I’d like to think that with my self-made position of Senior Used Car Price Correspondent for the HMS Jalopnik, there are some things that I should know offhand. However some informational tidbits, like the falling price of a clean Audi R8, have slipped my gaze - but not anymore.
Let’s take, for example, this 2008 Audi R8. It has all the telltale signs of a supercar - a sleek body that owes its aesthetic to countless hours of wind-tunnel testing, a high-revving, high output eight cylinder engine, and six forward gears with a gated manual shifter. It cost more than six figures seven short years ago when it was new, and it currently has miles that would be considered not a deal breaker by any standards.
Why, then, is this car carrying the price tag of a moderately equipped Chevy Camaro? Well, the answer lies in the magic word that we all seem to take for granted - depreciation. Specifically, depreciation led by competition in the marketplace. I’ll explain further.
The Audi R8 shares many components with the other starter supercar, the Lamborghini Gallardo, so much in fact that Audi released an R8 with the V10 drivetrain plucked directly from it and priced it lower than the Lambo, making it a better value. However, no matter how many statistics you can throw at a supercar buyer, the Lamborghini name will likely always carry more weight, and thus the market was, and still is, stronger for the Gallardo, despite having a higher initial price tag.
As prospective buyers bought less R8s, prices plummeted for the entire range of models in the used car market, and since the proverbial baby of the group was the V8 engined variant, it got pushed to last place in the supercar hierarchy, and that’s a glorious thing. The V8 Audi R8 is an insanely well built and balanced car, and if the fickle market means that you can have clean, well looked-after examples like the one I listed above for a great price, then I think we all owe capitalism a great big high five.
Examples like this one, set at way under a $50k budget, aren’t that common, but if you up the bid to $60-65k, you’ll find a plethora of examples ripe for the picking. Hell, even V10s are cheaper than any comparable Gallardo in the market, despite looking way more sleek, modern, and refined.
With such a reasonable initial asking price, I don’t see how you can go wrong with picking one up. The maintenance isn’t any more intensive than any other Audi, the model isn’t known for any particular faults, and even with higher miles, the car can outshine most other exotics in the looks department alone with its nearly ageless design. The car looks brand freaking new today, and that’s not something you can say with an early model Lamborghini Gallardo.
If you’re thinking about buying a car for a reasonable sum because you deserve it, I’d steer you towards an R8. Get one before I open my big mouth even more and people catch on to my dastardly plan, forcing prices to go up.