Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 GT FSI quattro Review
Along came a Spyder

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
21 Aug 2012
 

Audi gives the pre-updated R8 a highly appropriate send-off with the limited edition, 560bhp R8 GT Spyder.

Introduction, styling

The R8 has been a revelation for Audi and is undoubtedly the brand’s halo car. The rest of Audi’s range has greatly benefitted in terms of image and perception thanks to the R8.

Since its introduction in 2006, Audi has launched additional variants of the R8 to supplement the original V8 coupe model. The first R8 variant to be introduced after the V8 coupe was the 5.2-litre FSI V10 in 2009. Next came the stunning looking topless Spyder in both V8 and V10 forms the following year. With the Spyder, Audi added a new dimension to the R8 experience. Audi didn’t just stop with the Spyder tough as a more hardcore, lightened and more powerful of the V10 coupe – the R8 GT appeared last year. The R8 GT coupe was a limited edition model of only 333 examples worldwide with less than a handful sold here in Singapore.

Audi though, wasn’t about to stop with the GT coupe before it is set to introduce a new updated R8 for 2013 – at the 2011 Le Mans 24 hours, it showed off the drop top version of the GT, the R8 GT Spyder, which has gone on to become another limited edition model of 333 examples, just like its coupe brethren. The ultimate topless R8, the ultra exclusive GT Spyder is the final blast for the ‘original’ R8 before the updated model goes on sale next year. The topless GT has now landed in Singapore and we’ve managed to bag a drive in one of the three examples that has been earmarked for our market.

Unlike the subtle way the V10 differs from the V8, the GT is more easily marked out by its aero add ons and styling tweaks over lesser models. The eagle-eyed will easily mark out the GT’s matt titanium single-frame grille inserts, the CFRP Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer front splitter, the CFRP flip ups on the sides of the front bumper that Audi says increases front downforce, anodized red GT badges on the front wings, widened side sills, smaller wing mirrors with CFRP covers, a fixed rear spoiler and engine cooling louvres on the rear deck made of CFRP, new rear bumper with ventilation slots on he sides just like on the R8 LMS race cars, round large diameter exhaust tips, a larger diffuser made of (more) CFRP, a titanium grey finish for the rear number plate surround and the slats on the rear vents, darkened LED tail lamps as well as unique titanium finished twin-spoke Y-design 19-inch wheels. The GT Spyder is also available in several unique shades including the matt finish Sphere Blue paint job of the car pictured here.

Just like on the other Spyder models, attention to detail was also given to the design of the 42kg fabric roof. The flying buttresses or wings at the rear give the Spyder an elegant profile when the roof is closed while the rear heated glass window can be lowered separately when the roof is in place so that one can enjoy the V10’s vocals at full chat without having the roof down. With a pull of the small switch next to the parking brake, the Spyder’s roof retracts gracefully and parks itself behind the rear bulkhead to hide under the carbon composite panel in 19 seconds. In addition, the roof can be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50km/h.

 Roof up or down, the GT Spyder looks nothing short of gorgeous from any angle. The GT’s go-faster styling bits and lowered suspension do give the Spyder an even more purposeful and aggressive stance when compared to lesser models.


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Engine

Engine Capacity 5204cc
Engine Type V 10
Power 560bhp @ 8000rpm
Torque 540Nm @ 6500rpm
Power to Weight 341.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 3.6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 320 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 7.0 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type MR

Measurements

Body Type Supercar
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4434 x 1904 x 1244) mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Kerb Weight 1640 kg

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs