This first-gen Audi R8 4.2 manual could be your next sports car

Get the first-gen Audi R8 now while you still can. You’re hearing it from us. Right now, you can buy first-gen Audi R8s for reasonably affordable prices. They’re not cheap but not outrageous, either. They’re going to become outrageous, though. By 2021, it’s said that Audi will kill off the R8 entirely, as it just doesn’t make sense for the brand to make a high-cost, low-volume supercar when it needs to focus more on electro-mobility. If that happens, prices for both Audi R8 generations will go up considerably. Which makes this specific R8 a good idea.

The first-generation of Audi R8 was the car that showed people that Audi could hang with the likes of Porsche and Ferrari. Its worldwide debut in the first Iron Man film, as Tony Stark’s kick-ass ride, combined with its Harrier-Jet looks, immediately launched it into super stardom. It’s still considered one of the very best Audis ever made, even though a newer generation has replaced it.

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One of the reasons why it’s so beloved, and why you should seriously consider this specific R8, is because it had the option for a six-speed manual gearbox. The original engine for the R8, and the one seen here, was a 4.2 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that made 420 hp and revved past 8,000 rpm. It was a superb engine and, when paired with a six-speed manual, was even more glorious.

This 2008 Audi R8 4.2 does indeed sport a six-speed manual gearbox and only has 17,000 miles. So it’s still incredibly fresh. It’s also quite loaded, sporting sat-nav, a backup camera and even a Bang & Olufsen sound system. That might not sound that impressive today but a decade ago even a backup camera was an optional extra. It’s currently being offered for $73,995, which we think is a good enough price to buy. It’s not a great price but, to us at least, it’s worth a look.

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At that price point, there are a few brand-new sports cars you can buy. The BMW M4, Porsche Cayman, Corvette, Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe and even the Audi RS5 come to mind. However, none of those cars will offer you the thrills that a mid-engine, naturally-aspirated, high-revving Audi R8 V8 with an open-gate six-speed manual will.

2011 Audi R8 open-gate manual

Plus, prices are going to be going up soon. Manual Ferraris, even cars that weren’t traditionally worth all that much, are skyrocketing in value. With the decline of the manual transmission, the demand for them on the enthusiast market is going up and the first-gen Audi R8 had one of the best, most desirable manuals in recent memory. So snatch one up while you can. And at this price, we’d rather have the 10-year old R8 than anything on the new market.

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.