Frankfurt 2009: Audi R8 Spyder
A drop-top (and an electric) version of Audi's brilliant R8 supercar.
No surprises here – the R8 Spyder is an R8 with a convertible roof. We reckon that makes it one of the most desirable soft-tops around.
The conversion is a straightforward one, with a fabric roof that opens electrically to give you the full wind-in-your-hair experience. Audi says the roof opens and closes in 19 seconds and this can be done on the move, at speeds up to 31mph.
A canvas roof adds only 30kg of weight to the car, so performance isn't much worse than the coupe. Power comes from the R8’s V10 engine. The 5.2-litre unit has 518bhp and in the Spyder it translates into a 0-62mph time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 194mph.
The new body style means the 'Spyder' loses the coupe's aluminium side blades – in its place are extra air intakes behind the seats. There are discreet rollover bars too, which help to protect the occupants if the car flips over.
Loads of luxuries come as standard: leather interior, the Audi Music Interface iPod connection system (or a CD changer as required) linked to a Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated seats, DVD satellite-navigation and seatbelt-mounted microphones which make it possible to talk on the phone even with the top down on the motorway.
How much will it cost?
How does £111,955 grab you? That gets you an R8 Spyder with a manual gearbox. It costs £117,155 for the R tronic version. Order books open in November, with deliveries in the new year.
More R8 models can only be a good thing…