We’re on the verge of the upcoming second-gem Audi R8 hitting the roads. It seems to be an excellent car, from the early drive reviews that are surfacing lately. When it hits our streets, the world will surely get excited as the R8 is the pinnacle of Audi performance and one of the best supercars on the market. So let’s take a look at one of the first reviews of the first Audi R8, from Top Gear, as its pitted against its main rival, the Porsche 911.
The Porsche 911 will surely be the upcoming Audi R8’s main competitor when it finally debuts. The Porsche 911 is getting a refresh this year and will be coming with smaller displacement turbocharged engines to combat the Audi R8’s naturally aspirated V10, though a turbocharged V6 may be making its way to Audi’s supercar later on. But this isn’t a dissimilar situation from when the original Audi R8 debuted. It’s main competitor at the time, the Porsche Carrera 2S, was all newly refreshed. It also had a much smaller displacement engine, yet was similarly fast, though the 996 Porsche 911 2S wasn’t turbocharged like the new ones will be.
Though the original Audi R8 shown in the video had something that this new one will not, a manual gearbox. That’s something that will be deeply missed, as the open-gate manual on the original R8 was a thing of joy. You can see that in the video, as Clarkson happily rows the chunky gear lever through the metal gates with a satisfying ‘clunk’ of each gear change. A mid-mounted V10 mated to an open-gate 6-speed is something that will be highly sought after by enthusiasts for years to come. Luckily, the new S-Tronic 7-speed unit in the upcoming Audi R8 is quite fantastic, so at least performance will be staggering.
Regardless of gearbox or induction types, the point is that the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 started out as rivals for the R8’s first generation and will be rivals for the second generation as well. This video is a perfect demonstration of the rivalry that is the R8 and 911. It also has Clarkson spouting hyperbole about the R8 and shows what a V10 mated to a manual can be like. So check out this old Top Gear video, reminisce about the Clarkson-run Top Gear and look at how awesome the first-gem Audi R8 is so you can get even more excited about the upcoming version.