WATCH | Is the 'old' Audi R8 manual better than the latest V10 model?

Image: Youtube
Image: Youtube

I was eighteen years old when the first-generation Audi R8 burst onto the scene in 2006. First previewed in the film I, Robot, the R8 broke new ground for Ingolstadt.

Dare I say the first exciting sports car from Audi since the Ur Quattro? The ingredients seemed perfect: a dry-sumped version of the high-revving naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 engine from the RS4 that delivers over 300kW mated to an H-gate six-speed manual gearbox. 

Like all fast Audis, the R8 employed four-wheel drive. With the longitudinal mid-engined setup, the R8 found itself in the firing line of many rivals who were produced by bespoke sports car makers like Porsche (pre-Cayenne). 

Six-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Jacky Ickx described the R8 as the best handling car when it was launched. A V-10 powered model followed soon after. 

The new Audi R8 isn't just a supercar, it's an occasion

The current R8 has been around since 2015 and dropped the manual gearbox and the V8 engine.

The only engine available in South Africa was the Lamborghini Huracan-shared 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 with 449kW/560Nm. 

Join veteran motoring journalist Henry Catchpole and former racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson as they drive both R8s back-to-back to see which car is better.

Is the R8 one of the best everyday supercars on sale, and which one would YOU have? Let us know via email.  

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