The next stage in the R8 story is this stunning, open-topped model, on show at Frankfurt with UK prices confirmed.
The new convertible is powered by the R8 coupé’s 525HP 5.2-litre V10 petrol engine, and it will be available to order in the UK from November at a price of £111,995 for the six-speed manual and £117,155O for the R tronic automated manual. The first deliveries are expected in the first quarter of next year.
The weight of the open-topped car is minimised by Audi’s (fully automatic) lightweight fabric roof – just 30kg – as well as the aluminium spaceframe and carbonfibre composite panels of the body.
Gone are the distinctive side blades which caused so much controversy among pundits. To compensate for the removal of such an eye-catching styling cue, the Spyder has curved, carbonfibre side panels with arched and vented cowls behind the cockpit, which blend into the gentle curve of the (again carbonfibre) storage compartment for the folding roof, above the V10 engine.
The electrohydraulically controlled roof opens and closes in 19 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. Separate from the fabric roof is a heated glass window, which can be raised and lowered (into the bulkhead) at the touch of a button, with the roof up or down.
Worried that you might not be able to talk to your passenger, top-down on the motorway, without raising your voice? Of course you are. Fortunately, Audi has thought to include seatbelt-mounted microphones to overcome that possible nuisance. These come as standard in the UK – as do the all-LED headlights, Audi magnetic ride and Bang & Olufsen audio.
Acceleration is a heady 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 194mph for the six-speed manual version. The manual’s combined fuel consumption is 19.0mpg – rising to 20.3mpg for the R tronic. And in case you were worried not only about chatting to your passenger at 194mph but also about oil surge when you corner as hard as you dare, you’ll be glad to hear that dry-sump lubrication will ensure a steady supply of oil, even at the maximum lateral acceleration of 1.2g.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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