Is The New Audi R8 That Much Better Than The Original?

In 2006, the Audi R8 was launched to much fanfare and quickly established itself as one of the finest sports cars on the market.

Original models were based on the platform of the Lamborghini Gallardo but rather than featuring a V10 engine, initial models came outfitted with a naturally-aspirated 4.2-liter V8 engine from the RS4 delivering 414 hp (420 PS) and 317 lb-ft (430 Nm) of torque. The Gallardo’s 5.2-liter V10 engine was added to the R8 family a couple of years later but the V8 has a unique appeal all of its own.

To remind us of just how special the original Audi R8 was, Vicki Butler-Henderson and Henry Catchpole from Carfection jumped behind the wheel of one while comparing it to a 2019 Audi R8 V10 Performance.

Related: Audi Starts Delivering R8 LMS GT2 Racer, Interested Parties Bring A $398K Cheque

Audi introduced the second-generation R8 in 2015 and, in range-topping Performance guise, its Lamborghini Huracan-sourced 5.2-liter V10 engine churns out 612 hp (620 PS) and 428 lb-ft (580 Nm) of torque. Unfortunately, this model isn’t available with a six-speed manual transmission like the original so, while it has a serious power advantage, it remains an entirely different beast to drive.

Visually, we think both the first and second-generation Audi R8 models look superb but the first-generation model is perhaps the more striking and has a more timeless design.

Which of the two would you prefer to own? Original Audi R8s can be found on the used car market for less than $60,000 while buying a lightly-used V10-powered R8 Performance can easily cost $210,000.