From Hobby Bodybuilder: Fake R8 Based on Audi A4

From Hobby Bodybuilder: Fake R8 Based on Audi A4

It is well known that appearances are sometimes deceptive. But rarely is a complex sports car so convincing to build yourself. Read here how a talented mechanic turned a twenty-year-old A4 into a deceptively real R8.

It all started with a rational decision. A sports car enthusiast family man from New Brunswick, Canada was looking for a good first car for his daughter, who had just passed her driving test. A simple off-the-shelf little car would have been too boring for a father and daughter, but a little safety and half the modern technology should still be there. You found what you were looking for and you bought one Audi A4 B5 Powerful and durable 1.8 liter turbo with 180 hp with four-cylinder and quattro all-wheel drive.

Hobbyist creates self-made personalized pieces for his daughters

The story so far seems like a solid decision by a loving family man. But the talented mechanic, who wishes to remain anonymous (name known to the editors), told us in detail about his unique talent: creative bodybuilding. Would you like some examples? Canadian builds its own race-ready one Porsche 914.6 For a contemporary designed hatchback – a sort of Ur-Cayman. For her second daughter, she made hers using DIY tools that were no longer fresh BMW E30 Switched to M3 optics with flared fenders and true-to-original rear attachment. The sports car fan explained, “The goal was to give my kids a nice car that provided an opportunity to improve their driving skills. I loved being a passenger on the cars my friends bought.” a Toyota Previa Apparently there wasn’t enough room for that, so he gave the front mask of the BMW X5 and named the final product “X7” long before BMW launched the original model.


It could have been a lot worse! The bodywork artist quickly transformed the Toyota Previa, sometimes jokingly called the “Space Egg”, into the BMW X7 with components from the X5, long before the actual model saw the light of day. Fun fact: Unlike the fake R8, the Toyota Previa is actually a mid-engined car.

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Betty’s A4 also didn’t stay real for long. “I noticed that a few years ago you could still buy very cheap original R8 parts if they were slightly damaged. No one would think of repairing an expensive sports car that was bent to size,” The builder explains. So they first acquired the front apron and radiator grille of the mid-engine sports car and gave the mid-size sedan a facelift.

Soon after, he realized that the wheelbase of the A4 is only three centimeters shorter than that of the R8. That’s how the creative idea came about to transfer the R8’s silhouette to the sides of another A4, which was quickly bought for $700, and then to use a saw to make room for the new shape. An acquaintance welded him a solid roll cage around which the roof, side panels and engine compartment for the V10 were built. The builder accomplished this almost exclusively with cheap used parts. our partners The American magazine “The Drive” reported at the end of July About the R8 clone: ​​”Years of work and truckloads of damaged R8 parts resulted in a car that is even more impressive in many ways a real R8 Is.”


Don’t have one, make one! The all-important R8 add-on parts have been laid out on the workshop floor just before they reach the car.

fake break in real look

So that the wheels in the large wheelhouse in the R8 format did not look too lost, they decided on auxiliary rims that exactly corresponded to the original in shape and size. To make the road holding look authentic, he installed spacers. Canadian made these from used R8 brake discs. “They were deformable and also quite heavy, but combined with the large brake calipers they create a coherent picture,” he explained. This simulated brake was fitted only over the unchanged A4 brake.

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Such details can be found again and again. The A4 is narrower than the base R8, which is why some components had to be modified as imperceptibly as possible or built from scratch. The practical builder quickly created inserts for the front air intakes with synthetic resin poured into molds made from children’s play dough. Affordable headlights couldn’t be found, so he bought some damaged lights and fitted them with homemade Lexan lenses and UV protection film.

The interior was no exception either. Specialty Open Shift Gate Per . was 3d printer recreated. Instead of the outrageously expensive milled aluminum shift lever of the original, there’s a reworked cosmetic jar from the bathroom department of a department store—with a shift pattern and a matching look, of course. The sports steering wheel comes from an Audi TT, with a few extra buttons and a homemade R8 badge, which originally came from the S8.


Looking from the outside, there is hardly anything that shows that there is no original Audi R8 parked here. The windshield wipers alone are striking, as they would not have room in the front packed in the standard installation position. Instead, completely home-made mechanisms were used.

hamster wheel as drive

The bottom line is that a fake was made in a total of five years of manufacture, which matches the original so faithfully that even owners of genuine R8s usually fall for it. “Most people think they’re dealing with a real sports car,” says the owner of a bar. “Only when I start the engine and start rolling vaguely the deceit becomes apparent. But then the interest is particularly high.” Of course, there is no trunk under the hood, but brave, only a slightly modified four-cylinder. So the fake R8 is missing six cylinders – so what’s under the glass tailgate? The original engine also has a deceptively real cast: a plastic cover. Below is the self-welded petrol tank as well as a small goodie that provides information about the true character of the car. A hamster wheel with a rodent as the drive unit. “It’s always fun to show people what my car is actually made of. Only then will most of them understand the meaning of the “A4N2R8″ number plate, which is not so obvious at first glance.” The owner preferred not to add to the costs for this unique self-build. “I stopped doing the math after I bought most of the hull for about $3,200,” he admits.

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The fake artist’s future plans include creating an Audi ur-quattro clone based on the Ford Mustang from the 1980s.


A working self-built mobile car based on a modern car with airbags, driving safety system and all-wheel drive is an impressive thing in itself. But let’s be honest, projects like these often feel hot needle knit. Not so with this R8. According to the builder, the car has already deceived the owners of the original R8s. Despite the rough exhaust sound, it cannot hide its origins acoustically. The owner takes it with humour.

Credits to K James Gilboy “Drive” to contact.

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