Sun-worshipping supercar lovers won’t have to wait too much longer to drive topless in the second-gen Audi R8. After the 2016 Audi R8 was introduced earlier this year, new spy shots reveal that a drop-top isn’t too far away, but there is still no telling when or where the all-new R8 Spyder will be revealed.

Based on the coupe, it isn’t too hard to imagine what the Spyder would look like, but in an interesting move, Audi has camouflaged every inch of this prototype with the exception of the power-retractable soft top. As expected, the bulk of the changes are being made to the rear of the car, but it doesn’t appear to be all that different than the rear-end styling of the current 2014 - 1015 Audi R8 Spyder, including the side buttresses on the soft top and the vented engine cover. One key difference is that the rear engine compartment vent previously incorporated into the retractable spoiler is now situated between the taillights.

The new R8 Spyder will still pack the same 5.2-liter V-10, but the added weight and reduced aerodynamics should negatively affect performance. As a refresher, the 2016 R8 weighs around 3,200 pounds and the engine can be tuned to up to 610 horsepower on the 2014 - 2015 Audi R8 Plus, which returns a 0-60 time of around three seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.

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Why it matters

The fact that the next-gen Audi R8 Spyder was spotted testing on and around the Nürburgring in what appears to be production-ready trim shows that the car could be ready for launch soon – perhaps even next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. For U.S. buyers, expect it to debut after the R8 coupe for the 2017 model year.

2016 Audi R8 Coupe

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 618885

Read our full review here.

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