If looks could thrill

Judging by the number of thumbs up and endorsements from the local community on the Riviera, the R8 Spyder is definitely a dramatically beautiful looking car that wouldn't look out of place next to the Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Bentleys at Monaco's Casino Square.

Audi says that only 70 percent of the Spyder's body is shared with the coupe's. The centre tunnel and the bulkhead have been specially reinforced to be more rigid, the A-pillars and the sills have thicker sections while an aluminum panel is attached to the underside to further improve lateral rigidity - these are just some of the steps Audi took to reinforce the topless model's strength and rigidity. Despite the reinforcements, the Spyder's aluminium body weighs a mere 216kg, just 6kg more than the coupe's.

Further weight savings are attained through the use of exterior body panels that are made of lightweight thermo plastics and carbon fibre composites. All in all, the R8 Spyder is less than 200kg heavier than the coupe which is pretty good considering the amount of strengthening the body has to go through, the roof, the hydraulics, motors and electrics for the roof mechanism and so on.

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.

The design of the 42kg roof was given meticulous detail. The fins or flying buttresses at the rear give the Spyder a really handsome profile when the roof is closed while the heated rear glass window can be lowered separately into the bulkhead at any time when the roof is either up or down. The latter means you can still enjoy the engine'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 speed 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 behind the rear bulkhead and hides 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 50km/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.



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Engine Capacity 4163cc
Engine Type V 8
Compression Ratio 12.5:1
Power 430bhp @ 8000rpm
Torque 430Nm @ 6500rpm
Power to Weight 247.8 bhp per ton


Acceleration 4.8s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 299 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 7.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type M4


Body Type Supercar
(L x W x H)
(4434 x 1904 x 1244) mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Kerb Weight 1735 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 90 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Discs