- 5.2-litre V10 produces 610bhp
- 0-62mph in 3.3 secs and 203mph top speed
- 25kg weight saving helps for 22mpg and 292g/km
- Carbon-ceramic brakes standard
- Order book open – prices from £147,470
WHEN you look at the Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus it’s a pretty safe bet you aren’t wishing it had a bit more power. Which is precisely why Audi has given it some.
Actually, we don’t really know why the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus has been given more power. We also don’t know why Audi decided to ignore convention and stick a ‘y’ in spider seven years ago. No matter, because both of these things are very pleasing.
The new R8 Spyder V10 Plus – don’t worry, we’ll start abbreviating the name in a minute – now available to order sees the more powerful engine from the coupe make the transition to the convertible.
The added power, coupled with the result of a diet that sees the Spyder lose a significant 25kg, means the new car can hit 60mph in just over three seconds and keep going to a stomach churning 203mph.
Breaking 200mph was only previously possible in the coupe version of the R8 but now the convertible has joined the club. Not that we are suggesting you should do 200mph while topless.
This performance is mainly thanks to the high revving V10 engine producing 610bhp that works so well in the V10 Plus coupe. It’s the same basic 5.2-litre unit as in the old Spyder but clever engineering has boosted it by around 70bhp and 20Nm of torque to deliver significant performance increases
Granted this does have a detrimental effect on the fuel economy and emissions but it’s highly unlikely those particular concerns feature in the thoughts of your average supercar driver.
That being said, it’s those very numbers that make the R8 such a usable car. Yes it’s supremely fast but it can also achieve 22mpg, and your accountant will surely agree that 292g/km is a lot better than it sounds given the size of that engine.
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The R8 Spyder also boasts a seven-speed S tronic transmission with quattro all-wheel drive and high performance suspension to keep it firmly on the road. It even comes with carbon-ceramic brakes and new lightweight alloy wheels as standard.
As is befitting of a flagship model, the new Spyder comes replete with many wonderful things as standard. Exclusive R8 bucket seats in Nappa leather, Audi virtual cockpit – a work of art in itself – satnav, integrated WiFi hotspot, and all in a beautifully finished cockpit. Quality has never been a problem with the R8.
In fact there has only ever been one problem reported with the R8 and that is it’s tendency to be a bit too normal. There’s no question the R8 looks fantastic, even more so in soft-top guise, and it has always been superbly engineered. But does it lack the excitement of a true supercar?
Quite frankly, yes…. and also, no.
It’s simple really. The R8 Spyder V10 Plus will be absolutely brilliant. No question about it. It will be fast, agile, responsive, and precise. Everything a 200mph supercar should be. True, the Audi is never going to be as exciting as a Ferrari or a Lamborghini because – apart from some Gallardo DNA and Le Mans results – it lacks the history, the pedigree. But that was never the point of the R8 in the first place.
Instead what the Audi Spyder R8 V10 Plus does is to take all of the power and performance and noise of a supercar, wraps it in a stunning body, and then allows you to use it everyday, everywhere. Not only that, but at a touch over £147k it’s significantly cheaper too. If that’s not exciting enough for you, we don’t know what is.