New R8 Spyder Launched In UK - SG, Hold on

BY Azfar Hashim

Among the impressive equipment for this model includes the debut of Audi's smartphone interface and a Bang & Olufsen audio system with headrest-mounted speakers

Devotees of the gloriously vocal ten-cylinder engine at the heart of the all-new Audi R8 will be able to revel in the roar even more completely, by opting for this latest open-air R8 Spyder. The new addition to the second generation R8 range can convert to sun-seeking mode in just 20 seconds, letting occupants enjoy the elements and the (increasingly) rare tune of a naturally aspirated V10 soundtrack.

One key difference between the Coupe and Spyder R8 models is of course the lightweight, fully automated cloth hood, which can be activated at speeds of up to 50 km/h, and is slickly concealed beneath the sculpted integral cover - it takes just 20 seconds for the roof to be activated. The rear window can also be retracted and extended at the touch of a button.

That said, the backbone of the new R8 Spyder is actually the newly developed multi-material Audi Space Frame (ASF) which incorporates a mix of aluminium and carbon fibre that helps to keep dry weight down to just 1,612 kg. But at the same time, torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 per cent compared with the previous model, helped by Spyder-specific body reinforcements primarily in the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame.

Audi's Drive Select adaptive dynamics system is standard, and offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. There is also access to three more driving programs: dry, wet and snow. These match the car’s operating characteristics to the specific conditions of the road being travelled.

The Audi smartphone interface, which made its debut in the Q7 and A4 model lines (and has just become a standard feature of the A3), is also adopted by the second generation R8 Spyder. It enables selected content from compatible iOS and Android smartphones to be displayed by the Audi virtual cockpit. The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively, and for audiophiles the optional Bang & Olufsen Sound System now also plays through two loudspeakers mounted in each seat’s headrest, for better sound quality especially when driving with the hood down.

Propelling the car is the latest naturally aspirated V10, working with a fast acting 7-speed S-tronic transmission and a newly designed quattro drive system using electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch, varying to either axle according to the situation. The upgraded power plant adds advanced features such as dual injection to optimise response, and a freewheeling mode which enables it to ‘decouple’ whenever possible to improve fuel economy. 532 bhp of power and 540 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm promises phenomenal road performance, with the 0 to 100 km/h taking just 3.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 317 km/h. To please environmentalists, the latest R8 Spyder is also capable of returning up to 10.2 km/L, corresponding to 277 grams CO2 per kilometre.

Drivers keen to wring every last ounce of reward from their R8 can also opt for the Sport Plus Pack, which adds even more responsive, variable ratio dynamic steering, Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping and an even more aurally impactful sport exhaust, identifiable by black exhaust tailpipes which replace the standard chrome examples.