$250k Audi owner pistol-whipped, car stolen by 'test driver'

A Sydney man has spent the morning in recovery after a man he thought was a prospective buyer of his luxury supercar assaulted him before speeding off with his vehicle.

The owner of the 2014 Audi R8 - a car worth AU$230,000 (NZ$250,000) - listed the car on an online auction site and agreed to meet with a man at a petrol station in the north Sydney suburb of Balgowlah.

However, upon meeting, the would-be buyer pulled a gun out and struck the owner in the face with it before forcing him to exit the vehicle, jumping in the driver's seat himself and speeding off.

The owner was taken to Manly Hospital to receive treatment for a cut above his left eye, and after contacting police, they tracked the car thief and were led on a high-speed car chase through the Sydney Harbour tunnel.

The thief is believed to have struck a police car while fleeing, and successfully escaped when police abandoned the chase due to safety concerns.

Police are still on the lookout for the offender - who is described as a man in his 20s of Middle Eastern appearance - and the missing white Audi R8.