2013 Audi R8 V10 S tronic Spyder review

  • Revised Audi R8 Spyder driven in UK
  • Tested with new S tronic twin-clutch gearbox
  • On sale now, priced from £124,225
Audi R8 Spyder review
Audi R8 Spyder review
The V10 Spyder is as exotic as the Audi R8 gets. You've got the same fizzing 5.2-litre engine that's in the V10 coupe, plus the opportunity to indulge yourself with its impressive soundtrack and - when the roof is down - fresh air.

Better yet, Audi has recently made several updates to the R8. Topping the bill is a new seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox option which is backed up by new LED lights and more standard equipment across the range.

What's the 2013 Audi R8 V10 S tronic Spyder like to drive?
Let's start with that new gearbox. The good news is that it's far more appealing than the rather clumsy R-tronic box that it replaces and better than the metal-gated manual option, too.

Bizarrely, when allied to the V10 it's subtly more satisfying than in the V8, being slightly smoother at low speeds and so more pleasurable to creep around town with.

However, as in the V8, it's when you’re able to build up some speed that you see the new S tronic at its best.

You can choose to leave it in D and drive it like a conventional auto, or use the paddles to move up and down the seven gears. Either way, it’s possible to make full use of the fantastically ferocious and high-revving engine.

Gearchanges are imperceptibly quick and allow you to build up to heroic speeds without taking your hands off the wheel. Pushing the Sport button adds extra aggression, with quicker upshifts and a hint more throttle urgency.

Audi R8 Spyder review

Like all R8s it's a fantastically able cross-country device, too, with the four-wheel-drive chassis lending you immense reassurance, even on horridly slippery roads. Mind you, a 911 Carrera 4 does that, too, with even more precision.

Even within the R8 range the V10 isn't quite as precise as the V8, while the Spider model also suffers the odd wobble on uneven surfaces.

Audi R8 Spyder review

What's the 2013 Audi R8 V10 S tronic Spyder like inside?
There's little to report over the last model, aside from the extra standard equipment you have to play with.

The driving position remains first class, as does the view from the driver's seat, considering how low you are to the ground and the fact that there a mass of engine behind your head.

Audi R8 Spyder review

The electric roof works quickly and efficiently, too, and we still love the fact that you can lower the glass rear window to get the noise of the engine, without getting rained on.

Sadly, none of the switchgear or in-car tech has changed at all. It all looks and feels good, but the reality is that newer, cheaper Audis, such as the A3 hatch, look and feel far more sophisticated than the flagship.

Should I buy one?
The new gearbox has vastly improved the R8, plus the V10 Spyder has no direct rivals, splicing as it does 'mere' sports cars such as the Porsche 911 and more exotic propositions such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Even so, it still comes with quite an exotic price-tag and carries a large premium over the still-sensational V8 model, which is the one we'd go for.



Rivals:
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
Porsche 911 Cabriolet Carrera 4S

Read the full Audi R8 Spyder review>>



Specification
Engine size 5.2 V10
Price from
Power 517bhp
Torque 391lb ft
0-62mph 3.8sec
Top speed 193mph
Fuel economy 21.2mpg
CO2 emissions 310g/km

By Chas Hallett
 
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