The R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro is 4.43 meters (14.53 ft) long, 1.90 meters (6.23 ft) wide and 1.24 meters (4.07 ft) high – it has a wide, hunkered-down stance on the road as if ready to pounce. The dynamic proportions, the sculputural design and the passenger cell situated far to the front with the flat windshield visually underscore the mid-engine concept.
As with every Audi, the single-frame grille is the distinguishing element – it is wide and low and painted in high-gloss black. Narrow chrome strips adorn the horizontal and vertical bars of the grille. The lip of the front skirt and the air inlets that direct air across the three radiators are also painted high-gloss black. The inlets have only two crossbars, which makes them look large and hungry.
An exclusive technological highlight is the standard LED headlights of the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro. Audi is the world’s first automaker to use light-emitting diodes for the low beams, the high beams, the daytime running lights and the turn signals. With its color temperature of 6,000 Kelvin, the LED light is very similar to daylight, which keeps the eyes alert when driving at night. The excellent light distribution and long service life of the LEDs are additional advantages, plus they consume substantially less energy than conventional halogen lamps.
The headlights are technical works of art. Each of the daytime running lights comprise 24 LEDs arranged in a wave along the lower edge of the headlights that appear as a solid strip thanks to a plastic body placed in front of the LEDs. The headlight reflectors resemble open mussel shells.
Athletically sculpted: the air intakes
In contrast to the Coupé, the R8 Spyder is missing the sideblades in front of the rear wheels. Instead it has large vertical intakes that are athletically sculpted out of the flanks. The V10 breathes deeply through these intakes – theoretically 750 kilograms (1,653.47 lb) per hour each at full load. The doors have new trim strips with rising edges; the shadow contour of the rear end forms a stark, dynamic wave above the wheels.
Flared side sills set additional lighting accents and sculpt the flanks.
An elliptical crease encircles the long back and provides visual structure. When viewed from above, it combines the passenger compartment and the engine into a single unit. Two large cowls in shining silver discharge at the bulkhead. They taper as they extend to the rear and incorporate upright air openings. Another broad outlet is located between the cowls. It is open when the car is at rest and closed when driving so as not to disrupt the aerodynamics.
The airflow separates from the car very precisely at the slightly rising rear edge. The diffuser underbody sucks the R8 Spyder against the road when driving – downforce placed a greater role than drag during aerodynamic development. With a drag coefficient of 0.37 and the small front surface area of 1.99 m2 (21.42 sq ft), however, the high-performance sports car still glides smoothly through the wind. Audi applied a lot of the knowledge gleaned in motorsport to the flow of air around and through the body of the R8 Spyder.
The rear air intakes also have two crossbars. The exhaust system ends in two large, oval tailpipes, and the fully lined underbody ends in an upturned diffuser, which is painted black. The rear spoiler, modified somewhat from the Coupé, extends automatically at a speed of 100 km/h (62.14 mph). Its interior is designed such that when not deployed it dissipates heat from the exhaust region.
Numerous details demonstrate the love that the Audi designers poured into every detail of the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro. The windshield frame sports a shining application of anodized aluminum, into which the stainless steel brackets for the top are mounted for an appealing contrast. V10 badges on the flanks allude to the power of the engine. A black surface between the tail lights emphasizes the car’s width. Their chambers are colored dark red, with LEDs generating a three-dimensional light pattern.
Audi offers the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro with a choice of three colors – black, red and brown – for the top. The body is available in the solid finishes Ibis White and Brilliant Red; the metallic finishes Suzuka Gray, Teak Brown, Ice Silver, Jet Blue and Aurum Beige; and the pearl effect finishes Daytona Gray, Sepang Blue, Lava Gray and Phantom Black. Customers in search of more exclusivity can choose from roughly 100 special paint finishes or have their very own shade mixed.
Interior, equipment and trim
The Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro is a sports car that is suitable for daily driving. The long 2.65-meter (8.69 ft) wheelbase and broad shoulder width of 1.39 meters (4.56 ft) allude to its generous spaciousness. Drivers and passengers of all sizes can find the idea seating position. Visibility is good, with narrow A-pillars ensuring a large diagonal view to the front. Another strength in daily use is the luggage compartment with room for 100 liters (3.53 cubic ft) under the hood. Mounted behind the seats is a three-bin storage box lighted with LEDs. One of the bins holds the optional CD changer or Audi Music Interface (AMI).
The interior dazzles with a markedly sporty yet comfortable character and is heavily driver-oriented. Its most distinctive element is the monoposto – the large arc encompasses the steering wheel and the cockpit before ending in the driver door and the center tunnel. The monoposto characterizes the dynamic style of the interior every bit as much as the multifunction steering wheel with the ring flattened at the bottom.
The controls are clearly structured, with the controls of the deluxe automatic air conditioners specially matched to the needs of open-top driving. Important information is displayed on a color monitor. The standard driver information system displays the speed digitally and includes a lap timer function for recording lap time. Red rings frame the instruments and the solid aluminum gear lever knob. The pedals, the footrests and the shift paddles of the R tronic are in aluminum look.
The fit and finish of the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro is of unmatched quality – typical Audi. The surfaces of the instrument panel and door liners are backed with a soft material and the decorative stitching is extremely precise. Most of the interior is a sportily cool black; the decorative inlays shine with a satin finish and the aluminum applications adorn the door sill strips. Small LED lamps bath the interior in subtle light, if desired. Many of the components in the interior, such as the top sills and the instrument panel cover – are covered in leather.
Numerous customization solutions are available. Audi offers Alcantara and leather upholstery in a wide variety of colors and grades, packages in carbon and black piano lacquer or a tailor-made set of suitcases. Elegant design and leather packages set additional individual accents.
All inclusive: standard equipment
The Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro will go on sale in Germany in the next few days with a long list of standard equipment at a base price of 156,400 euros. This includes power folding side mirrors, a light and rain sensor, LED headlights, an alarm system and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. It pumps out 465 watts and dazzles with excellent sound from 12 speakers. The systems mid-level bass and high frequency ranges have been specially matched to the acoustics in the R8 Spyder.
Also included standard is the navigation plus system with MMI control logic featuring impressively high resolution and fast route calculation. It reads the route data from a DVD and presents it as a three dimensional graphic on the 6.5-inch monitor. The seats including the lumbar support are power adjustable and heated. Their Fine Nappa leather coverings are specially pigmented to reflect the infrared rays in sunlight and thus protect the interior from heating up. Audi offers a choice of the colors black, titanium gray, lunar silver, nougat brown, luxor beige and red.
A worldwide first from Audi is the seatbelt microphone for the hands-free unit, which makes it possible to talk on the phone even with the top down on the highway. Integrated into each of the two belts are three microphones that resemble small, flat discs and do not interfere with the rolling up of the belts. When the seatbelt is being worn, one microphone is always located in the vicinity of the mouth, regardless of the person’s height. Software analyzes the quality of the signals and forwards the best one to the hands-free unit. A fourth microphone is mounted on the windshield frame and is used to make calls when the car is parked and the seatbelt is not on.
The range of optional equipment offers additional attractive features, including the Audi parking system advanced with integrated rearview camera, the high-beam assistant, a storage package or Bluetooth mobile phone preparation. A sports suspension with conventional dampers is available at no charge to sharpen the racing character. The front spoiler, the rear diffuser, the mirror housings and several engine compartment components are optionally available in carbon from Audi. quattro GmbH, which developed and builds the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro, will also fulfill more extravagant wishes.