Monday, 04 July 2022

Super-quick R8’s happy to take its top off

YOU always knew when one was approaching from its distinctively vocal 10-cylinder engine.

YOU always knew when one was approaching from its distinctively vocal 10-cylinder engine.

Now the all-new Audi R8 has gone for what I call some real “organic” air conditioning by literally taking its top off.

Not only that, but this new R8 is super quick — a nought to 62mph sprint taking just 3.6 seconds.

The latest open-air Audi R8 Spyder, priced from £129,990, is the new addition to the second generation R8 range.

The hood drops in just 20 seconds on this ground-up reworking of the R8 Spyder.

Not only has more power been added but also a 50 per cent uplift in torsional rigidity.

New features include the fully digital Audi Virtual Cockpit, the Audi smartphone interface and internet-based Audi Connect services.

The main difference between Coupe and Spyder R8 models is the lightweight, fully automated cloth hood — which can be activated at speeds of up to 31mph. It is smartly hidden beneath an integral cover, or reattached to shield occupants from a sudden shower, in 20 seconds. The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can also be retracted and extended at the touch of a button.

The backbone of the new R8 Spyder is the newly developed multi-material Audi Space Frame incorporating a mix of aluminium and carbon fibre that helps to keep dry weight down to just 1,612kg. The improved torsional rigidity is helped by Spyder-specific body reinforcements primarily in the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame.

The latest naturally aspirated V10 works with a fast-acting seven-speed S tronic transmission and a newly-designed quattro drive system using an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch apportioning drive fully variably to either axle according to the situation.

The upgraded power plant adds advanced features such as dual injection to optimise response and a freewheeling mode which enables it to “decouple” whenever possible to improve fuel economy.

With a top speed of 197mph, the latest R8 Spyder is also capable, Audi says, of returning up to 24.1mpg, corresponding to emissions of 277 grams CO2 per kilometre.

The Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system is standard, and offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. Greater fine-tuning is available via the optional R8 performance leather steering wheel with its multifunction and satellite controls, one of which provides access to three more driving programs: dry, wet and snow. These match the car’s operating characteristics to the specific conditions of the road being travelled.

Another highlight for the driver is the 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit, which presents all information using rich 3D graphics. The internet-based services delivered by Audi Connect come as standard in the R8 Spyder — as does the intuitively operated MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, the Audi Music Interface and belt microphones that make it even easier to use natural-language voice control and the phone.

The Audi smartphone interface is also adopted by the second generation R8 Spyder. It enables selected content from compatible iOS and Android smartphones to be displayed by the Audi virtual cockpit.

The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively, and for audiophiles the optional Bang & Olufsen sound system now also plays through two loudspeakers mounted in each seat’s headrest, for outstanding sound quality even when driving with the hood down.

Audi says drivers can also opt for the Sport Plus Pack, which adds even more responsive, variable ratio dynamic steering, Audi magnetic ride adaptive damping and an even more aurally impactful sport exhaust identifiable by black exhaust tailpipes which replace the standard chrome examples.

Over and above the extensive standard equipment, customers have almost unlimited scope to tailor both the interior and exterior to their individual preferences with features such as Gloss carbon exterior detailing, LED headlights with laser technology and a wealth of Audi exclusive upholstery and trim upgrades.

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