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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am in the market for a 1st gen R8. If I buy one, I am selling my 2015 Porsche Cayman S 981 PDK for it.

I think the first generation R8 (especially the manuals) will become a collector and be a good investment now that Audi has announced that they will stop the R8 program in 2022. I am really interested in your opinions and observations on this.

(And yes, I know: having and/or buying an R8 is not all about financials, its about the EXPERIENCE. But still, to me the financials do matter as I am not a billionaire…)

Thank you so much for your insights :)
 

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you're definitely on the right track if you're trying to purchase a gated gen 1. you cannot replicate the body lines of this beauty. it's the only car with a one piece side blade and everything about it was done right. it's ahead of its time when it came out and will always be a timeless classic. it will never age i guarantee you that. i plan on keeping mine forever and probably try to acquire a v10 gated gen 1 as well to keep my v8 gated company. definitely go for it...you won't be disappointed:)
 

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IMHO it's a bad idea to use cars as an investment object. Sure, it will probably keep its value if you buy a gen 1 now, or depreciate only a little bit. So it's a relatively cheap way to enjoy a beautiful super car.

If you want to invest, buy some real estate, or an index tracker. Long term that's more likely to yield a better return. But without having any fun of it along the way.
 

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IMHO it's a bad idea to use cars as an investment object. Sure, it will probably keep its value if you buy a gen 1 now, or depreciate only a little bit. So it's a relatively cheap way to enjoy a beautiful super car.

If you want to invest, buy some real estate, or an index tracker. Long term that's more likely to yield a better return. But without having any fun of it along the way.
Good luck taking that piece of land or mutual fund for a Sunday drive... I think when people consider "investment" cars, they mean "likely not to depreciate" and "maybe appreciate enough to offest cost of ownership". Pretty sure OP isn't dumb enough to substitute old cars for his 401k.
 

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Well if history is an indicator of future performance the answer is no. I purchased my 2014 Spyder about three years ago and it has depreciated by ~$15k to $20k. Now if you are planning to keep it for 30 years you might be able to sell it for what you paid for it or perhaps a little more, but if you plan to keep it for ~ 5 years I would bet that it will continue to depreciate. With that said, I have really enjoyed this car and am glad I got it.
 

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Good luck taking that piece of land or mutual fund for a Sunday drive... I think when people consider "investment" cars, they mean "likely not to depreciate" and "maybe appreciate enough to offest cost of ownership". Pretty sure OP isn't dumb enough to substitute old cars for his 401k.
Funny enough, there are actually ways to invest in collectible cars in your 401k... but that's another story altogether! :)

I'm not advocating a Gen-1 R8 as an "investment" since the word, to me, still means something very different than what any car would do. BUT, I will say this - it will be a sought-after, likely to appreciate, collectible car down the road.

For starters, it's Audi's first supercar. That, alone, makes it a historically important "thing" for a 100+ year old company luxury car manufacturer. It's nearly impossible for a company with Audi's history to produce its first production supercar and NOT have it become a collector. It only happens once. Additionally, this wasn't just any old supercar (as if that's a thing) - but Audi's production of the R8 was very significant to OTHER historical events that were unfolding. For many decades Audi built concepts of supercars - none ever received the green light. But it was Audi's sheer winning streak and dominance at Le Mans that finally put it over the edge. Audi had a record-breaking streak of wins, including the 2000 win in positions 1, 2, AND 3... all with the R8 racecar. And that brings us to the next point - this wasn't just Audi's first production supercar. It wasn't just at a historic moment. But it ALSO received the namesake of one of the most famous racecars.

But it didn't stop there for the roadcar. The R8 roadcar went on to build its own winning reputation in racing with the LMS cars. That's a pedigree that most run-of-the-mill supercars will just never have, and it's alluring to collectors. But hey, as if that wasn't enough, the R8 didn't stop at the racetrack. It went on to become famous on main street as Tony Stark's car, the focus of video games, toys, posters, and all sorts of other pop culture.

I have no idea what it may be worth down the line, and I wouldn't suggest anyone buy a car with appreciation in mind. But I'll say this - the history behind the Gen-1 R8 is "gold" as far as collector cars go. With roughly about 6,500 sold in the US (in all forms), it's also about 30% less than cars like the Gen-1 NSX (with 10 times more historical importance - the NSX had no racing pedigree). It's also roughly 1/10th of the 911's sold in the US during the same production years. So, the relatively small pool, along with people who abuse them over time, will all but ensure that well-kept examples are even harder to come by.

Still not enough? Well, then just consider how many high-revving, naturally aspirated V8s and V10s you may find down the road - if nothing above mattered, that's going to be a formula that car enthusiasts seek out for a long time to come.

Again, I wouldn't buy the R8 as an investment. Buy it to drive and enjoy. But if you intend to keep it for a long time, and you keep it in good condition, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
 

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Hello everyone,

I am in the market for a 1st gen R8. If I buy one, I am selling my 2015 Porsche Cayman S 981 PDK for it.

I think the first generation R8 (especially the manuals) will become a collector and be a good investment now that Audi has announced that they will stop the R8 program in 2022. I am really interested in your opinions and observations on this.

(And yes, I know: having and/or buying an R8 is not all about financials, its about the EXPERIENCE. But still, to me the financials do matter as I am not a billionaire…)

Thank you so much for your insights :)
I am also a former 981 Cayman S driver considering the R8

Just a few words of advice to the wise:
I recently test drove one potentially thinking it could be my only car (I don't commute to work), but it became quickly apparent to me that driving one in an urban environment is far from ideal. The ride is quite rough on the battleground of inner city pavement, the visibility is limited which can be tricky with all that is going around you in the city, the car is quite low which makes some of the entry and exits tough, and it is a MUCH larger car than the 981 which makes inner city manouvering and parking (in many contexts) much more tricky.

In the end I decided it could not be my only car and so I have a 2020 M2 competition as my only car (great car btw), but I am still contemplating the r8 as a second keeper garage queen (more of a point A to point A car)

also where is the audi announcement about no gen 3? (google didn't find it for me)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow thank you all for your replies.

I am not looking to buy a car I can earn money on selling it, I just like to enjoy things (cars and drum sets haha) that don’t depreciate a lot. So that it doesn’t really matter if you either have the money on the bank or ‘enjoy’ it in the form of a car or drum set.

My daily driver is a decent Volvo V60, my 981S vs R8 question is really aimed for sundays and nice evening rides.

It was confirmed to me there will not be a 3rd gen (production will end after 2022 is what I was told). Does anyone here have more info on that?
 

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Hello everyone,

I am in the market for a 1st gen R8. If I buy one, I am selling my 2015 Porsche Cayman S 981 PDK for it.

I think the first generation R8 (especially the manuals) will become a collector and be a good investment now that Audi has announced that they will stop the R8 program in 2022. I am really interested in your opinions and observations on this.

(And yes, I know: having and/or buying an R8 is not all about financials, its about the EXPERIENCE. But still, to me the financials do matter as I am not a billionaire…)

Thank you so much for your insights :)


You are correct. In order of what I believe will be most coveted will be....


1. R8 V10 Plus Manuals - 25 total left in the US, 1 escaped to Canada.

2. R8 V10 Manual (Facelift - 14'/15') - 86 Total

3. R8 V10 Manual (Face Lift Convertibles) - 14-20 estimated / includes the 1 off Carbon Package Spyder

4. R8 V10 Manuals 2009-2012 - 631 built

5. R8 V8 Manuals 2008-2015 - 1086 built
 

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I’m not sure the Gen1 6-MT’s are quite rare enough to be collectible for the next 10-20 years.

About the closest thing I can think of for a “modern” car appreciating enough to negate their initial depreciation is the single year limited run of the BMW 1-Series M.

It’ll probably be another 10 years before its truly “collectible.”

In contrast, R8 6-MT’s have had about 6-year runs...

Just a complete wild ass guess, but it might 2030+ before an R8 6-MT sees appreciation enough to negate its initial depreciation.
 

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There are far more "modern" examples out there. The 1M is an obvious choice but it was also a 1 year run, announced in advance, it never fell below MSRP absent a ton of miles or accident history.

Furthermore, there are also many examples of cars that took 5, 10 or 15 years before turning the corner, not requiring the old school thought that 20 years (to be a classic) were needed to see the curve sloping up.


So in short, I'll disagree w/ your assessment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am not from the US, I live in The Netherlands. There might be some differences between Europe and US concerning preferences (and therefore expectations about future collectors).

I do hope/think manual first gen R8’s have bottomed a bit by now, this is why I intend to get a ‘08/‘09.
 

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I'll be a bit of a contrarian on the whole manual argument since we hear it often - I think we could use a good counter-argument. I do think that the R8's gated manual is special, but we also need to remember that the demographics have been changing for a long time. People tend to buy cars they grew up adoring, especially as children when they may make a big impression. This is when cars truly start to become collectible - people who wanted them but couldn't obtain them back when they were new, and/or they're finally old enough to make that kind of splurge purchase.

So, I ask myself... if a 10, 12, or 15 year old kid was watching Iron Man in 2008, and finally finds himself in a position to buy a nice sports car at 35 or 40 year old, after he's bought a home, gotten married, had a kid or two, is earning good money in his career... and he thinks back to his R8 love affair as a child... is he buying a manual? I don't know. There's a really good chance, at least here in the US, that those kids will never have driven a manual. There are fewer and fewer even being produced, so it's not like kids who grew up learning on them or admiring poster cars that had manuals - most of the poster cars now don't have manuals anymore. Heck, I don't think you can even buy a new 3-series with a manual these days in the US.

I, myself, enjoy a manual, but I don't hold it in any special regard. I expect, just as demographics have been trending away from the manual, this will be truer for each subsequent generation. After all, there's a reason that there were fewer manuals produced and sold on the R8 in the first place - each original buyer (myself, included) had a choice of transmission. The majority didn't choose a manual. In fact, the manual was FAR less expensive, and that still didn't sway production in its favor. So, there may be fewer to fight over (supply), but I'd also argue there will be fewer who seek one out (demand) as the years roll on.

To complete my contrarian point of view (and show a bit of bias in the process!), I'd argue that my own transmission (the S-Tronic) may, in fact, prove the most sought-after by these future buyers. It represents the most modern choice in a Gen-1 R8, accessible to nearly any driver (no manual skills required), and with only two late-model production years (and low production numbers in those years), it may end up having a better advantage regarding lower supply and higher demand.

As they say, you don't skate to where the puck is - you skate to where it's going.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
On manual versus S-tronic (both gen-1) I understand what you mean. But what about the (miserable) R-tronic?

Let’s put it this way: if you could choose between two identical low mileage R8’s, but one with R-tronic and the other with manual transmission, which one would be the safest buy? And which would you guys pick? And what if the manual would cost 5.000 bucks more?
 

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On manual versus S-tronic (both gen-1) I understand what you mean. But what about the (miserable) R-tronic?

Let’s put it this way: if you could choose between two identical low mileage R8’s, but one with R-tronic and the other with manual transmission, which one would be the safest buy? And which would you guys pick? And what if the manual would cost 5.000 bucks more?
If they were truly identical (except for transmission), and your only buying criteria was "safest" investment, then the manual will win - especially if your ownership horizon was only for the next several years. However, keep in mind that early R8s have pretty well bottomed out, and I wouldn't expect you'd lose much of anything on ANY choice - unless you do a boat-load of miles, modify it poorly, abuse it, etc.

But you really can't be buying an emotional purchase like an R8 with just finances in mind, can you? To get the best experience from your ownership, you really need to buy the car that YOU will enjoy driving. $5k one way or another shouldn't make any difference - at least not if you're dropping money on an expensive toy.
 

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There are far more "modern" examples out there. The 1M is an obvious choice but it was also a 1 year run, announced in advance, it never fell below MSRP absent a ton of miles or accident history.

Furthermore, there are also many examples of cars that took 5, 10 or 15 years before turning the corner...
I’m sure they’re out there...examples?
 

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NSX, specifically NA/2 fixed headlight models 02-05
BMW Z8
Ford GT
BMW M Coupe, especially 01/02 model years
BMW E46/M3 manuals with lower miles
Porsche Boxster Spyder (987), specifically manuals w/ carbon bucket seats
Cayman R (987)

and this is just off the top of my head...
 

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1st Gen NSX - Stopped production in 2005, 15 years

BMW Z8 - Stopped production in 2003, 17 years

BMW M Coupe - Stopped production in 2003, 17 years

Ford GT - Stopped production in 2006, 14 years

BMW E46 - Stopped production in 2006, 14 years

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The mistake I made was not defining that what I was looking at were comparable “within last 5–10 years” modern cars since the 1st Gen R8 has been available all the way into 2015.

BMW 1-Series M - Stopped production in 2012 - fairly recent at 8-years, which is why I listed it.

Porsche 987-based Boxter and Cayman would both fit as well.
 
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