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Audi R8 Spyder

Driven July 2011

Audi R8 Spyder

The Audi R8 is an impressive supercar. So impressive that it won the 2007 TopGear Supercar of the Year Award. Naturally, we cannot ignore when a convertible version of the same emerges from the
stable.

Normally, convertibles don’t make sense in India thanks to our harsh climes. But must admit it does bring a lot of drama to the automobile. And the R8 Spyder is a good example. For the record, this is 70 per cent similar to its coupe sibling. Where it differs is the 42kg high quality canvas roof top that you can open and shut, all in 19 seconds, either at standstill or upto speeds of 50kph in place of the metal roof. But the car is still around 100kg heavier thanks to the extra reinforcement that the chassis needed for this process.

The Spyder uses the same V10 engine as in the top-of-the-line coupe. So thanks to the slight weight variation it’s 0.2s slower in its dash to 100kph and 3kph down on top speed as compared to the R8 coupe. But this is more on paper and in the real world this shouldn’t bother you unless you buy supercars with the pure intention of taking them to drag races. Nevertheless, the manner in which the R8 Spyder propels itself makes you fall in love with it instantly. It’s like a barrage of thrusts that’s sure to send your adrenaline soaring.

As expected, the R8 Spyder is a nimble handler. Being built on a Lamborghini chassis you can feel the slight rawness although not at the same level. Yet, with a lightweight body that tips the scales just at 1720kg, the R8 Spyder makes little work of long
distances. The steering is light yet precise and you can drive it all day without sweating – that is if you have the roof up and the climate control on. The latter pretty effective, not surprising because it has a rather tiny cabin to cool.

The interiors are pretty straightforward – very typically Audi. Aimple, yet classy with judicious use of buttons and thin chrome. The R8 Spyder is available in both manual and R-tronic gearbox guise. Both cost the same. In manual mode (even in R tronic guise) is when you enjoy driving the Spyder the most and is the one to go for.

The R8 Spyder has a smaller boot than the coupe and you just might think the slightly cheaper Coupe variant is a safer bet, but we like the R8 Spyder more simply because of the drama is brings along with its super performance and the folding roof. And drama is what a supercar is all about.

 



Girish Karkera

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