R8 Spyder

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Review: Audi R8 Spyder

Driven October 2016

Review: Audi R8 Spyder

Oh just shut up. Show me more photos of the car...
Hello, I'll do that too. But do you want to know what it's all about?

Yeah, if you say so
Trust us, you'd really want to know what's beneath the skin of this convertible sportscar. It's not just a looker.

Okay. I get it. Go on
So here it is. The engineers at Audi have chopped off the top from the coupé to give the world the best looking R8 in its current lineup. The chassis has been strengthened and stiffed up by 55 per cent to make this Spyder drive as good as the coupé. The roof has been specially designed to keep the weight low, and with a lot of carbon fibre, magnesium and aluminium being used, the drophead weighs just 80kg more than the coupé.

Is this blisteringly fast too?
What do you expect?

A lot...
You've got it, then. It's got the same 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 that Lamborghini uses for the Huracan. It's not as spicy as the coupé, but hot enough to scare the daylights off you. It generates 532bhp and 540Nm of twist. And given that it's a nat-asp, the power delivery is linear and there's no lag that you usually associate with turbos. It begs you to rev, and once you do, it delivers all of that torque right from 2000rpm, and if you still want more fun, it'll rev right till 8500rpm. It's utterly brilliant, the engine.


So how fast does it go?
While the coupé gets 60bhp more than this, and can crack a 100kph in 3.2seconds, this one takes just 0.4 seconds more than that. At 3.6 seconds to hundred, it's one of the fastest convertibles around. And if you ask about the top whack, it's rated at 318kph.

At 318kph, wouldn't it be insane without a roof?
Yes. That's the point, no?

How's it to drive? I mean I know it's fast, but what about handling?
Usually, the Spyders aren't as good to drive as the coupés. There's a certain amount of flex in the body and the torsional rigidity is a bit of an issue. In the case of the R8 Spyder, none of that matters. The engineers have ensured that it's stiff to handle the torture of lateral G forces, and it does that well. All you have to do is point the steering in the direction that you want to go. And no matter what, it'll obey your commands. There's insane amount of bite from the tyres and the system is smart enough to split the torque between the axles to get you around corners fast. Really fast.

Oh great! Tell me more
We told you it's worth knowing what it's about and not just see the pictures.

Okay, okay. Tell me more
The R8 Spyder is brilliantly designed and engineered product. It's been equipped with all the weapons that are need to make a perfect sports convertible. There's massive amount of power, a responsive steering, all-wheel drive and great body composure. And all of that works in such sync that it's hard to find fault with it.

And the ride quality?
Would you believe us if we said it's actually really good? It won't grind your spine to powder. In fact, it'll take good care of it. It's not easy to make a good riding, nice handling convertible. Audi had got this right this time.

Is there something that I won't like about the R8 Spyder?
Well, it's got the looks, style, cabin layout, ease of driving, handling and ride quality sorted. If there's something that you should be worried about, it's the price tag. We reckon, it'll be a good Rs 3 crore worth once it comes to India mid next year.


I'm ready to pay if that's how good the new R8 Spyder is
Great! You seem to have deep pockets. And if you put your money on this, you'll have made a wise decision.

Specs
5204cc, naturally aspirated, V10, 532bhp, 540Nm, 7A, AWD, 0-100kph: 3.6 seconds, top speed: 318kph, price: Rs 3 crore (est, on-road)

Pros: Power, acceleration, handling, ride, styling

Cons: Price

Bottomline: One of the finest convertible around. It's fast, handles like a beaut and the ride quality is not half bad either



Agasti Kaulgi

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