It’s hard to understate just how important the first-generation Audi R8 was to the brand, when it first debuted. As soon as Robert Downey Jr. drove one as Tony Stark in the first Iron Man film, the four-ringed brand has been considered one of the best makers of performance cars in the world. Since then, the R8 has evolved drastically and the new car is objectively better than the original in every single way. However, how do they compare when you actually put rubber to road, on track, rather than just on paper?
In this new video from Carfection, we get to see the all-new Audi R8 V10 Performance take on the original Audi R8 V8 with a manual gearbox.
The video starts off with Carfection’s Henry Catchpole driving the new R8 V10, while Fifth Gear’s Vicky Butler Henderson drives the original Audi R8. They then get in each car together and have a discussion about the merits of each, while also comparing their stats and attributes.
While in the original, they wax lyrical about its manual gearbox, with its wonderful metallic, open-gate shift, and its stunning good looks. The original Audi R8 is still one of the best looking supercars of the modern era and its driver engagement is far better than the new car.
However, the new Audi R8 V10 Performance has a few tricks up its sleeve as well. Its 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 is a masterpiece, with a screaming 8,250 rpm soundtrack and 610 hp. Though, its automatic gearbox and plastic paddle shifters do hinder the experience a bit.
In the end, both presenters would prefer to drive the original home, thanks to its superior driver engagement. However, as Catchpole notes as the video fades away, it’s shocking how much of the original car’s brilliant recipe is retained in the new car. It’s still an incredibly usable mid-engine sports car that delivers a killer soundtrack, fantastic performance and jaw-dropping good looks.