Audi R8 V8 (2007) review


What is?

Audi’s OG supercar. But is it a supercar? Here we go, let’s eliminate the existential debate from the start. The mk1 R8 has a big engine (a 4.2 liter V8), the engine lives in the middle of the car, well look at it. Low and medium. Check the boxes for supercars. And yet it’s pleasingly fast instead of where is my mom fast, it was just £77,000 when new and was intended for the Porsche 997 Carrera and the old Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Thus, its rivals were not supercars. That’s the genius of the R8: it’s a supercar experience, with sports car performance, wrapped in Audi sensibility. And the build quality. It’s fantastic.

So, a summary. The R8 mk1 is the production version of the 2003 Audi Le Mans concept. Google it later: it still looks like a dog. The R8 it spawned, named after Audi’s race car at Le Mans, borrowed the naturally aspirated 4.2-liter V8 from the B7-generation RS4, developing 414 hp and 317 lb-ft.

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Although there is an optional automated manual transmission with paddle shifters, we’ll focus on the standard six-speed manual here, since a) it was the least expensive standard equipment and b) the semi-automatic gears were hopeless and ruined the car with their painful shifting. slow and jerky. If someone tries to tell you that an R8 with R-tronic is good, you have permission from Autoto laugh them off in their bratty car.

Inside it has two seats, with a generous trunk under the hood despite the four-wheel drive system, of course it’s a quattro, which takes up space in the nose. However, the R8 delivered most of its power to the rear wheels, so it could be driven, well, unlike an Audi. Much of this knowledge was taken from the Lamborghini Gallardo, which preceded the R8 and was the product of Audi’s acquisition of the Italian supercar giants. Later the R8 would inherit the V10 engine from the Gallardo, albeit slightly detuned, but since the V8 is what we remember and is the smoothest, lightest and most balanced car, this is what we are going to focus on.

So is the R8 still running 12 years after it was released? Oh yes of course.

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Our choice of the range.

Audi R8 (2007) three-quarter front black
4.2 FSI Quattro 2-door

What’s the verdict?

Fabulous. Audi’s most tactile driver’s car of all time. Remember this is a sports car, not a real supercar.

It usually takes a heavy dose of Automath, a case of booze, and a misguided late-night eBay search to make buying a decade-old supercar seem like a good idea. This is not the case with the R8. It was good in 2007 and is still profitable. Comfortable, practical, reliable and, in addition, the market has not noticed. Maybe it’s the badge, maybe it’s the high mileage, maybe it’s the number of them arriving. But the idea that one of them could be yours for less than forty thousand dollars sure is tempting. With some big kicks in the “extended warranty” direction.

What makes it even more appealing is that the R8 itself could soon be sold in favor of an all-electric e-tron model that better serves as Audi’s technical flagship. When that happens, the R8 V8’s place as Audi’s greatest driver’s car of all time will be firmly entrenched in the fast car hall of fame.

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