At the moment, used first-generation Audi R8s can be had for well under six-figures, which is quite remarkable when you think about what it is. While it’s not the high-performance monster that today’s R8 is, the first-gen car is still mid-engine, still packs a high-revving naturally-aspirated engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. It’s also still built on an aluminum space frame and features space-age looks. So, for the money, the first-gen Audi R8 V8 could be the best supercar bargain on the planet.
In this new video from Seen Through Glass, we get to take a look at what it’s like to drive a nicely-kept example. The Audi UK heritage fleet has a ton of excellent classics in very nice condition and the Audi R8 V8 in this video is no exception.
While many enthusiasts would prefer the V10 version (yours truly included), it’s hard to deny the charms of the 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8. For starters, it’s cheaper, so you can have one for a more reasonable price. However, it’s also lighter, makes a more muscular noise and it a bit simpler. The car in this video packs that same 420 horsepower V8 and, despite not being the exotic V10, is still fantastic.
More importantly than the engine choice is the transmission choice, however. In this video, the Audi R8 in question features a six-speed manual gearbox with an open-gate shift and it’s absolutely epic. The first-gen R8 is worth getting for its manual gearbox alone, as each gear change is punctuated by a metallic *clink* that makes each shift more visceral and engaging. Add that noise to the symphony of sound that comes from the engine behind the driver’s head and you get one of the most exciting driving experiences you can have.
All of that can be had for the price of a new Audi S6, which makes the first-gen Audi R8 the supercar bargain of the decade.