The stunning new open-air R8 is unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show, powered by ten-cylinder FSI engine. It features a fully automatic lightweight fabric hood to minimize weight in conjunction with Audi Space Frame aluminum construction and additional carbon fiber composite panels.
Based on the 525hp, 5.2-liter FSI model, but featuring a bespoke body incorporating additional weight-saving carbon fiber panels, the new open-air R8 will be available to order with a six-speed manual or six-speed R tronic automated manual.
The sculpted lines of the R8 have been subtly re-interpreted to create the new Spyder. The absence of the distinctive side blades that extend into the roof of the R8 Coupe has been compensated for by the use of elegantly curved side panels made of carbon fiber composite, that blend with striking arched and vented cowls behind the cockpit.
Whether in this compartment or attached to the front screen rail, the soft top blends harmoniously into the R8 design, and weighing a mere 30kg it avoids impacting on the dynamic aspects that have brought this car worldwide acclaim.
Electro-hydraulically controlled, the hood opens and closes in 19 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, and when lowering it folds like a Z beneath the automatically activated cover on its storage compartment above the V10 engine. The heated glass window, which is separate from the fabric hood, is lowered into the bulkhead. It can be independently raised and lowered at the touch of a button, with the top up or down. An additional net-like wind deflector is fitted as and can be latched into the bulkhead behind the seats in two easy steps.
In the version with manual transmission, the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro weighs only 3780 lb thanks primarily to its aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF) body. Despite reinforcements in the sills, the center tunnel, rear wall, floorpan and A- and B-pillars, the body weighs only 475 lb – just 15 lb more than that of the R8 Coupé. The high rigidity of the ASF body, which includes an integrated engine frame of ultra-lightweight magnesium, provides the foundation for the car’s dynamic handling and superior safety.
In a world first for Audi, seatbelt-mounted microphones will make it possible to talk on the phone even with the top down on the freeway.
The naturally aspirated V10 engine with its aluminum crankcase, much of which is hand-built, produces 391 lb-ft of torque at 6500rpm and peak output of 525hp at 8000rpm as it revs freely to its 8700rpm limit.
Performance reflects this awesome potential: 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds; 0-124mph in 12.7 seconds; a top speed of 194mph for the six-speed manual version – all delivered with a heady ten-cylinder soundtrack that is, of course, easier to savor in this open-top model.
The R8 Spyder has a 43:57 axle load distribution. Double triangular wishbones made of aluminum suspend all four wheels, and Audi magnetic ride optimizes composure in terms of comfort and handling. The system uses magnetic fields in the shock absorbers to adjust their response to road conditions in milliseconds and adapt to the driver’s style. The driver can choose between two settings.
The R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro rides on 19-inch 10-spoke Y-design wheels. The front rims are shod with 235/35 tires, with 295/30s at the rear. 305/30 tires are optionally available.