The R8 by Audi is one of the most popular and demanded supercars in the world. However, its price is pretty high, starting from approximately $105,000, that's why not everyone can afford this vehicle. If you dream about a supercar but don't have enough money, you can build it by yourself, like Ken Imhoff. He hand-built the Lamborghini Countach in his basement step by step, though it took 17 years for him to get the job done. Of course, nowadays you can get the job done much faster, thanks to a variety of aftermaket body parts and interior components that look just like original R8's parts. These components can be found in local automotive stores throughout the U.S. or even online, on such websites as CARiD.com, that stocks hundreds of Audi R8 accessories and parts, as well as tools you may require to finish the job. Alberto Gavach Fuertes of Zaragoza, Spain chose another way. He designed an approximation of the Audi R8 on the base of the 2001 Mercury Cougar and fabricated it from fiberglass. The model was named the ReplicaAudiR8. ReplicaAudiR8 earned Alberto popularity among car enthusiasts. Such well-known automotive blogs as Jalopnik.com wrote about him and his incredible vehicle.
The ReplicaAudiR8 looks very similar to Audi's model all around, the only major visual differences are the interior, which is factory Cougar's with the R8 badge on the steering wheel, and absence of inner fenders at the back. The layout remained the same, namely front-engine, front-wheel-drive, while the R8 is mid-engined all-wheel-drive. However, the overall image is still very similar, the ReplicaAudiR8 even features integrated intake vents. The lines running front to back were slightly changed to disguise the different layout, but this change does not strike the eye.
All R8s available for the 2008 model year were bought by customers within a week after the premiere.
The rear end of the ReplicaAudiR8 makes its Cougar origins blatantly apparent due to a higher roofline and much narrower track. Its rear vents are bigger than the vents of the original R8 and there are no exhaust tips poking through the rear bumper. The rear lower bumper is a bit awkward, however it is one of those things that you may pass over, especially considering other replicars.
Front three-quarter looks of the ReplicaAudiR8 and the original R8 are very alike, with the only visual difference being front bumper's lower lip. You may even think that there is a Chinese factory rip-off or something but not a home-built replicar. Front end proportions of Audi's supercar are kept very neat on the Cougar's chassis. Front intakes are slightly deeper on Fuertes' vehicle, and lower lip catches the eye more. The replica features thin-line fog lamps, while the Audi R8 has no fog lamps in front.
The Audi R8 was awarded as a prize on the CBS daytime American game show The Price Is Right in December 2013. Valued at US$157,300, it was the largest prize won on the show ever.
There is a number of differences between the original Audi R8 and the ReplicaAudiR8, including the engine, suspension, transmission, chassis, wheels, etc. Besides, the replica's interior wasn't changed, compared to the stock Cougar's cabin. The only difference is the "R8" badge on the steering wheel. However, the author of the ReplicaAudiR8, Alberto Gavach Fuertes, did a good job making his Cougar very similar to the famous supercar. Alberto says that the price of his automobile is about $50,000 or 40,000€, which means that he spent only a half of the R8's minimal price. Besides, now he is known all over the internet for his impressive effort.