There are few things in life greater than driving an open-top supercar with a naturally-aspirated engine and a manual gearbox. Though, such experiences can be difficult to come by, as supercars are expensive, especially convertible/manual ones. Which is why this video from AutoTopNL is great, as it brings that experience as close to you as is absolutely possible through the internet. In this new video, you get to virtually sit in the driver’s seat of an Audi R8 V8 Spyder with a manual transmission and it’s glorious.
For starters, it’s great to see a first-gen Audi R8 V8 Spyder. It’s just such a pretty car and has only gotten better with age. Especially in this vibrant orange. The interior also looks great and has more character than the current, second-gen car’s.
But the real reason you watch this video is to see what it’s like to drive a drop-top R8 with a manual transmission from the driver’s seat. The first-gen R8’s manual transmission is a six-speed, open-gate unit that makes a lovely, chunky metallic sound with every shift. And because the 4.2 liter V8 revs so quickly, you have to shift often, which is a very, very good thing.
That 4.2 liter V8 only makes around 420 horsepower, which isn’t great by today’s standards, but it’s more than enough and, honestly, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is its noise, though, which sounds fantastic as it revs to its stratospheric 8,250 rpm redline. No, it isn’t as sonorous as the 5.2 liter V10 from the same generation R8 but no one’s going to scoff at the V8.
It sounds absolutely fantastic and the dance of throttle, clutch, shift, and back on the throttle looks intoxicating. It’s more than fast enough, and has enough punch to spin the tires from a launch, and the experience just seems so immersive. Add in the fact that you can drop the top, or just the rear window in case the weather is poor, and hear that engine even better is icing on the cake.