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2017 Audi R8 Spyder First Look Review

New R8 Droptop Stuns With Plenty of Style

Stefan Ogbac
Mar 23, 2016

Audi revealed the 2017 R8 Spyder at the 2016 New York auto show, and the new car might attract even more attention than its coupe sibling. Like the R8 coupe, the R8 Spyder comes standard with a V-10 engine and weighs lighter than the car it replaces thanks to the new Audi Space Frame platform.

Extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber in the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder's construction means its 458 pounds lighter than the old model while torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent. The car also features a new lightweight soft top that can open or close in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph. Like the coupe, the R8 Spyder features an evolutionary exterior design that makes it instantly recognizable as an R8. Additionally, the car retains a half side blade that covers the air intakes just behind the doors.

Audi R8 Spyder V10 front three quarter6 Photo 2/38   |   Audi R8 Spyder V10 front three quarter6

A 5.2-liter V-10 rated at 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque is the only engine available, and is paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Audi says fuel economy has improved by 10 percent thanks to efficiency technologies such as a new freewheeling mode that lets the R8 coast with the engine decoupled from the transmission. The automaker's Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard on the 2017 R8 Spyder and is able to send 100 percent of the drive torque to the front or rear axle in extreme cases. Audi has integrated an intelligent control system to the Drive Select interface, giving the driver four different modes ranging from comfort to sport. In addition, the car can also be adapted to current weather conditions by choosing from three more programmable modes -- dry, wet, or snow -- for improved handling.

Audi R8 Spyder V10 profile2 Photo 6/38   |   Audi R8 Spyder V10 profile2

Inside, the 2017 R8 Spyder comes with Audi's Virtual Cockpit system, which replaces traditional gauges with a 12.3-inch TFT display that shows everything from navigation, multimedia info, fuel levels, speed, and a rev counter in 3D. Audi's smartphone interface also allows drivers to project selected content from a smartphone and into the Virtual Cockpit. The MMI infotainment system is also available in the R8 Spyder and comes with touch pad controls as standard. You can also add 4G LTE connectivity to turn the car into a mobile hot spot so you can use your mobile devices to surf the Internet, get real-time traffic information, and stream online media. An upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system that embeds two speakers into each seat will also be available.

The 2017 Audi R8 Spyder will be hand-built exclusively at Audi's Neckarsulm plant in Germany. Standard features include sport seats, a front spoiler, a sport exhaust, side blades of different colors, and LED headlights. A wireless phone charger called the Audi phone box and racing bucket seats will also be available in the 2017 R8 Spyder. Prospective buyers will also be able to tailor their R8 Spyders since the automaker will offer them the ability to personalize the car's interior and exterior based on their wishes.

Audi R8 Spyder V10 interior1 Photo 10/38   |   2017 Audi R8 Spyder First Look Review
Audi R8 Spyder V10 from above Photo 38/38   |   2017 Audi R8 Spyder First Look Review
By Stefan Ogbac
132 Articles

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