In 2017 we created a supercar sharing platform pooling together 8 cars and launching a guided tour experience service as well as a subscription membership whereby members could access and drive the cars as their own. We call the car owners “partners” - they are the life blood of our business model. Similar to Airbnb or Uber, our shared economy would not function without those willing to share. Recently, we identified a new potential partner, Gento, and took him to test drive 2 cars. The goal was that he would buy a new car and put it on our platform as a new partner!
Gento set the standards very high from the get-go with 4 different criteria for choosing his new car:
fun to drive.
enough trunk space as he is a regular on the golf course.
something that the ladies would like?!
something that would be rentable on our car share platform.
Gento took two supercars to test drive (courtesy of Elusive Autos) - an Audi R8 LMX and a Jaguar XKR-S GT. Both of these cars are the top level incarnations of their standard models. Only 99 R8 LMXs were produced, while the XKR-S GT only 45, with this one being the only black car out of the factory.
The Jaguar XKRS-GT is perhaps the more hardcore of the two.. With a supercharged V8 engine producing 550 horsepower, it is really a car designed for the track. It is equipped with a full racing bucket seat and a full roll cage - yes that means no rear seats.
The Audi R8 LMX is the final version of the first-generation R8 and easily the more desirable one to drive on a day-to-day basis. The LMX is powered by a 570 horsepower, naturally-aspirated V10. With an all-wheel drive system, the R8 manages its power far better than the Jag. The interior is much more hospitable - full black leather with blue stitching to match the exterior.
We met Gento at Elusive Autos near Naka-Meguro. We set off into the Friday afternoon Tokyo traffic (tip: never do a supercar drive on a Friday) with Gento trying the Audi R8 first. It took him about 15 minutes to get used to the left-hand steering (and a few angry horns from others), but he thoroughly enjoyed how easy the R8 was to drive. Once we reached Tatsumi Parking Area, an infamous supercar meet-up spot, Gento swapped into the Jag and drove back to Naka-Meguro.
The verdict? He enjoyed the Audi R8 far better than the Jaguar as it was much easier to drive with better visibility and more comforts. While some people prefer the growls of a supercharged V8, Gento enjoyed the V10 sounds of the R8 better.
Will Gento buy an Audi R8? Most likely not. He is actually looking into an SUV option, with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio topping his wishlist. The Stelvio held the title of the fastest SUV for a little while which definitely makes it fun. It also has plenty of room for more than one golf-bag. As for whether girls like it, we do not have a definitive answer on that. Yet.
Check out our full vlog from this day at the following link and the short video also. Hoping to announce him and his new car on the platform soon.