Cars and Concepts

Billboard welcomes the new Audi supercar to town

Christina Rogers covers safety, regulation, and Volkswagen AG for Automotive News.

Talk about making a customer feel special. Audi of America erected a billboard to mark the purchase of a limited edition Audi R8 GT by one lucky Lake Forest, Ill., buyer.

The billboard displays the $200,150 supercar -- that price includes shipping and the gas guzzler tax -- along with the phrase: "Attention Lake Forest, IL. An Audi R8 GT has been sold in your town. Slow traffic keep right."

Audi put up the sign to welcome the rare R8 GT coupe to the neighborhood, and of course, alert unsuspecting drivers. This high-performance darling comes with a monster 5.2-liter V-10 engine delivering 398 pounds-feet of torque.

Audi Exchange in Highland Park, Ill., sold the featured car -- one of only 90 built by Audi for the United States -- but the carmaker put up the billboard, said Mario Rogic, the dealership's general manager.

The buyer should feel special -- not every Audi owner gets a billboard. Even so, it's not the only R8 GT in town.

Audi Exchange owner Ernie Semerski also owns an R8 GT coupe and lives in the neighborhood, making this northern Chicago suburb somewhat of an epicenter for R8 GTs.

Asked if Audi gave Semerski a billboard, too, Rogic replied: "I think they're going to have to share."