A convertible version of Audi’s R8 supercar (Ironman’s choice of ride when not in his suit), the R8 Spyder debuted at the New York Auto Show. Featuring the same naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 putting out 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque as in the R8 coupe, the Spyder is shorter and wider than the first generation convertible. Also carried over from the coupe is the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro system, although up to 100% of the available power can be sent to either axle. Under normal driving conditions the system sends most of the power to the rear-wheels. According to Audi, the R8 Spyder can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.6 seconds.
Grip comes from 295/35R-19 tires in the rear and 245/35R-19 tires up front. Optional are 245/30R-20s and 305/30R-20s for the front and rear, respectively. Through the use aluminum in most of the spaceframe, Audi has kept the weight at a respectable 3,554 pounds, according to the company. The retractable top reportedly accounts for less than 100 of those pounds.
Inside the new R8 Spyder, Audi has employed the “Virtual Cockpit” – the company’s term for its digital instrument cluster that was first seen in the TT coupe. Put the top up and enjoy the 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system, or put it down and share your musical tastes with the rest of society… ‘cuz everybody loves people who do that, right?
Pricing has yet to be announced for this latest droptop R8, but it will certainly be more than the coupe’s $162,900 base price. Look for the R8 Spyder to arrive at dealerships this summer. For those who have more modest budgets than the R8 demands, check out Audi’s entry-level sedan – the A3 – in the video below.