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Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro Review: Catching Spyders

Having first driven it in the glamorous surroundings of the French Riviera back in March, Raymond Lai finds out what the R8 Spyder is like on more familiar ground here in Singapore.  
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
01 Jan 2011
What we like:
pros
Explosive performance
pros
intoxicating soundtrack
pros
drop dead gorgeous looks
pros
less edgy than the coupe when pushed hard
What we dislike:
cons
Priced within reach of super sports cars from established brands like Porsche and Ferrari
cons
a manual gearbox will suit us fine
cons
not for shy types


Like every other Audi topless model out there, the R8 Spyder utilizes a fabric roof instead of the increasingly popular metal hardtop design. Well, after all, Audi believes that a canvas roof is all part of the topless motoring experience.

Attention to detail was given to the design of the 42kg fabric roof. The flying buttresses at the rear give the Spyder a really handsome profile when the roof is closed while the rear heated glass window can be lowered separately into the bulkhead at any time when the roof is either up or down. (Like on a BMW 6 Series convertible). The latter means you can still enjoy the V10's vocals at full chat without having the roof retracted. Audi claims that the soft top is suitable without restriction for high-speed driving so the roof should stay in place should you decide to try out the Spyder's 313km/h top whack on a derestricted Autobahn.

With a pull of the small switch next to the parking brake or a long press on the key fob, the Spyder's roof retracts gracefully and parks itself into a compartment between the seats and the engine and hide under the lightweight carbon composite panel in just 19 seconds. In addition, the roof can be operated on the move at speeds of up to 50 km/h, a trait it shares with its Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet rival and other topless Audis. For added safety, the bulkhead includes integrated rollover protection in the form of two pretensioned plates. A wind deflector that can be installed in just two steps is also provided. Motoring with the roof down is an absolute joy in the R8 Spyder - one can savour open top driving with the symphonic V10 doing its work just behind your ears.

Under the canvas hood, the Spyder offers a cabin that is mostly similar to the coupe's but unlike the latter, the topless model doesn't offer any additional storage space behind the seats which means only the miniscule sized boot up front will gobble up any small bags. Just like the exterior paint job and finish on the wheels, the interior is customisable and can be had with a variety of cost options, just like the car in the pictures here.

With a sticker price of around three-quarters of a million dollars, the Spyder faces tough competition from models from established supercar brands like the Ferrari California, Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and so on. To choose the Spyder over the evocative Prancing Horse and the ultra fast 911 will be a tough thing to do but when it comes to dramatic looks and desirability, the R8 Spyder is certainly hard to beat.

Credits: Story and Photos by Raymond Lai

Audi
Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro
Cars in this article
Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro (A) 2010
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Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro (A) 2010

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