In a span of 24 hours, Audi has dropped not one, not two, not three, not four, but five new variants of their mighty supercar, the R8 . So even if the new lot of R8 models have descended upon us in record-breaking fashion, you won’t find any complaints from us. As a matter of fact, we love it!
For this particular space, the onus is on the R8 V10 Spyder , considered the sexiest of them all thanks to its rich looks, throaty power, and yes, that fold-able top. Unlike the coupe versions of the R8, the R8 Spyder can dress up in more ways than one.
And trust us, that’s a very good thing.
In any case, the new R8 family does have plenty of surprises, including new aesthetic features, a plushier interior, and engine upgrades that will literally give you that proverbial "I-want-me-some-of-that" itch.
Don’t’ feel too bad though because we’ve been scratching for quite some time now so you’re certainly not alone.
Updated 08/30/2012: Today we have added a new set of images for the facelift version of the Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Check the picture gallery to see them all.
Find out more about the Audi R8 V10 Spyder after the jump.
Just like the rest of the newly-released R8 family, the R8 V10 Spyder comes with a host of new details. In the front, Audi is touting a new single-frame grille that has its beveled upper corners painted in high-gloss black. Likewise, horizontal chrome inserts on the struts are part of the package for the V10 models. Another new component for the V10 Spyder is the bumper, which now has air liners that come with three crossbars each. There’s also a new carbon fiber front splitter that comes as an option for all the models, except for the new R8 V10 Plus .
LED headlights are now standard on all the R8 models, including the V10 Spyder. Meanwhile, the side blades on the V10 models now extend a little further outward compared to its V8 siblings, with added special edging. Score one for big brother, right? Over at the rear, there’s a large diffuser that has been pulled a little more upwards and is available as an option for the V10 Spyder while the LED lights also strike a dominating look for the supercar’s rear profile.
Audi offers the R8 in two solid colors - Ibis White and Brilliant Red -, in four metallic shades, and with five pearl effect / crystal effect coatings. For the R8 V10 Plus, a matte effect color is available as an exclusive feature. The side blades on the Coupé come in eight colors, while the soft top of the R8 Spyder comes in black, red, or brown. In addition, the R8 V10 Spyder also gets an exclusive matte effect finish with the side blades being finished in one of three colors: red, brown, or black.
As a convertible model, it certainly goes without saying that the R8 V10 Spyder’s soft top deserves special mention. For the new models, Audi constructed the lid on the soft top compartment and the side parts from CFRP. Add that to the lightweight fabric top, with its largely aluminum and magnesium linkage, and we have an elegant-looking design that only adds impressive visual aesthetics to the supercar’s overall look. In terms of function, the fabric top opens and closes electrohydraulically in 19 seconds, and during driving at up to 50 km/h (31.07 mph).
Befitting a car of its stature, the new R8 V10 Spyder comes with an interior that features a unique combination of space, opulence, and overall functionality.
The dominant feature inside the R8 V10 is the monoposto – the long arc curve running around the cockpit in the area of the driver. The R8 badge is prominently displayed throughout the interior, particularly on the multi-function sports steering wheel, the gearshift, or selector level, at the door sill trims, in the instrument cluster, and on the start screen of the on-board monitor. We’re guessing that whoever is driving the car, they can’t have enough reminders that they’re sitting behind one of the finest supercars on the planet. No complaints here.
Moving on the electrically adjustable sports seats, these babies come as standard on the V10 Spyder. What doesn’t is the seat upholstery, which you can for either Alcantara/leather combination or Fine Nappa. Whichever way works. If the sports seats are a problem, you can opt for the optional bucket seats, although that’s going to be an add-on.
The R8 V10 Spyder’s center console, handbrake lever, and the molding around the navigation system plus have all been covered in leather and adorned by delicate seams. It also has some pretty fancy technological digs, including the navigation system plus and the Bang & Olufsen Sound System as standard on-board features.
Should these features come across as ’incomplete’ to you, you can always take the options route which includes a smorgasbord of new add-ons like a high-beam assistant, a stowage package, various travel case sets, a cell phone preparation with belt microphone and voice control, and the parking system plus with reversing camera.
The Audi R8 V10 Spyder is powered by a hand-built 5.2-liter V10 engine that can be mated to the new, standard 7-speed S tronic transmission or to the optional six-speed manual transmission. As for output, expect 525 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 391 lb/ft of torque at 6,500 rpm, good enough to post an improved 0-62 mph time of just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 193.25 mph. Should you opt for the manual transmission, those numbers become 4.1 seconds and 194.49 mph.
The R8 V10 Spyder’s new 7-speed S tronic engine, in particular, spaces the gears closely in a sporty mode with the final drive position has a wide gear ratio. The dual clutch transmission can be shifted at the selector lever or at the steering wheel paddles while a sports mode is also available.
The R8 V10 Spyder comes with a chassis that has roots in Audi’s rich history of auto racing: double wishbones forged from aluminum guide all four wheels. The Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping is standard on the R8 V10 and optional for the V8 variants, offering a normal mode and a sports mode. From there, Audi also took the task of giving the R8 V10 Spyder a new set of 19" wheels that can be customized with a polished high gloss finish with a titanium look.
The supercar also has new "Wave" steel brake disks that are internally ventilated, perforated, and joined to the aluminum disk bowls by pins. This new "Wave" design, in particular, lowers the weight overall by about two kilograms (4.41 lb) compared with round disks of the same dimensions.
Audi has priced the R8 V10 Spyder at $164,700 for the manual version and at $173,800 for the S tronic version.
The supercar market is thriving with options these days. You only need to take a look at the R8 V10 Spyder and the first thing you’re going to think of is how it stacks up against the rest of the exotic lot, particularly against the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider and the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster.
From a performance standpoint (let’s face it; all these cars are drop-dead gorgeous), the 458 Italia has the most ponies under its hood at 570 horsepower, followed closely by the SLS AMG Roadster at 563 horsepower. But here’s where it gets tricky, despite having significantly more power than the R8 V10 Spyder, both those supercars are right in the same league as the new Audi supercar in terms of top speed: 194.5 mph for the R8 V10 Spyder, 195 mph for the SLS AMG Roadster, and 198 mph for the 458 Italia Spider.
The question now becomes - aesthetics aside - will you settle for the cheapest of the three (the R8 V10 Spyder), the classic German exotic (the SLS AMG Roadster), or the fastest yet most expensive of the lot (the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider)?
If money is no object, we’d go for the 458 Spider. If we’re being budget-conscious about it, it’s the R8 V10 Spyder.
- Splashy interior
- Like the performance numbers
- Cheapest of the competition
- Tough market
- We expected more aesthetic improvements
- Next-generation could be coming soon