By now, it’s no secret to any car enthusiast that the first-gen Audi R8 and Lamborghini Gallardo are based on the same chassis and use the same engine. However, back when both cars were new the idea of an Audi sharing a chassis with a Lamborghini seemed a bit insane. Even more insane would be to think the the Audi R8 could actually be better than the Lamborghini Gallardo. But could it be true?
In this new video from Jay Emm, we take a look at the first-gen Audi R8 with a V10 engine and manual transmission and whether or not it was more fun than the Gallardo.
Back when Audi first launched the 5.2 liter V10 engine in the R8, it was shocking. Audi was, and still mostly is, a sensible brand that makes sensible sedans and wagons. It wasn’t a brand that made mid-engine supercars with naturally-aspirated V10s. However, despite being inexperienced in that endeavor, Audi actually nailed it and the R8 V10 was brilliant to drive.
But could it possibly be better than the exotic, Italian Lamborghini Gallardo? According to JayEmm… yes. It is better.
The engine in the two cars is largely the same, with the Audi R8 version pumping out about 525 horsepower. Both cars were offered with a manual transmission but the Audi R8 kept its manual for longer and that’s the car in this video — an R8 V10 with a manual.
That combination makes for a superb driver’s car. Not only is it fast but it makes an incredible noise and the gearshift is excellent, thanks to its open-gate throw. But its interior is also nice, all of its ergonomics are better than the Lamborghinis, its build quality is better and it’s going to be more reliable. So it’s the more usable of the two, while still being incredible to drive. Oh and it’s also a helluva lot cheaper.
So while the Lamborghini Gallardo is a lovely thing, the Audi R8 is just a bit better of a car to own and live with.