Consider the R8 lineup complete, or at least symmetrical for now. With the addition of this lightened R8 GT Spyder, Audi has balanced the coupe and convertible sides with three models each: the V-8 cars, the V-10s, and the more-powerful V-10 GT versions. As was the case with the GT coupe, only 333 GT Spyders will be produced for worldwide consumption.
If the hardtop R8 GT is the lineup’s luxury race car, the GT Spyder is better suited for quick pre-race parade laps. It gets the same uprated 5.2-liter V-10 (560 hp, 398 lb-ft of torque) as the GT coupe, again paired solely with Audi’s R tronic single-clutch automated manual for GT duty. The Spyder also sees similar aero and dress-up doodads: a carbon-fiber front splitter and rear spoiler, a carbon-fiber rear bumper with integrated diffuser, and 19-inch wheels. The suspension gets a 0.4-inch drop here, too. The main difference is that the Spyder’s top goes down.
To create the GT Spyder, Audi put the droptop R8 on a diet comparable—but not identical—to the coupe’s. Instead of cutting about 150 pounds in U.S. spec like the hardtop GT (European cars save an additional 70 pounds with lightweight fiberglass seats), the Spyder should lose a mere 107 (availability of the fiberglass seats is still to be determined). And since the convertible car is heavier to begin with, the weight-saving measures should bring it down to the realm of a regular V-10 coupe, around 3800 pounds.
The U.S. cars’ equipment and options haven’t been finalized, but we do know that 90 or fewer examples of the Spyder will be offered in this country. We expect pricing of this now-top-of-the-line R8 to be commensurately range-topping: figure on around $40K more than the R tronic 5.2 Spyder’s base price of $176,150. And, with the added power and weight removal, look for a 0-to-60-mph time of about 3.6 seconds.
Thanks to: Car and Driver