The Audi R8 Spyder has a lightweight cloth hood tapering into two fins. These stretch the cloth so that it, along with the large hood compartment cover, harmonizes perfectly with the dramatic lines of this high-performance sports car. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the hood in 20 seconds up to a speed of 50 km/h (31mph). The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can be retracted and extended. With all windows up, the air stream passes over the body with a minimum of turbulence.
Weighing in at just 1,612 kilograms, the Audi R8 Spyder’s strong backbone consists of the newly developed Audi Space Frame (ASF). The ASF utilizes multi-material construction principle, made from aluminium and carbon fiber. The aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of its weight. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. As a result, the highly rigid body weighs a mere 208 kilograms, and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous model.
The build quality of the new R8 Spyder, which is extensively hand-built at a manufactory near Neckarsulm, is of the highest standard. The driver and passenger sit on sport seats or bucket seats with a more highly contoured seat shape, for superior lateral support. Over and above the extensive standard equipment, customers have almost unlimited scope to tailor both the interior and exterior to their individual preferences. Body components such as the front spoiler, the diffuser and the new sideblades are also available in carbon. LED headlights with newly developed laser technology maximize visibility and range for the driver, bringing increased safety at night.
The mighty mid-mounted engine with dual injection system sets the tone in the new Audi R8 Spyder V10. The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter engine has a dynamic throttle response and a distinctive hard-edged soundtrack which can be amplified further by an optional sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims. 540PS of power and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm deliver phenomenal road performance: from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 317 km/h (197 mph). Efficiency technologies such as the new freewheeling mode, in which the R8 coasts with the engine decoupled, also boost fuel efficiency by ten percent compared with the previous Spyder. The new R8 Spyder is capable of returning up to 11.7l/100 km (24.1mpg), corresponding to 277 grams CO2 per kilometer.
Behind the V10 there is a seven-speed S tronic transmission with lightning-fast action, which the driver controls electrically – by wire. The dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro drive system with an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. The all-wheel clutch, watercooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torques fully variably according to the driving situation – in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels.
The intelligent control system is incorporated into the Audi drive select system, which offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. In conjunction with the optional R8 performance leather steering wheel, three more driving programs are available: dry, wet and snow. The controls place the focus squarely on the driver, who can operate all important functions with the multifunction and satellite push-buttons without having to take their hands off the steering wheel or look away from the road. The large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit presents all information using rich 3D graphics. Meantime, the intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard, as are belt microphones. These make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone. MMI search, which makes search suggestions after input of just the first few letters, offers a shortcut to the required information.
With the Audi smartphone interface, a new technology makes its debut in the R8 Spyder. This makes it possible to display selected content from the smartphone directly in the Audi virtual cockpit. From the middle of this year, this option will also be available for the R8 Coupé. The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively. Audi connect gets the R8 Spyder on the Internet via LTE and provides a wide range of services. Finally, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System is another highlight: For the first time, Audi integrates two head restraint loudspeakers into each seat, for an excellent audio experience even when driving with the hood open.