VIDEO: How does a first-gen Audi R8 V8 take on a new Audi TTS?

As a car enthusiast, it’s hard to not love the original, first-gen Audi R8 V8. Not only was it the brand’s first mid-engine supercar but it had a beautifully high-revving, naturally-aspirated V8 and the option for a gated, and lovely, six-speed manual. Oh, and there was a famous fella who drove one. Tony Stork, maybe? Anyway, despite being fantastic to look at and drive, the Audi R8 V8 doesn’t really have supercar performance anymore. As evidenced by this new video from Carwow.

In this new video, the first-gen Audi R8 V8 takes on a brand-new Audi TTS Roadster, the latter with Carwow’s Mat Watson behind the wheel. In a standing drag race, the R8 jumps the TTS off the line but the little roadster comes back to actually take the lead halfway through the race and it continues gaining on the R8 all the way through the finish line. So in the standing quarter-mile, the Audi TTS Roadster is faster.

While rolling, though, things change a bit. So in the rolling drag race, with the TTS in manual mode, the R8 actually takes the lead and wins quite easily, which is interesting. The R8 then also wins its 60-0 mph braking test.

So the Audi R8 won two of the three tests, which is good. Except for the fact that the R8 is a supercar and the TTS is barely a sports car. Both cost about the same now, as used R8s are surprisingly cheap at the moment, but the R8 was about double the cost of the TTS when new.

Dynamic photo,
Colour: Vegas yellow

Also, the Audi R8 has a 4.2 liter V8 with 420 hp while the Audi TTS has a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 310 hp. They both weigh the same, so the R8 should have lunched the little TTS in every test. However, the modern Audi’s turbocharged engine provides a ton of low-down torque and its seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is far snappier at shifts than the R8’s six-speed manual.

So while we love the first-gen R8, and would still buy one over a new TTS without blinking, it’s just not supercar-fast anymore. We live in an era where far more humble sports cars make more than 420 hp and can nail 60 mph in less than four seconds. Doesn’t matter, though, I’d still buy Tony Stork’s R8 in a heartbeat.

CategoriesR8 TTS
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.