Top Gear Tests the Audi R8 Spyder — Better Without a Roof

It’s been two years since I drove the Audi R8 V10 Performance and it’s still the best Audi I’ve ever driven. However, I’m dying to drive the Spyder version because, when you read reviews like this one from Top Gear, it seems like the R8 gets better without a roof.


Under the skin, the Audi R8 V10 Spyder is the same as its fixed-roof sibling. So the 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 makes the same amount of power as its coupe siblings; 602 horsepower (612 horsepower for EU models) for the Performance and 562 horsepower for rear-drive models. However, the Spyder’s folding roof and extra chassis bracing make it a bit heavier and therefor a touch slower. Still, the Performance can reach 62 mph in 3.4 seconds. Plenty fast enough.

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Where the Spyder version makes a case for itself is in excitement. Sans roof, the gorgeous atmospheric V10 song makes its way to your ears, uninterrupted by a metal roof. Combine that incredible engine noise with the sounds of the world around you and you get one of the great aural automotive experiences you can possibly find. Normally-aspirated engines are incredibly rare in this current market, with turbocharging dominating the marketplace. Which makes the free-breathing song of the Audi R8 V10 so much sweeter.


It’s not bad to drive, either. Sure, TG has some issues with its driving dynamics, as it can get a bit too busy over rough pavement and its driving position isn’t perfect, but it’s still genuinely fun to drive. Still, though, you can buy a lot of great sports cars for the same money. You don’t buy the R8 Spyder for the most superior handling. You buy an Audi R8 V10 Spyder because you want something that handles well but makes a noise that no other car in its price range can match. And without the roof, it’s even better.

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[Source: And without the roof, it’s ]
Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.