Audi R8 | Spotted

It's possible to overstate the case for buying a manual V8 R8. But surely not with just 6k on the clock…

By PH Staff / Monday, 23 October 2023 / Loading comments

Is there a car from the noughties more assured of hallowed status than the original Audi R8? No need to think long and hard about that one – the answer is ‘yes’. Take it from us, the period after the millennium (where manufacturers finally figured out how to build cars with consistent shutlines on top of super-stiff, rust-proof platforms) and before the imposition of hybridisation or nannying ‘driver’s aids’ (i.e. lane-keep assist and every annoying bong you’ve ever heard) is arguably the golden era of combustion-based performance models, and the future classics contained within are too numerous to list, let alone rank. 

So the R8 launched in 2006 is certainly not alone. But no matter where you place it in the pantheon of the mighty, Audi’s first mid-engined car is absolutely in the mix. Granted, there was a period where the model’s overwhelming sales success seemed to be working agains it; after 2010 the R8 seemed to be everywhere, and too often in chrome with ridiculous aftermarket wheels. For a good while, and despite its inestimable qualities, the asking price started going backwards, slowly at first, and then seemingly with the speed and viciousness of an imploding dot-com bubble. 

Consequently, its availability for what would otherwise be considered hot hatch money has been seized upon (and written about) for what seems like an age – not least in a Brave Pill from three years ago, where Mike noted the R8’s seemingly inevitable descent towards the sub £30k mark. That still rings true today, but only just and typically for the sort of examples that are best left to devil-may-care bargain hunters. For the superior, low-mile stuff, usually kept under lock and key by precious few previous owners, the price has plainly steadied. As those better examples become rarer – and the R8’s brilliance is brought into sharper by the electric era – so we can expect the inevitable price rise to become steeper. 

Not a bad time then, perhaps, to consider a car that currently ranks among the priciest. With circa £50k burning a hole in your pocket, you can still expect to bag a very decent manual V10 (here’s a nice one with 57k on the clock and a full Audi service history) and we certainly wouldn’t dissuade you from going down the 5.2-litre route. But for £5k less, you can have the V8 pictured, which, according to the seller, has accumulated just 6,000 miles while in the possession of one owner since 2008. 

Save for a nuts and bolts description, there’s precious little else to go on in the ad – but even if the car has spent a significant amount of time away from the road (which seems conceivable, if not likely), we’re still left with a barely run-in example that easily qualifies as one of the modern era’s great sports cars. And while it’s always easily to say than do, it seems unlikely that you’d lose any money betting on a mid-mounted naturally aspirated V8 twinned with a manual gearbox and one of the most sweetly balanced all-wheel drive systems ever produced. By one of the seminal producers of such things. 

Quite the opposite. We’re not inclined to encourage anyone to lock cars away in the expectation of a payday further down the line – but with so few miles on the clock, this is one R8 that could still be enjoyed on the occasional weekend without doing significant damage to future unicorn status. And what a thing to roll out of the garage when everything new is battery-powered and tediously silent. Again, the same goes for plenty of cars from its era. But they can’t all be bought for the price of a VW ID.5. 


Engine: 4,163cc V8
Transmission: six-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 420@7,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 317@4,500rpm
MPG: 19.3mpg (NEDC combined)
CO2: 349g/km
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 6,000
Price new: £76,725
Yours for: £48,995

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