R8 Spyder – Cross Country Road Trip

I had some extended free time lately so one day, on a whim, I decided to take my AMS powered twin-turbo R8 on a cross country road trip. I drove roughly 6k miles in total over a span of two weeks. I’ve include a map of the basic route that I took below. While the original plan was to also spend a week driving through California, but time did not permit I now envy those of you who live out west, particularly Colorado/Utah where I witnessed some of the best driving roads and scenery I have ever seen.

I stopped by AMS’s shop in West Chicago and was given a tour of the facilities and got to check out the projects they are currently working on. My hat is off to the gentlemen over at AMS, they have a great group of talented and hard-working guys. It’s no wonder they are on top of the GTR market. I will note that they are one of the few shops who tune on an AWD dyno and report true awhp figures.

[title_divider title_field=”Thoughts on the AMS twin turbo setup:”]
Have not had a single issue since the car has been delivered earlier in the summer and have put just under 10k street miles on the setup. I routinely drive in NYC traffic with no drivability issues as well as multiple days of over 800 miles without a hiccup. Water and oil temps remains rock steady even when driven very hard for extended periods.

Some of the flatter and longer stretches of road allowed me to really get on the TT setup. The setup really shines when you push it into the triple digits… it just pulls and pulls and pulls. I did 50-1XX pulls repeatedly for nearly an entire tank of gas And yes, with taller gearing the car will do well over 200 mph. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my vbox so I still do not have 60-130 figures yet. No ECU codes were reported whatsoever even with the differences in temperature, humidity, elevation, and fuel types used

The sound of intakes/turbos/wastegates coupled with the V10 is truly intoxicating. My V10 TT sounds like a fighter jet as it passes by. The factory clutch at 32k miles is still holding all the power with no signs of slipping. Overall, I highly recommend this setup to anyone who wants more power in their everyday supercar

Changed the oil with Castrol 10w60 prior to the trip and it seems to run much better than the factory recommended oil. Oil temps were a touch cooler and no oil needed to be added over the 6k miles. Contrast this with roughly 1 quart every 4k miles on the standard Castrol 5w40

Pirelli Corsa System street legal r-compounds are great tires. Originally I bought them as track tires but I burned through my Michelin rears shortly before I decided on the road trip. They are a few pounds lighter per corner than the Michelins and offer greater straight line and lateral traction. Wet weather performance is the main reason I decided to shy away from the more hardcore Michelin cup tires and Toyo R888s. They performed well in the rain for r-compounds, and I can understand why many use these tires as their “wet setup” at the track. After 6k miles, the rears still have enough tread for at least 2-3k miles!

Observations about R8:
Can’t stress this enough, but the ergonomics in an R8 are GREAT for something that performs this well. The seats are very comfortable, even on days where I drove for 10 hours or more. I’m glad I returned to the OEM suspension with magnetic ride, there really isn’t anything that can beat its balance between comfort and performance.

V10 can get roughly 20 mpg if you keep your speed under 75-80 mph, your gas mileage will suffer greatly as you climb closer toward triple digits. If you like hammering the giggle pedal every chance you get, then all bets are off. That being said, would like 6th gear to be a tad taller for highway driving. I averaged between 14-18 mpg on my trip.

I can understand why some don’t like the loudness of aftermarket exhausts, they tend to get to you after about the 3rd straight hour of driving. Anyone who tells you twin turbos should quiet the exhaust down clearly has no idea what they are talking about. Thankfully, I brought some ear plugs along to filter out some of the exhaust/wind noise on longer drives. This is a habit I picked up from riding motorcycles

People will ask you a lot of questions about your R8, many have never seen one in person before… this includes law enforcement.

Road trip recommendations

Clear-bra over the front end is highly recommended, you will get sprayed with rocks/debris. Film on my front end film has taken quite and a beating and I now have two large cracks in my windshield. Also the tinted windows/windshield really help cut down the heat in the desert sun.

Radar detector and laser jammers were certainly worth the investment. However DO NOT SPEED IN INDIANA, I cannot count on two hands how many unmarked police cars I saw pull cars over. Most LEOs are shooting KA band radar, but saw moderate laser usage in Midwest

There is virtually no way to find 93 octane in the Midwest/West. You can buy 100 octane in major cities like Denver/Vegas/OKC but you have to search for it. There is definitely a noticeable difference in performance between 91/93/100 octane. I ended up buying 100 octane where I could and blended 91 with it until my next big city destination

Apologies for the long-winded post.
Check out more about the Alpha10 R8 Spyder Package Here

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