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Future Classic: Audi R8 V8

The Audi R8 V8 was routinely over shadowed by its more powerful V10 sibling, but it is still a fantastic  car that will be missed by enthusiasts across the globe. With the expected news that the V8 in the R8 will be replaced by a more economical twin turbo V6, down sizing has claimed victory over yet another fantastic naturally aspirated V8. The R8 V8 may function like a modern super car that can be driven everyday, but it also offers the right amount old school charm that makes this car a future classic. Thanks to its gated manual shifter, everyday usability, and timeless package, the Audi R8 V8 maybe be the next classic super car.

As the automotive world continues its plunge into a future of electric drivetrains and self driving cars the Audi R8 V8 reminds us that the old way is still way more fun. Sure dual clutch transmissions may be faster, but nothing can beat a gated manual shifter mated to a high revving V8. This time capsule of a car will always remind us about an age when people actually drove cars instead of choosing the easiest way out. The classic car market today proves that super cars from the past that have these antiquated manual transmissions hold their value far better than any comparable automatic because the manual transmission is timeless. Automatic transmission technology is progressing at such a rapid pace that examples from just 5 years ago feel dated. The gated manual transmission is reserved for some of the greatest drivers cars in history, and in the future enthusiasts will pay a lot of money for this experience.


To match the old school gated shifter, the R8  features one the greatest examples of the dying breed of high revving naturally aspirated V8 engines. This engine may only produce 430 horse power but it revs to 8,000 rpm, and produces an incredible sound since no turbos muzzle the sound. 430 horse power may not sound very powerful by modern standard but its still good for a 0-60 time of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 176mph. When this engine is matched to the metallic sounds of the gated shifter it comes together to create a proper super car driving experience.

When Audi designed the R8 they wanted it to offer a super car driving experience while being tame and easy for everyday use. With an AWD system and comfortable interior the R8 is well equipped to tackle your commute in any weather but lacks the storage space of a bigger car. The R8 V8 will still give you the old school features you crave like hydraulic power steering, or an interior that still has buttons that do things without the need for a silly screens. The R8 V8 is the classic example of perfected technology that is now being phased out for the next generation that cannot offer that same experience.


As the automotive industry replaces things like hydraulic power steering, manual transmissions, and naturally aspirated engines, cars like the Audi R8 become a time capsule. In the future enthusiasts wishing to experience these disappearing features of this time period will look to cars like the Audi R8 V8 as time machines to the age of high revving V8s, and bolt action rifle gated manuals. As this car drops in value while new models eclipse it’s performance figures a time will come when new car simply cannot recreate this driving experience, and then it will rapidly appreciate.


About Chris Okula - Contributor

Chris was raised on Top Gear and automotive magazines, which still dominate most of his free time today (he is not a fan of the new TopGear). After he graduated from Desales University, Chris started his career in the pharmaceutical industry, but missed writing which lead him to the creation of his own automotive blog. This blog lead him to work with Road & Track and now as a contributor here at Shifting Lanes. In his free time, Chris is constantly on the popular automotive auction site, Bring a Trailer, as well as Craigslist looking for ways to destroy his savings account and skip student loan payments.

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