The Audi R8 Blackbird has been hovering around the autoblogosphere for a few months now. It’s a damn impressive supercar built for a specific purpose: Cross Country Speed. Every single gadget and whizbang in and on this vehicle is there to help it stay on the road at high speed and avoid getting pulled over (and all the bits and pieces are put together beautifully, it’s a real work of art). Plus, on top of it’s inventory of extreme gadgetry, the guy giving the video tour is the winner of the Spirit of Gumball trophy and holder of the transcontinental driving speed record, Alex Roy – so you know the company it’s owner keeps. Roy made it across the United States in 31 hours, 4 minutes in his highly modified BMW M5. But according to the video, the owner of the car isn’t Roy, but some mystery man. In fact, there’s a air of mystery about the whole video.
Let’s clear up some of that mystery. There is a strong subculture of transcontinental speed freaks who participate in various rallies and races like the Bullrun, Gumball, and Fireball Run. The people who participate in these races usually form teams so they can scout out the road ahead and coordinate to really do it right. Alex Roy, for instance, runs with his team: Team Polizei. The R8 Blackbird, on the other hand, runs with Team Angry, and it’s already participated in the Bullrun 2008. As for the mystery man who owns the car, according to various sources, that’s Andre Betz. The part I’m still curious about, though, is the creepy box on the front of the R8 Blackbird: The Liquid Cooled Infrasonic Wave Pulse Generator. Nobody knows much about it, but I do have some theories. Check them out, along with a few pictures and a complete list of the car’s inventory:
The Audi R8 Blackbird is an amazing car, built for a singular purpose and with a fanatical single-mindedness. The car is made and modified to go very fast and to avoid police. From what I understand it was purpose built for the 2008 Bullrun. And judging from it’s hardcore nature, I’d say that it might be the one that sets the next transcontinental speed record… if it hasn’t already. Yeah, it’s entirely possible that Andre Betz may have already broken the record with this car and is just waiting a year until the statute of limitations is up on the traffic violations. Could be, it’s possible.
Uniden BCD-396T Trunk Tracker Scanner
Uniden BCD-996T GPS Scanner
Cobra 75 WX-ST CB Radio
GRadio 5watt VHF Radios with Iasus NT-3 Evolution Throat Mics
WAAV AirBox X2 EVDO Rev A Dual Cellular Broadband Router with WIFI
Escort 9500ci Radar Detector with AI Design Custom Mirror Mounted Display
Valentine V1 with POP Detection
Escort Laser Shifters Front and Rear
(2) Garmin Nuvi 760 Units with FM traffic
(2) Hirshmann GPS 918 5V Flex Cellular GPS antennas
Antennex 4 Foot CB antenna
Antennex 2 Foot Tuned Scanner antenna
(2) Safecraft PC2 2.5 lb Dry Fire Extinguishers with Billet Quick Release Mounts
Whelen HHS2100 PA System with 100watt Amplifier and Loudspeaker
Gloss Black Powder-coated SDS 20-inch Forged Wheels
Flat Black Ceramic Coated Brake Hats and Rotors
Flat Black Ceramic Coated Exhaust Tips
Capristo Sports Exhaust with Computer Controlled Valves
Custom AI Design Roof Console
(2) Dension ICE iPhone stations
Touchscreen Tablet PC Running Google Earth/Delorme Road Atlas/Google Maps/Njection/Trapster
And of course, the Proprietary Liquid Cooled INFRA-SONIC Field Wave Generator
So What Exactly Does An Infrasonic Field Wave Pulse Generator Do?
Infrasound is simply sound with a frequency too low to be heard by humans. The lowest frequency a human can hear is 20 hertz, so anything below that is infrasound. That means the box on the front of the Blackbird is basically just a subwoofer, capable of generating ultra-low, ultra-powerful sound. Still, there are a ton of hypothesis and random guesses as to what that infrasound actually does for the car, so I’ll run down each of the major ones and then give my opinion. But first, here’s some extra info about “the device” gleaned from various forums:
-It’s fed by a 7000 watt peak modified sinewave inverter. I don’t really know what that means, other than it’s a huge amount of wattage.
-Some info on the liquid-cooled part: the coolant lines are pressure tested up to 60 PSI at 300 degrees F. The maximum operating temperature on “the device” is 190 degrees. That seems pretty hot for some clear tubes; so that tells me they’re high-tech. But maybe I’m wrong; that’s what the comments are for.
-According to the owner of the car, “the device” is never operated while the vehicle is stationary or when people are in front of it. He also said the unit isn’t available to the public, but it isn’t military technology and therefore doesn’t fall under any military classification…“yet”. Notice the all important “yet”.
Possibility #1 – Super-Powered Deer Whistle
Some people think the Blackbird can turn on the device when it hits a dark, wooded area and the powerful infrasound wave will keep deer and other critters from running in front of the car. That way they can travel on woodland roads at high speeds without worry. For this to be true, the 7000 watt device would need to be on constantly for long periods of time. But judging from the high level of power it consumes, I think this thing probably operates in bursts. So I say unlikely to this one.
Possibility #2 – Some Type of NightVision
Some forum folks say that the infrasound acts like sonar and can give the driver an image of the road ahead when all the lights are off. But there are already a fair number of very efficient and powerful types of night vision on the market, and none of them use 7000 watts or require liquid-cooling. Again, I think this one is unlikely.
Possibility #3 – Laser/Radar Jammer
It could be the mystery box is a high tech super jammer that works by cloaking the car in a field of infrasound. However, jammers already exist, they’re fairly small, and don’t need to be cooled. In fact, the Blackbird openly admits it has various types of jammers in the front and rear of the car already, check the inventory. Another unlikely possibility, in my opinion.
Possibility #4 – Creepy Military Grade Acoustic Weapon
Interestingly, infrasound has been known to cause feelings fear and anxiety in humans, along with physical symptoms like nausea. When someone slow is in front of the Blackbird, and they want them to pull over, could it be that they just blast the Infrasonic generator, get on the PA system and tell the guy to get out of the way? Like I said before, judging from the setup of the device, it seems like its built to be activated in short bursts instead of turned on and left on. Out of the 4 hypothesis listed here (and there are undoubtedly many more), this one seems the most plausible to me.
That’s all I’ve got. Any other theories are welcome. Let’s hear what you think, Ridelusters.