First-Gen Audi R8: A Future Classic

Audi is a great brand, one that uses world class technology to make some of the most advanced driving machines on the planet. However, Audi doesn’t have many “classics”. I say this because there aren’t too many Audis from decades ago that make people lust with desire for them. Sure, there were some cool cars in the ’90s, like the B5 2.7 liter bi-turbo S4 and the B6 RS4 Avant and the Audi Quattro will live on forever, but that’s about it.

Comparatively, BMW has at least two desirable M cars in every decade going back to the ’70s. And even before then, the BMW 2002tii is a car that collectors drool over. Mercedes-Benz is similar, with old AMGs and Costworth tuned cars going back ages. Mercedes has a car nicknamed The Hammer, Audi has no car with a nickname that cool. 

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However, Audi is a brand on the rise, a brand making cars that will be desired in years to come. The RS3 Sportback is one, as it mimics the original Quattro. But the real future classic is the first-gen Audi R8.

Audi R8
Audi R8

The original R8 hit the market like an atom bomb. The world exploded with rave reviews for Audis first mid-engine supercar. With looks like a Harrier Jet and an exhaust note that could wake the dead, the R8 was never short of praise. It also had something modern supercars no longer have — a manual gearbox. The 6-Speed open-gate manual in the first-gem R8 was a thing of joy. Sliding from gear to gear with a well-oiled mechanical ‘snick’, the R8’s shifter was something to cherish.

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Audi R8 GT
Audi R8 GT

When the V10 version of the Audi R8 debuted, it was equally as popular. However, the V8 is the one to get for future purposes, as the 4.2 liter V8 engine no longer exists in any Audi product being that the RS4 and RS5 are switching to twin-turbo V6s. Plus the V8 revs to 8,250 rpm and makes truly one of the best noises in all of automotive history. So combine the rare V8 with an even rarer open-gate manual transmission in a car that looks, drives and sounds as good as the R8 and you have future classic on your hands.

The time to buy is now, as they currently still sell for over six-figures. But they’re bound to inflate dramatically over the next few years. So if you have the means to invest in one of the best supercars of our modern generation, do it because it will be amazing to drive while you have it can make you a pretty penny later on down the road.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.