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The First Generation Audi R8 in Review

 Audi r8 Silver

Overview of First Generation Audi R8

Audi never fails to impress us with its handling technology, as we have seen earlier with the Audi TT, but when compared to the first generation of Audi R8, even the previous ones seem to have failed. It is an all-wheel drive sports car, giving a genuinely comfortable riding experience. Most of the mechanical components of this car are of the Lamborghini Gallardo's standards, which is done to meet the German brand's standards.

This vehicle gives a sense of modernism both from the exterior and the interior. This car is comfortable, fast, and friendly all at once. Thereby making the driving experience quiet, comfortable, and super smooth. Three generations of Audi R8 have been produced until now, but our focus in this article will be the first generation of the Audi R8. So, let's get into it.

Origin and Evolution

The Audi R8 is based on the Audi Le Mans Quattro concept car that Julian Hoenig and Frank Lamberty designed. This vehicle first appeared at the 2003 Frankfurt International Motor Show and the 2002 International Geneva Motor Show.

However, the official launch of this vehicle took place on 30th September 2006 at the Paris Auto Show. Initially, there was a lot of confusion in naming the car, whether it should be the R8 Le Mans Prototype or the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The former was considered final and came along with some of its initial models, including the R8 5.2 FSI coupe and the R8 4.2 FSI coupe.

The Audi R8 came over with convertible models that were also produced in 2008 and were called the Spyder. Later, some GT models were also created that made their way to the market in 2011.

R8, in general, is considered the best-handling road car.

The first generation of Audi R8 received a facelift and was given the name V10 Plus in 2012. This generation ended in 2015, so the production of Type 42 also ceased.

Power, Performance, and Efficiency

The 2008 Audi R8 has a 4.2-liter V8 engine, which can easily make 420 horsepower and delivers 317 lb-ft of torque. One of these transmissions can be Audi's six-speed R tronic or a traditional six-speed manual, which provides power to all the wheels. This car can also quickly go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, possessing a top speed of 187 mph.

First Generation Audi R8 Engine

Moreover, the Audi R8 is called a mid-engine sports car due to its engine placement, which is present between the rear wheels and the front wheels. It can also be considered the position right behind the driver and front passenger seat. There is a firewall that separates the engine from the passenger area.

Exploring the Interior Features

You will find front sports heated seats and leather door trim inside the cabin. The seats are pretty basic, having nothing fancy.

Audi R8 Inside

However, the seats are super comfortable and power-adjustable. Leather/Alcantara seats and carbon Sigma or Piano finish interior trim for the dashboard are available.

Audi R8 Inside

It also has a long wheelbase and somewhat roomy cabin that can easily accommodate long adults.

Audi R8 Interior

In essence, the Audi R8's interior is minimalist in the true sense. It is strictly a two-seater vehicle, having little space to carry luggage or golf clubs at the back of the seats, as stated by Audi.

Audi r8

Color Options

When it comes to exterior color options, there are plenty. The Audi R8 comes in some very cool colors that look appealing to the eyes. Whether you pick grey, blue, or red, every color makes the Audi R8 stand out. You have the following choices for exterior colors:

● Mugello Blue Pearl

● Brilliant Red

● Jet Blue Metallic

● Daytona Grey Pearl

● Ibis White

● Phantom Black Pearl

● Ice Silver Metallic

While you will typically see black inside the cabin, there are a couple of options for the interior colors as well. Here's what you got:

● Luxor Beige

● Black

● Tuscan Brown

● Limestone Grey

Exploring the Infotainment Technology

The initial model of the Audi R8 is not equipped with any touchscreen; instead, its MMI infotainment system functions are displayed on the gauge cluster. Besides that, there's a GPS navigation system, a premium sound system including a CD player, Bluetooth connectivity, and a small digital display on the instrument cluster.

Audi r8

Space and Storage in Audi R8

The storage space in the first generation of Audi R8 is minimal, particularly in the initial 2008 model. Only a tiny 3.5-cubic-foot front trunk wouldn’t carry anything more than a small hand carry. Other than that, there is plenty of space and storage compartments when looking inside. You will also find cup holders and storage areas to keep small items. All this is quite unusual for a high-end sports car like the Audi R8.

Audi r8 Storage

Safety Features

This Audi R8 has many fantastic safety and driver assistance features that protect the car when on the road. You will find a lot of standard safety features; you will find a few advanced features, too. Here's what it includes:

● Passenger-side front airbag

● Anti-lock brakes

● Front and rear park distance sensor

● Rearview camera

● Anti-Theft Alarm

● Driver-side front airbag

● Seat-mounted side airbags

● Hill hold assist

Audi R8’s Stand Among Competitors

Porsche 911 is one of the biggest rivals of the Audi R8. Both the vehicles have some fantastic features that make them stand out. However, they both are known for high-end performance and unique strengths. While the Porsche 911 has a top-class rear-engine layout, iconic design, and firm performance, the Audi R8 is known for all-wheel drive stability and unique design. Not to forget, the Porsche 911 has a long history of driving excellence.


Truly a well-balanced vehicle

Contains a powerful engine

Equipped with a top-notch base audio system

Gives a well-controlled ride


A lot of bearing problems

Difficult to drive at low speeds

Limited cargo space

Decoding Fuel Economy of Audi R8

The 2008 Audi R8, having a 4.2-litre V8 engine, has quite a good fuel economy. It is rated at 12-14 mpg in the city and 20-23 mpg on the highway. It is relatively decent for a sports car of this caliber, considering the powerful V8 engine and the performance-oriented design of the Audi R8. The vehicle also offers a better performance and fuel efficiency balance than most other cars.


Audi R8 Model Years (First Generation)


2008 Audi D8 4.2


2009 Audi D8 4.2


2010 Audi D8 4.2


2011 Audi D8 4.2

$114,200 - $127,700

2012 Audi D8 4.2

$114,200 - $127,700

2014 Audi D8 4.2

$114,900 - $128,400

2015 Audi D8 4.2

$115,900 - $129,400

Drive Abilities

The Audi R8 is a practical car that is super comfortable for everyday driving. It is that quiet and easygoing car, which has all been possible due to the shock absorbers and the electromechanical steering. The vehicle feels super lively on the road since it possesses an all-wheel-drive system and contains beasts in the form of tires. Also, to get the best experience, you should go for the traditional manual transmission, with which you will never miss a shot. However, the R tronic has delayed shifting reactions that don't keep the ride as smooth as it should be.


The Audi R8 debuted as the first mid-engine exotic sports car, featuring all the comfort one would desire. This car has aggressive styling, comes in some pretty colors, and features an aluminum body structure and an all-wheel drive system. This configuration prevents understeer to a reasonable extent, observed in almost all similar cars.

This car has a good practical value, attaining the perfect performance score, and certainly earns the best score for its design. The only limitation you will observe is its R tronic transmission, which shows poor mileage and low-speed behavior. Besides that, the price tag and everything else it offers is perfect for a car of its kind; that too is the first-generation model of the Audi R8.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How fast is the first generation of Audi R8?

The early Audi R8 vehicles, like 4.2s, can be easily topped at 188 mph. However, the later generations give much better performance.

Is the 2008 Audi R8 a supercar?

Of course. The Audi R8 is a supercar that is quick and fast to drive. It is a “mid-engine" sports car, having a weight distribution advantage.

What drive system is the 2008 model of Audi R8 equipped with?

The 2008 Audi R8 has an all-wheel drive system, ensuring safe and balanced handling.

Does the Audi R8 come with any warranty?

You will find the typical powertrain warranty covered for 80,000 km or 48 months, and the roadside assistance warranty is provided with unlimited kilometers and covers 48 months.

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