The open-top Audi R8 Spyder is now offered as part of the Audi Performance line-up in the U.K. Rather similar to the R8 Coupe, the Spyder version however is ligther and houses a fully automated cloth hood (activated at speeds of up to 31mph and opens and closes in 20 seconds). The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can also be retracted and extended at the touch of a button.
The Audi R8 Spyder comes with a wave of exterior and interior personalizations including Gloss carbon exterior detailing, LED headlights with laser technology and a wealth of Audi exclusive upholstery and trim upgrades. Drivers keen to wring every last ounce of reward from their R8 can also opt for the Sport Plus Pack, which adds even more responsive, variable ratio dynamic steering, Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping and an even more aurally impactful sport exhaust identifiable by black exhaust tailpipes which replace the standard chrome examples.
The R8 Spyder has more power and a 50 per cent uplift in torsional rigidity, compared to the Coupe. To propel this light yet impressively rigid shell as effectively and efficiently as possible, the latest naturally aspirated V10 works with a fast-acting seven-speed S tronic transmission and a newly designed quattro drive system using an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch apportioning drive fully variably to either axle according to the situation. The upgraded power plant adds advanced features such as dual injection to optimize response and a freewheeling mode which enables it to ‘decouple’ whenever possible to improve fuel economy. 540PS of power and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm deliver phenomenal road performance, with the 0 to 100 km/h sprint taking just 3.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 197mph.
In addition, the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system is standard, and offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. Even greater fine-tuning is available via the optional R8 performance leather steering with its multifunction and satellite controls, one of which provides access to three more driving programs: dry, wet and snow.
Interior-wise, sophisticated new features include the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit, the Audi smartphone interface and internet-based Audi Connect services. Another new highlight in the driver’s field of vision is the large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit, which presents all information using rich 3D graphics. The internet-based services delivered by Audi connect come as standard in the R8 Spyder, as does the intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, the Audi Music Interface and belt microphones which make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone. Other highlights are the Audi Smartphone interface and the optional Bang & Olufsen Sound System.
The strong backbone of the new R8 Spyder is the newly developed multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF) which incorporates an intelligent mix of aluminium and carbon fiber that helps to keep dry weight down to just 1,612kg.
The R8 Spyder is a new addition to the second generation R8 range, with a starting price of 129,990 pounds.