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Audi R8 V10 RWS is a super-rare rear-wheel drive oddity

Audi and quattro all-wheel drive usually go together like peas in an automotive pod, so nobody expected this: a rear-wheel drive Audi R8. The limited-edition supercar is making its debut today at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2023 in Germany, based on the R8 LMS racing car, but bringing that to public streets. The result is this, the new Audi R8 V10 RWS.

“The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists,” Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, said of the car. “A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer.”

As a result, only 999 of the cars will be built, offered in both Coupe and Spyder convertible variants. Each will have a mid-mounted 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine, good for 540 horsepower, just as with the R8 V10 quattro. It’ll be good for 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds in the Coupe, while the Spyder will do it in 3.8 seconds. Top speed will be 198.8 mph in the Coupe and 197.6 mph in the Spyder.

However the driving feel may well be very different versus the “regular” R8. Whereas the quattro car has all-wheel drive to guarantee its stickiness in the corners, as well as make sure all that V10 power makes it to the asphalt, the R8 V10 RWS pushes all of the grunt to its rear wheels.

On the Spyder side, the rear-wheel drive convertible is over 88 pounds lighter than its quattro Spyder cousin. In both soft and hard top cases, Audi has tweaked the axle load distribution – 40.6:59.4 in the Coupe, and 40.4:59.6 in the Spyder – along with fettling the chassis and handling tuning for what it says is “incredibly fun driving”.

That also opens the door to something the quattro usually shuts down before it has time to even begin: drifting. Select “Dynamic” mode in Audi’s drive select dynamic handling systems, and switch the Stabilization Control ESC to “Sport”, and controlled drifts are possible. The ESC, Audi promises, will step in at the limit to save your incredibly rare R8 should you push things too far.

As for the electromechanical power steering, that promises zero torque-steer. The car sits on 19-inch cast aluminum wheels in a five-spoke V-design, finished in black, and shod in 245/35 rubber up front and 295/35 at the rear. It also gets a matte black Singleframe grill and matching air apertures at the front and rear, while the Coupe’s upper side blade is gloss black contrasting with the body-color lower portion.

A red film can be spec’d for running over the hood, roof, and rear end. Inside, leather and Alcantara sports seats are standard, with buckets an option, and a “1 of 999” badge is on the dashboard.

MORE 2023 Audi R8 V10 first-drive

Orders for the Audi R8 V10 RWS will open in the fall of 2023 in Germany and other European countries. Deliveries are expected later in the fall. The Coupe will start at 140,000 euros ($163k) while the Spyder will start at 153,000 euros ($178k); no word on whether they’ll be offered in the US at this stage.

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Audi Gives Its R8 Supercar Laser Vision

Audi gives its R8 supercar laser vision

There’s little that can’t be improved with lasers, and Audi’s 2023 R8 V10 plus exclusive is no different, the first car in the US to bear laser headlights. Set to be revealed at the LA Auto Show 2024 in just a couple of weeks time, the V10 coupe is the first of the automaker’s production cars to incorporate laser light technology for the US market; it’ll be exceedingly rare, too, coming in a short-run edition of just 25. Does it make a difference? We can tell you that it certainly does, having had the opportunity to test a 2023 R8 V10 plus under some interesting circumstances – on the track in the dead of night.

The 2023 R8 V10 plus exclusive edition will come to the United States through the company’s Audi exclusive program, effectively the automaker’s bespoke arm which customizes production cars for well-heeled clientele. In this particular case, it’s finished in Quantum Gray with the Titanium Black-optic exterior package, and rolls with a Carbon sideblade with Solar Orange stripe. The tires have a 20-inch 10-spoke-Y design in high-gloss anthracite, and the steering wheel has its own Signal Orange 12 o’clock marker.

It’s not the only interior change. Audi exclusive finishes the full leather seating in Black/Signal Orange, while the door sills are also trimmed in leather, not to mention illuminated with custom “one of 25” logos in carbon matte. The luggage compartment is trimmed in Alcantara, as are the rear panel and rear shelf. There’s even an Alcantara headliner, with diamond-stitching.

The 25 drivers are cosseted in fixed-backrest racing shell seats. On the outside, as well as Audi carbon ceramic brakes, there’s a carbon fiber rear diffuser and front lip spoiler. The exterior mirror housings and fixed rear wing spoiler match too. But what we’re most interested in, of course, is the lights.

The standard LED lights you’d find on a regular R8 are still present, but now they’re combined with a supplementary laser system which kicks in at speeds above 40 mph. Each headlight gets with one laser module consisting of four laser diodes: all four diodes run together, blasting out a blue laser beam with a wavelength of 450 nanometers. That blue laser is converted by a phosphor converter, turning it into a “very bright and pure white light.”

SlashGear also had the opportunity be one of the first to test-drive the 2023 R8 back in July of last year. Even without the addition of lasers it’s an impressive beast, with Audi claiming a 3.2 second 0-62 mph run courtesy of the coupe’s 610 HP. Audi quattro all-wheel drive helps keep it on the road, with dynamic suspension and – exclusive to the V10 plus – a special Performance mode.

If you’re tempted by the laser upgrade, R8 V10 plus exclusive kicks off at $229,200 excluding destination and other charges. No word on when Audi might bring laser headlamp technology to other cars in its line-up at this point.

Giiker Super Cube Review – Mastering The Cube

While a huge hobby in the 1980s, the Rubik’s Cube was also frustrating to many. Not everyone was such a smarty that they could solve the puzzle. But thanks to the GiiKER Super Cube, everyone can be a smarty. This review takes a look at how easy the Super Cube makes it to finally solve your favorite 80s fad on your own.

Unboxing

Even the boxing of the GiiKER Super Cube seems less intimidating than the original 80s puzzle. It has legs and “headphones.” Once you unbox it, it gets even cuter, as the “headphones” are actually the charger.

There’s not that much there in the box, but you really don’t need anything more than the Super Cube, a charging cord, some basic instructions, and a mobile device to finally solve the Rubik’s Cube, or in this case, the Super Cube.

Getting Started

Even though the Super Cube makes it super-easy to solve this puzzle, you still need to make it through a tutorial, but first you need to download the app, which is available in both iOS and Android.

After opening the app, you need to go through a very easy pairing process via Bluetooth. Just choose your cube and pair. There really isn’t any more to it. This brings you to the home page. You’ll want to complete the tutorial before doing anything else.

There are several different sections of the tutorial, but they all feed off each other, so you’ll want to go through each of them and in order. But don’t worry – it’s fun to work your way through it. Start with “Cube Basics,” and you’ll do fine.

The tutorial refers to each “square” as a “sticker,” which is kind of amusing, because unlike an official Rubik’s Cube, the colors here aren’t really stickers and are painted on, so don’t think you can just change the stickers on this one!

One of the basics is not just that the center stickers don’t move but also that you have to watch which colors are in the key positions facing you, as you have to match the picture to coordinate with the app.

Along with that, you’ll also learn about edge stickers, corner stickers, and the names for the different levels, as this helps you through the tutorial.

At the end of your “Cube Basics” lesson, you’ll be taken through a test of what you’ve learned. This includes a period of it showing you several center stickers it wants you to move.

After you have completed the basics, there are more sections to go through that show you how to solve a certain design, but what it’s actually doing is showing how to move a certain element to your desired location.

Games

Back on the home screen, there is an option for “Games.” There is a standard type of game you’d find on a mobile phone with a “game board” to move through, but it has no instructions. I couldn’t figure out how to play, and there was no evident connection to the Cube, thought I am sure there is one.

The other games are more directly connected to the Super Cube. There is a game for just following the moves on your device, a memory game, matching game, etc.

Back on the home screen, there is also a “Battle” option, where you can battle other Super Cube players. The app directs you both so that you’re both starting with the cube scrambled the same way. After that, it’s simply a battle for solving the fastest.

If you don’t want to play a game and just want to try your hand at solving the Super Cube, you can do that, too. On the lower left of the home screen, there’s a rocket ship icon. Tap that, scramble your cube, and the app will show you the moves to solve it while it times you.

The icon in the middle has different patterns that it shows you how to solve. The icon on the right times you while you solve the Super Cube but does not offer any guidance – you’re on your own!

Final Thoughts

I tested the GiiKER Super Cube at an experienced level and a novice level. My son spent his high school years perfecting his method for solving the Rubik’s Cube. After he made his way through the Super Cube tutorial, he solved it in 48 seconds, but I thought this was because he was an expert

He handed it to me, and I didn’t even glance at the tutorial but still solved it in 62 seconds – with the app’s help! I couldn’t do it without that. After I made my way through the tutorial as well, I solved it in 54 seconds.

Without the app, I still wouldn’t be ale to solve it, but given time with the tutorial and some guidance I’d be able to pick up more skills. I was already able to predict some solving moves toward the end.

You can buy your own GiiKER Super Cube for just $49.99.

Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site’s sponsored review program.

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2024 Audi Rs 5 Sportback First Drive: Practically Perfect

In the 2023 RS 5’s case, that starts with the engine. Under the sharply-creased hood there’s a 2.9-liter TFSI biturbo V6, producing 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. In today’s world of huge automaker conglomerates you can sometimes end up wondering just who was responsible for your engine, but Audi is taking full credit for the V6. Porsche, if you’re wondering, handles V8 duties.

The twin-turbocharged V6 is equipped with FSI-fuel direct injection, variable camshaft timing, Audi valve lift system on the inlet camshaft, and chain-driven camshafts for better reliability. The biturbo system nestles between the V of the cylinders, for faster spooling times and much less turbo lag. Maximum torque arrives from as low as 1,900 rpm.

Having invited us to Germany to drive the new RS 5, Audi insisted it didn’t want this first drive program to be just a few sprints up and down the Autobahn. All the same, it would’ve been rude not to test the new car’s legs on the infamous derestricted highways. Cue some face-melting acceleration as the RS 5 blasted its way toward its 174 mph top speed (a number unlocked as part of the Dynamic Plus Package; usually Audi cuts things off at 155 mph).

I fell 5 mph short of the limiter, upshifting on autopilot into the Audi’s eighth gear – effectively its overdrive gear, for more leisurely cruising – while focusing as far into the distance as I could to spot cars potentially sidling over into the fast lane. Sure enough, I got a chance to test the brakes when the rear bumper of a much slower vehicle appeared in front of me.

The Dynamic Plus Package also adds Dynamic Steering, with variable assistance and ratios. Set it to Comfort, for instance, and the RS 5 makes its tiller easier to turn. Similarly, in Auto mode the car will adjust how much steering input and force are required, depending on your driving style. In Dynamic mode, meanwhile, the steering ratio is fixed to make it more predictable.

Audi opted for an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, rather than a dual-clutch version, given the demand that the RS 5 Sportback be both a performance car and a comfortable grand tourer. Quattro all-wheel drive is standard, with a 40:60 front to rear torque split by default. As much as 85 percent of torque, or as little as 30 percent, can be routed directly to the front axle. Audi’s sport rear differential is included in the Dynamic Plus Package, too, funneling power left to right depending on which wheels have most traction.

That’s not something you really want to test on the Autobahn, mind, and so Audi somehow managed to convince the folks at Audi Sport to close down the experience center, giving us the entire playground to ourselves. Home for all things Audi Sport, it’s where the performance group does its track testing, and where lucky buyers can choose to take delivery of their new steeds.

It proved a good time to compare the two. On paper, the RS 5 Coupe gets the same horsepower and torque, but its 88 pound lower curb weight than the Sportback doesn’t hurt. In short, you could make a good argument that the two door – with its 444 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque – is the model to have.

I’m not so sure, though. Even with its automatic transmission, the RS 5 Sportback still does 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds. That may be 0.1 seconds slower than the Coupe, but it’s still faster than the BMW 640i. Then, when you take into account the practicality of the hatchback trunk and the rear doors, there’s a whole lot to be said for the RS 5 Sportback when you’re considering more than just raw speed.

Super Easy Diy Stair Handrail Made From Copper Pipe

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A copper pipe handrail makes a huge statement for your staircase. This gorgeous handrail is so easy to make, but it looks so expensive and custom!

If you like this, you might also like my DIY pipe shelves.

One of the biggest eyesores in my old staircase was the handrail. I don’t know why they bug me so much, but handrails are usually so ugly. So my choices were to paint it so that it disappears, spend a lot of money on a new one or invent a less expensive one!

Naturally, I chose to invent one. After a bit of brainstorming, I decided to use copper pipes. I’m always fascinated by the copper pipe section at the hardware store, so it was an easy choice. Today, I’m sharing how I made a DIY stair handrail from copper pipe.

After using it for about a week so far, I am loving it. Copper feels so nice to touch and that tiny little detail makes me happy every day.

Disclaimer: Please check your local code before completing this DIY. Our code states that the handrail must be “graspable” and 1 1/2″ from the wall, which this meets. 

How to Build an Easy DIY Stair Handrail from Copper Pipe Supplies Needed

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

*Try to buy rail supports with very smooth insides. Ours were a bit rough, so we had to use a dremel to smooth them out. The 1″ pipe fits even though it says 3/4″, but just barely. The next size up was 1 1/4″ which was ridiculously oversized in person. The pipes look great with the rail supports that fit perfectly. Plus they’re super secure, so it’s worth grinding down any ridges to make them fit. It only took a few minutes.

**Unless you have a crazy large car, you most likely can’t fit the 10′ pipe in your car. I ended up buying 2 shorter pieces for my handrail span: a 5′ and a 2′ piece.

DIY Handrail Tutorial: Prep Work

Clean everything. The pipes will have stickers on them that need to be removed. I used a bit of cooking oil to remove the residue and then washed it off with soap. Remove the ink from the pipe with nail polish remover on a paper towel. This also removes the last bit of residue from the pipe. If your pipes are tarnished, ketchup will make them shiny again. Just wash it off when you’re done.

Shiny or patina? Decide if you want your pipes to develop a patina. I love copper patina, so I left my pipes as they were. If you want your pipes to stay shiny, spray them with clear spray paint.

Cut pipe to length. If you bought a super long pipe, cut it to size now. Wait to cut them if you bought smaller portions to join together.

Spray paint the rail supports. These only came in galvanized metal, so I had to make them match. A few light coats of spray paint and they were good. The spray paint that I linked to is such a pretty color. I want to use it one everything!

Installing the DIY Copper Handrail

Find your studs on your walls. Since we had removed our old handrails, we knew exactly where they were. Or you can use anchors. Just be sure to use really strong ones.

Decide how high you want your handrail. The standard height is anywhere between 30″-36″. Our old one was in the lower range, so I raised the handrail to 36″ to match the height of the stair railing.

Smooth the inside of the rail support. Use a grinding stone and dremel to smooth out the inside of the rail support if needed. Make sure that the allen screw part is unscrewed so that it’s not visible from the inside!

Put the pipe in the first rail support. Use an allen wrench to tighten it. We left enough space to put the cap on the end of the pipe.

Get the pipe in place. Align the rail support and pipe onto the wall, using a laser level if necessary. The rail support needs to sit on the studs. Extra hands are very useful in this step!

Attach the rail support to the wall. Screw the rail support into the wall, being sure to hit the stud.

Place the next rail support on the pipe and move it to where the stud is. Attach it to the wall.

Determine the length of the next piece of pipe. Measure the remaining space to cover and cut the pipe with a hacksaw. Be sure to sand the edges down so that the cap will fit. We used the dremel to make it faster.

Join the 2nd piece of pipe. The 2nd piece of pipe was joined with a coupler, which just slides onto the pipe. You can glue them in place, but ours fit very solidly without glue.

Attach the last bracket and screw it into the stud.

Place caps on the end. 

Admire your work. 

We were able to complete this project (minus the spray painting) in about an hour. Making our own DIY stair handrail out of copper pipe is one of my favorite details of my staircase makeover.

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Emy is a vintage obsessed mama of 2 DIYer who loves sharing affordable solutions for common home problems. You don’t need a giant budget to create a lovely home. Read more…

Meet Canon’s New And Highly Anticipated Eos R8 Mirrorless Camera

Canon has revealed the new compact camera as a full-frame mirrorless model that’s designed for amateur photographers and videographers but also has plenty of specs that any professional could enjoy.

Just as previous rumors about this camera model had claimed, it comes with a 24MP sensor and AI-driven subject recognition technology. The EOS R8 also features Dual Pixel AF and the same DIGIC X processor as Canon’s existing R6 Mark II model.

Other features taken from the R6 Mark II include a native ISO of 100-102,400 and the ability to engage its autofocus in just 0.3 seconds thanks to its already-mentioned Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology.

In addition to these subjects, however, the AF also has tracking modes for horses, aircraft and trains among others. What’s more, Canon claims that the AF works well right down to -6.5EV.

The R8 basically sits between Canons EOS RP and the recently-announced Canon R6 Mark II on features, form and specs.

In terms of its shooting abilities, the EOS R8 is quite robust. It can handle 40fps burst shooting through its electronic shutter while being able to handle a modest but decent 6fps continuous shooting rate. It also delivers 4K video at 60fps.

Interestingly, this particular camera model lacks a mechanical shutter and is instead fully electronic.

Canon decided not to give the R8 in-body image stabilization, so for photographers who run out to buy one and really want this feature, an image-stabilized lens would be a good idea. Luckily, the kit edition of this camera includes Canon’s RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens, which does have image stabilization.

Other solid specs inside the R8 include focus stacking and the ability to automatically create HDR stacking if the camera is operated with automatic A+ creative mode and subject detection active.

This A+ creative mode in the R8 is a new automated shooting feature that can be turned on by turning the mode dial on the camera to its A+ setting.

Controlling the R8 camera in general is also convenient through its flip-out touch-controllable LCD screen. This is decently sized at 3 inches and has a 1.62-million-dot resolution. Users can select AF points, activate touch AF, Touch Shutter, Menu Selection, Quick Control and Magnification along with other features through this screen.

The camera’s EVF is also improved from those of previous lower-priced Canon mirrorless models. It has a 120fps refresh rate and an Optical Viewfinder Assist mode that’s supposed to simulate the feel and look of a viewfinder in an older DSLR camera model.

As a hybrid mirrorless camera, the EOS R8 is geared toward both photographers and vloggers.

 It comes with plenty of video recording specs that include 4K UHD oversampled from 6K in C-Log3 at 60p for up to 30 minutes, uncropped 4K at 30p, and Full HD video for up to two hours at 30fps. It can also shoot Full HD at up to 180fps for slow-motion video.

Other extra features for video production in the R8 include 10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 HEVC recording, vertical video metadata, movie self-timer mode and audio noise reduction features.

Despite essentially being a slightly reduced R6 Mark II at heart, the new EOS R8 is powerful enough to handle superb shooting even in the hands of users used to more robust cameras. It’s also neatly compact with a weight of just over one pound (461 grams) and dimensions of 5.22 x 3.39 x 2.76 inches (13.25 x 8.61 x 7 centimeters)

Canon is shipping the EOS R8 full-frame mirrorless camera as of April for $1,500 for the body alone and $1,699 as a kit camera with Canon’s interesting new RF 24-50mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lens included. Both are no available for preorder.

 It’s worth noting that this lens model also lacks image stabilization, so if you want that feature, you’ll have to spend extra on a non-kit lens.

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