When Audi announced that they would be dipping a toe into the highly competitive pond of supercar production, most wondered why it had taken the German company so long, as a quick glance at their history reveals a whole host of performance-orientated machinery. Released to great applause in 2006, the first-generation Audi R8, based on the Le Mans concept car, met fierce competition in the form of the exotic Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo, and C6 Z06 Corvette.

Approaching the creation of its first supercar with its usual clinical methodology, Audi has shown the world that it is indeed possible to have your cake and eat it. The R8 redefined what would be expected from such cars, thanks to levels of reliability and ease of use not usually associated with the niche segment.

But then, Audi has become a by-word for reliability, with many examples of their high-performance models lying dormant being revived, such as the Audi 90 20 Valve Quattro that fired up after 8 years of neglect. A refreshing poster child for lovers of modern supercars, the Audi offers up speed and precision in a fashionably styled package, and these are 10 reasons why gearheads should drive an Audi R8.

10 It's An Audi

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When it comes to building capable sports or high-performance cars, then Audi knows more than its fair share. It could even be said that they wrote the book on how to produce four-wheel-driven pleasure machines thanks to their Quattro system.

Via:netcars
Audi R8 V10

Purveyors of outstanding quality and refinement, Audi have become one of the world's leaders in delivering automobiles that are reliable and simply last, and the barn-storming ballistically fast R8 is no exception to this rule.

9 It Can Be Had With A Silky V8

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The first R8's to break cover upon the car's release in 2006 were all initially fitted with an all-aluminum 4.2-liter FSI V8 engine pumping out 414 horsepower and had seen service previously in the fantastic B7 RS4 sports sedan.

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Initially released with a rear-biased Quattro all-wheel-drive system that sends 70% of the power to the rear wheels, the 4.2 R8 will rocket to 60 mph in as little as 4.1 seconds before running onto an impressive top speed of 185mph.

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8 The V10 Is A Monster

Via:netcars
Audi R8 V10

Having proved that the 'base' model R8 was already worthy of supercar status, Audi decided that it would turn up the heat and drop a bigger, more powerful engine into the rump of its sleek, super coupe to create a modern motoring legend.

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Further fettling an engine that had previously been used in both the Audi S6 sedan and Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8 was fitted with a 5.2-liter V10 FSI unit re-tuned to 525hp that provided a 3.7 second 0-60 mph dash.

7 Speed And Poise

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Thanks to its sophisticated aerodynamics and air splitting shape, and bolstered by the award-winning Quattro drive system, the R8 is a sure-footed, competent partner when the throttle is buried and the road gets twisty.

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In gear, the mighty 5.2-liter V10 engined R8 will propel its occupants from a sedate 60 to a rapid 124 mph in a neck-snapping 8 seconds, then happily continue piling on the speed until the clock displays a horizon-shrinking 196mph.

Related: We Can't Stop Staring At These Gorgeous V8 Engine Bays

6 It Was Also The World's First Diesel Supercar

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Dreamed up to take advantage of the incredible V12 TDI turbocharged engine that Audi had developed, the R8 Le Man's concept put out 493 hp and a ridiculous 788 lb-ft of torque through a 6-speed manual transmission.

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Due to high levels of construction and engineering costs, the V12 R8 was never formally placed into production, but the few examples made proved to be rapid and could hit 100mph in as little as 9.5 seconds from a standstill.

5 Depreciation Leads To Appreciation

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As first examples of the 4.2-liter V8 R8 are now 15 years old, and with various revisions having been made and updates released, the sexiest of Audi's offerings can now be found at what has to be viewed as a bargain price.

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Thanks to depreciation, an early V8 R8 can be bought for circa $45,000 which presents superb value for money and poses the question, is there any other car out there for the money that will make the neighbors think you've won the Lotto?

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4 Use It Every Day

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Unlike some of the more exotic supercar offerings from more specialized performance car manufacturers, the Audi R8, like most Audis, has proved to be a reliable companion without any of the common issues associated with supercar ownership.

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Beautifully finished internally, the R8 can play the part of a long-distance cruiser as well as a sophisticated highway bruiser and proves to be less highly strung than some of its competitors, making it a perfect daily driver.

3 It'll Embarrass The Italians

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Taking a rather clinical approach to building its first supercar, Audi delivered a vehicle that put the famous Italian performance carmakers to shame, boasting a superior design process, better materials, and backed by build quality only Audi can offer.

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Some may think that the appearance of an Audi badge on a supercar is just another exercise in how to muscle in on a sales segment, but then those people will be missing the point of what the R8 actually is, and stands for.

2 There's An Electric One

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A start attraction at the 2009 Frankfurt Motorshow the Audi R8 e-Tron concept vehicle used four electric motors to produce a power output of 313hp along with 332lb-ft of torque giving it a very respectful 0-60mph time of 4.8 seconds.

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Limited to a range of 154 miles, the R8 e-Tron used a 400-volt quick charger to juice up in under 2 hours and would recapture energy from an electromechanical system linked to the impressive, and expensive, carbon-ceramic brakes.

Related: 5 Electric Vehicles That Prove Tesla Can Be Dethroned (5 That Tried And Failed)

1 It Does Have Drawbacks, But Very Few

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Like any supercar, and despite the R8's impressive aptitude for being used daily, there will be little chance of using one for a trip to the supermarket for a big grocery purchase or for a cross-country road trip due to rather poor luggage space.

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And even though far more reliable and easier to live with than most comparable alternatives, the R8 is still a supercar, so any associated maintenance, servicing, and general up-keep will have costs that reflect this status.

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