VIDEO: Mat Watson Checks Out the First-Gen Audi R8 V8

Back in 2007, when the original Audi R8 first launched, it was an instant hit. It combined an incredible mid-engine design with a free-revving V8 and a lovely gated six-speed manual. Soon after its initial launch, Audi released a V10 version of the R8 and, afterward, everyone seemed to forget about the lowly V8. But what’s it like now, nearly fourteen years later?


In his latest video, Mat Watson (separate from his Carwow channel) drives the Audi R8 V8 to see how it holds up after all these years.


Apparently, it holds up well. It still looks great, the original R8. In fact, it’s probably better looking than any modern version of the R8 and is one of the best looking cars Audi’s ever made. It’s a genuine stunner.


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The interior is nice but it’s seriously dated now. The design is very mid-00s and the tech seems ancient today. Still, it’s a nice place to be and the materials have held up well. Although, the seats do wear a bit over time and there really isn’t much practicality to speak of.


However, none of that matters when you drive it. The engine, a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 with 420 horsepower, is lovely and wonderful to use. Its six-speed manual gearbox features an open-gate design that is worth getting the car for by itself. Surprisingly it actually has good steering feel. Back in its day, the Audi R8 was thought to have lackluster steering, compared to the equivalent Porsche 911 of its time, but driving it today reveals steering that’s much better than any modern sports car or supercar.


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Of course, there are some things to look out for if you want to buy one. The engine can be a bit problematic, with bottom-end issues and potential timing chain problems. Also, its clutch can cost a fortune to replace, so make sure it’s in good shape when you buy it.


If you get a good one, though, you’ll have a wonderful car that will provide tons of joy over many, many miles.


CategoriesR8 Video
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.