Outsider view: Audi v Porsche

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In extending their R8 series, Audi have launched a full frontal attack on Volkswagen AG sister company Porsche. First it was the eight-cylinder R8 taking on the 911, and then it was the more powerful V10 version tackling the Porsche Turbo. With the arrival of the Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro, even the open-top 911s must now fear for their market share. The confrontation could be described as a clash of the modern with the traditional. Even in terms of everyday practicality, the R8 can compete with the 911. However, Porsche may be poised for a counter-strike, because there has been much talk recently of Porsche branching out into smaller and more affordable entry models. So the fight goes on into the next round and there is plenty more excitement to come, though at the end of the day, it seems unlikely that either of them will land a knockout punch.