Audi R8 GT Spyder: more power, less weight

Audi has announced a 560HP, 197mph, soft-top Spyder version of its high-performance R8 GT which, thanks to losing 85kg against the already lightweight R8 V10 Spyder, tips the scales at just 1640kg and accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 3.8 seconds.

The Audi Space Frame (ASF) body accounts for just 214kg of the car’s total weight, with increased use of carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). Weight has also been trimmed from transmission components, wheels and brakes – but one of the biggest single savings is in the bucket seats: their chassis of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) waves goodbye to a massive 31.5kg.

Adding to the effect of the weight loss is an increase in power for the V10 FSI engine, now developing 560HP (552bhp), along with 540Nm of torque. Gearchanges come courtesy of the R tronic sequential manual transmission; with the drive delivered – of course – through Audi’s quattro permanent 4WD.

Audi R8 GT Spyder: more power, less weight Audi R8 GT Spyder: more power, less weight

The R8 GT Spyder’s fabric soft top can be electrohydraulically raised or lowered in 19 seconds, at speeds of up to 31mph. The separate, retractable glass rear window lowers into the bulkhead. Cosmetic changes include additional contrasting titanium grey trim elements, a front splitter with a dual lip, ‘flics’ at the sides of the front bumper, red GT badges, round exhaust tailpipes, an enlarged diffuser and dark LED tail-lights in a clear-glass design. An optional windscreen frame in matt CFRP is also available.

Production will be limited to 333 examples worldwide, of which just 66 will be built to right-hand-drive UK specifications. Potential customers can register their interest in RHD versions of the new drophead via Audi Centres or, with formal orders being taken later this summer and first deliveries expected in early 2012.

Text: Charis Whitcombe
Photos: Audi

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