Auto Express drives Audi R8 Spyder

What’s better than a 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 screaming to 8,250 rpm behind your head? That very same engine screaming to redline behind your head without a roof, that’s what’s better. And it’s exactly what the Audi R8 Spyder provides.

No one ever really criticized the Audi R8 for being dull. In Audi R8 V10 Plus trim, it recently obliterated its competition in Motor Trend’s “World’s Greatest Drag Race“, competition such as the McLaren 570S, Acura NSX and Nissan GTR. So there’s nothing dull or unexciting about the R8. However, removing the roof puts it into another league of ear-obliterating nirvana.

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Though the Spyder isn’t yet available in ‘V10 Plus’ trim just yet, so you’ll have to make do with only 533 hp and 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The seven-speed S-Tronic gearbox is still standard and still fires off gears faster and smoother than possibly any transmission on earth. So the R8 Spyder is still properly fast.

But it sounds even better. With the top up, it’s said to be surprisingly quiet. Soft top roofs tend to be noisy and annoying, but this one suffers almost no penalty to its closed-roof sibling. But the only thing that matters is what happens when the roof comes down. If you haven’t yet heard the gorgeous sounds of the 5.2 liter V10, stop reading and search YouTube for videos of it. It’s deep and growly at low revs and it grows into a high-pitch scream at high revs. It’s almost musical.

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While the Audi R8 Spyder is more expensive than the standard coupe, it’s worth the extra money. Sure, it loses a bit of torsional rigidity to the coupe and, in turn, loses a touch of handling dynamics and sharpness. But at this point, it really doesn’t really matter. The Spyder is far more dynamic and sharp than any customer will ever need. And when you’re buying a supercar, you want a supercar experience. The Spyder is best fit to provide that.

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.