Published: 23 March 2016
► Audi R8 Spyder revealed in New York
► Folding fabric top puts itself away in 20sec
► New R8 Spyder puts 0-62mph away in 3.6sec
Audi’s ladled an extra helping of glamour upon its R8 supercar, with the introduction of the new Audi R8 Spyder soft-top variant at the 2016 New York motor show.
Under its new rear deck is the same naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 as the R8 Coupe (and the closely relatedLamborghini Huracan), which packs 533bhp, 398lb ft and cylinder deactivation. Drive is sent to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
How fast is the new Audi R8 Spyder?
Nought to 62mph is done and dusted in just 3.6sec (only 0.1sec slower than the Coupe), and the top speed falls just shy of the magic 200mph mark, at 197mph.
Just like the R8 Coupe, the Spyder is all-wheel drive, with an electronically controlled clutch shuffling torque front to rear.
Running costs, if you’re really interested: a claimed 24.1mpg combined and 277g/km CO2 – actually not bad for a V10 convertible.
Audi states that the 2016 R8 Spyder benefits from a whopping 50% improvement in rigidity over the old R8 Spyder, with its Huracan-shared chassis being fabricated from a cocktail of aluminium and composites (predominantly the former).
The Spyder features various bits of extra aluminium latticework to reinforce the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame. Altogether the car weighs 1612kg (although that figure is quoted dry, i.e. without fluids).
Read CAR’s review of the Audi R8 V10 Plus coupe here.
What’s the story with the roof?
The R8 Spyder’s electro-hydraulically driven hat is made from cloth rather than a heavier, slower folding hardtop. It takes 20 seconds to open and close, and can be operated while the car’s travelling at up to 31mph.
Whether the roof’s up or down, the rear window can be raised or lowered independently. All the better to hear that fabulous naturally aspirated V10 doing its thing.
Apart from the obvious, is there anything else new on the Audi R8 Spyder?
A new smartphone interface beams selected functions from your phone direct to the digital instrument panel, an option also coming to the Coupe soon. Said instrument panel is the same ‘Virtual Cockpit’ setup as the coupe version of the R8 (and the similar system in the little bro TT), 3D sat-nav map party tricks and all.
Pick the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system and you’ll get speakers installed in each seat’s headrest (just like an original MX-5), so wind noise won’t spoil your tunes with the roof down.
The original R8 Spyder accounted for one in four R8s sold in the UK – expect a similar story for the sequel. No official word on UK pricing yet, but it’ll outstrip the fixed-head R8 by several thousand pounds.
Read more of CAR’s 2016 New York motor show coverage here
Click here for CAR’s A-Z guide to the 2016 New York motor show