Let’s call this a happy coincidence. I’d booked the blue Audi R8 V10 coupe in as a compare-and-contrast with my V10 Plus and the dates happened to coincide with the launch of the new V10 Spyder.
So, all currently available R8s (a V10 Plus Spyder is only a matter of time, and presumably some sort of hardcore one, too) in the TG car park at the same time. Better still, all in perfectly contrasting specs.
This was really interesting. One of my minor criticisms of the R8 is that the seat is mounted too high. The Spyder had the lower slung one-piece buckets fitted. The gearing of my Plus is also shorter to maximise acceleration. But as a daily thing I’ve wondered if the longer gears (from fourth to seventh) of the standard 533bhp V10 might be more relaxing, economical and companionable. Would that be the case? And would that even be a good thing? Anyway, several questions to answer.
Going back to our yellow Plus: its £137,450 list price is padded out with £16,000 of options – and it already comes notably better equipped than the £122,450 standard version. Not only do you get an extra 69bhp, but also carbon ceramic brakes, one-piece bucket seats (that’s right, I deselected them), carbon rear spoiler, mirrors and side blades, sports exhaust and matt carbon inside. All of which help to justify the £15,000 price leap. It looks the wotsits, especially inside.
The blue one, fattened by a mere £5,600 of options, none of them cosmetic, is rather plain inside. It looks too much like a TT to me, the grey plastic and flatter seats dulling visual impact. Make what you will of the diamond-pattern yellow stitching and carbon trim in our yellow car, but personally I think it sets the car off a treat (but then I would say that, having specced it in the first place…)