After being revealed internationally last year at the New York Auto Show in May, the Audi R8 V10 Spyder has been launched in Australia. Priced from $388,500 plus on-road costs, the R8 V10 Spyder is lighter, stiffer and faster than its predecessor, or so Audi Australia claims.
The second-generation R8 Spyder also launches in Australia more than a year after its coupe sibling, and unlike the first-generation of R8, arrives only with a V10 engine. The 2.9-litre twin turbo used in the new Audi RS5 is rumoured to join the range in 2019.
The V10 in question is a naturally aspirated 5.2-litre unit from the Lamborghini Huracan, producing 398kW of power and 540Nm of torque. The 0-100km/h sprint is claimed to be dealt with in just 3.6 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than its predecessor), 0-200km/h is in 11.7 seconds and Audi claims a top speed of 318km/h. Not exactly slow.
Despite the R8 V10 Spyder’s focus on performance, it is also relatively fuel efficient for a supercar. Like the R8 coupe, the V10 Spyder inherits efficiency technologies from other Volkswagen Group products, including a new freewheeling mode, which allows the R8 V10 Spyder to coast with the engine decoupled from the driveline. It’s also lighter than its predecessor, and uses ten percent less fuel in the process – that’s 11.7L/100km and 277g/km of CO2. It’s also 25kg lighter than the model it replaces.
Transferring the R8 V10 Spyder’s power to the road is a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission via Audi’s famed quattro all-wheel drive system. In normal conditions, it transfers power equally between the front and rear wheels, though it does have the ability to send up to 100 percent of the engine torque to either axle.
Part of the R8 V10 Spyder’s standard equipment is Audi drive select, which allows owners to choose four pre-set driving modes – Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual – with the latter allowing owners to choose their own settings for the car. The drive select also incorporates three further performance modes – Wet, Dry and Snow. The R8 V10 Spyder also includes Audi magnetic ride control, which gives the car the ability to firm up its dampers when needed, ie in sportier driving, but also remain comfortable in everyday use.
Like the first R8 Spyder, the R8 V10 Spyder is offered only with a cloth roof. Audi claims that the hood’s ability to taper into two fins thats stretch the cloth “harmonise perfectly with the athletic design” of the supercar. The roof can be opened and closed in 20 seconds, and up to speeds of 50km/h. The rear window can be retracted and extended, and with all the windows up, Audi claims the “air stream strokes the body with a minimum of turbulence, making this Spyder an extremely pleasurable experience to drive”. We’ll have to take their word for it.
The cabin of the R8 V10 Spyder is driver-focused, and wraps around the driver. Audi claims that the driver can operate all important function with the multifunction steering wheel. Like the R8 coupe, the R8 V10 Spyder comes as standard with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital dials – the 12.3-inch display is configurable and can be configured to show a special performance view that includes driving dynamics information.
Audi’s MMI navigation with MMI touch is standard equipment, as is a Bang & Olufsen sound system that incorporates speakers into each of the seats for “the ultimate sound experience – hood up or down.” Both sports seats are electrically adjustable and incorporate three-stage heating as well. Customers can also customise their R8 V10 Spyder further, with many different trims and colours available to select. This also extends to the availability of carbon trim for the front spoiler, rear diffuser and the sideblades as well.
2017 Audi R8 V10 Spyder Australian equipment:
– 19-inch alloy wheels
– Audi sport bi-modal exhaust system
– Audi magnetic ride control
– LED laser headlights
– High beam assist
– Dynamic indicators
– Metallic/pearl effect paint
– Wave brake discs – carbon ceramic discs are optional
– R8 sport steering wheel with two ‘satellite’ buttons for power and for Audi drive select features
– Virtual Cockpit with 12.3-inch instrument cluster display
– Bang & Olufsen sound system including two speakers in each seat headrest
– Interior trim: high-gloss black inlays
– DAB+ digital radio
– Parking system plus including a rear-view camera
– Three-stage heated seats
– Keyless entry and start
– Climate control air conditioning
– MMI navigation plus with MMI touch
2017 Audi R8 pricing (plus on-road costs):
– R8 V10 coupe: $356,200
– R8 V10 Plus coupe: $391,200
– R8 V10 Spyder: $388,500
Almost 70 R8 Spyders have been sold in Australia since the first-generation model was launched here. Audi Australia forecasts between five and 15 sales of the second-generation per year, with the first examples arriving in Audi showrooms in late May 2017.