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Audi R8 Spyder

AUDI CONVERT? (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The improved version of Audi's desirable second generation R8 sportscar is even more appealing in open-topped Spyder form. Jonathan Crouch checks it out

Ten Second Reviewword count: 78

Audi's formidable R8 supercar also comes in Spyder guise - that's 'without a roof'. You still get all the good stuff, which means a 5.2-litre FSI V10 engine screaming away just behind your head. It's just that with this variant, you'll be able to hear it even more bit more clearly. This is far more of a driver's tool than the previous generation version too, thanks to a massive 50% improvement in body rigidity. Still want that Ferrari?

Backgroundword count: 135

An Audi supercar was the last thing anyone would have expected back in the 80s and 90s when customers had the choice of only three Audi models and weren't buying any of them in any great numbers. Today, the Ingolstadt maker's range is vast and the R8's existence is taken for granted. Sharing many components with the Lamborghini Huracan, this model is as good a symbol as any of how far Audi has progressed and of all the R8 derivatives, it could be the Spyder convertible that best showcases the brand's all-conquering ambition. In second generation form, this car is less of a style statement and more dynamically adept, thanks to Audi Space Frame technology that makes it a far tauter driving tool. And in this improved form, it still looks as eye-catching as ever.

Driving Experienceword count: 267

As with the coupe R8, Spyder buyers get a mighty mid-mounted 5.2-litre FSI V10 normally aspirated engine with dual injection system, 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. There's a choice of two versions of this engine. The standard one delivers 570PS of power (30PS more than before), offering phenomenal performance, 62mph occupying under 4 seconds on the way to a top speed of of well over 190mph. If you want to go even faster, the V10 performance model gives you 620PS (10PS more than previously), enough to see 62mph achievable from rest in only a fraction over 3 seconds en route to a top speed of around 200mph. Older owners' toupees will need to be firmly tied down. Or at least they'll need to be if the fabric hood is open: it retracts in just 20 seconds and can be operated at speeds of up to 31mph. Behind the V10, there's a seven-speed S tronic transmission with lightning-fast action and power is distributed by a cleverly designed quattro drive system which distributes the torque to front or rear according to the driving situation - in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels. The dynamic handling owes much to the engine's low mounting position, which is achieved thanks to dry sump lubrication. The wheels are controlled by lightweight aluminium wishbones - a layout that reveals motorsport DNA. The electromechanical power steering provides feelsome road contact and can be supplemented with dynamic steering as an option.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

3.8

4.8

Combined mpg:

19

24.1

Extra urban mpg:

26.4

32.8

Height (mm):

1244

Length (mm):

4431

4434

Max Speed (mph):

187

197

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Sporting Cars

Performance
90%
Handling
90%
Comfort
90%
Space
30%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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