AUDI R8 6 speed manual metal shifter gate sound

Inside of an AUDI R8 with a 6 speed manual transmission. Love the clanking sounds the metal shifter gate makes.

The R8 has nearly every innovation available on an automobile. Yet Audi showed restraint and ignored the V-10 from the S6, S8 and Lamborghini Gallardo. Instead, they utilized the RS 4’s V-8 that revs high to a maximum wail of 8250 rpm and pumps out 420 bhp DIN and 317 lb.-ft. of torque. Although built alongside the Gallardo at the Neckarsulm plant, the R8 is less than half the price of the Lambo; it offers supercar styling and handling for a sum just beyond that of the Porsche 911. Of course, with a starting price of just over 0,000, the R8 certainly isn’t “affordable.” But is it worth it? Absolutely!

The blending of Italian and German is a superb thing. The R8 hugs curves better than anything from a Victoria’s Secret catalog. But where supercars are notoriously stressful to drive, the R8 is not — it’s comfortable, quiet and smooth. Yet with a click of the Audi Magnetic Ride button, it transforms into a corner-devouring mid-engine exotic that senses every nuance of the road. Unlike the Gallardo’s semiautomatic e-gear, which can sometimes do the herky-jerky in a parking lot, the R8’s transmission software is seamless and almost as good as Audi’s much-praised dual-clutch system. At other times it’s better. Unlike Audi’s dual-clutch S tronic (formerly DSG), the R8’s R tronic will happily hit the rev limiter in manual mode. An interesting tidbit about the engine is that it allows a 250-rpm overrev beyond the 8000-rpm limit, but only in the first three gears. This helps because the engine revs so quickly that it’s easy to touch the limiter in the lower gears at full acceleration.

The engine is sinfully smooth. In a manual-transmission car, I was surprised to find the gated shift lever from the Gallardo. There is little improvement with the manual. The lever has a nice actuation, but is too clumsy for the engine — the rpm drop faster than an upshift can be performed, making smooth shifting a bit tricky. Clearly Audi invested in R tronic.
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