When the Audi R8 was new, it was a revolutionary car. Not only was it a mid-engine supercar from a brand known for making sensible sedans and wagons but it was great to drive. Audi had always made good cars but, as driver’s cars, Audis had never been as special or as engaging as anything from Porsche. However, in 2008, when the Audi R8 entered its first EVO Magazine comparison test, it took down its familial rival from Stuttgart.
The four competitors in the test were the Audi R8, Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, and BMW M6. Shockingly, the Audi beat the entire bunch, taking first place in a test that no one thought it could win. An Audi beating a Porsche and not just any Porsche but a 911? Madness.
Yet, after the story was written, the EVO Mag team stood bewildered by the final result, unable to believe that a brand-new Audi, something that the brand had never made up until that point, could take down the 911. But its combination of fantastic on-road performance, along with a track time faster than a 911 GT3 around Bedford Autodrome’s West Circuit, and stunning looks made it the clear winner. Here’s what was said about it in the original comparison.
“[driving the R8 is] like being given a glass of sparkling Perrier after years of drinking ditch water”
There’s a reason why the first-gen Audi R8 is so revered — it was excellent. More than that, it was an important moment for the brand, proving that it could hang with the best in the industry and even take them down. While the second-gen R8 is fantastic, it’s not as special, nor as important, as the first-generation and it won’t be as highly sought after in the future. Dammit, now I have to go and check Audi R8 classifieds.