3 June 2011
Audi R8 (2006 - 2015)

Audi R8 Spyder

Sky is the limit for new open-air Audi R8 GT Spyder

Autozine
3 June 2011 | The Audi R8 GT quite literally gets its second wind this week as a new open-air Spyder version of the more focused 560 PS super car makes its debut. Distilling the R8 V10 formula into a more concentrated form, the more intensively weight optimized GT soft-top will deliver its poise to 66 customers in the UK, and a total of 333 worldwide. They will have the opportunity to formally register their interest in right-hand-drive versions of the new 197 mph drop-head via Audi Centres from today. Ordering will begin later this summer ahead of first customer deliveries in early 2012.

Thanks to lightweight technology, the flagship version of the high-performance open-top sports car has trimmed a full 85 kg from the already low weight of the R8 V10 Spyder, and as a result weighs in at just 1,640kg. This helps it to accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and to reach a top speed of 197 mph.

Audi R8 (2006 - 2015)

The Audi Space Frame (ASF) body with its cast nodes, extruded sections and aluminium panels, accounts for just 214 kg of the car's total weight. It is assembled predominantly by hand in the R8 workshop at the Neckarsulm plant. Final assembly of the car takes place in the same way.

The engine frame is made of ultra-light magnesium; additional elements of the body are made of carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). Together, these components provide a weight saving of 5.5 kg.

Visual modifications accentuate the styling of the R8 GT Spyder. These include additional contrasting titanium grey trim elements, a front splitter with a dual lip, flics at the sides of the front bumper, red GT badges, round exhaust tailpipes, an enlarged diffuser and dark LED tail lights in a clear-glass design. An optional windscreen frame in matte CFRP is also available.

Audi engineers also trimmed weight from the technical components in the transmission, wheels and brakes. In the interior, the bucket seats alone, with their chassis of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP), saved 31.5 kg.

Audi R8 (2006 - 2015)

The 5.2-litre V10 with an aluminium crankcase draws its fuel from an FSI direct injection system. Dry-sump lubrication ensures a reliable supply of oil even under maximum lateral or straight-line acceleration. With its modified electronic management, the long-stroke engine produces 540 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm, and peak power of 560 PS.

Gear changes in the R8 GT Spyder are handled by the R-Tronic sequential manual transmission without exception. Thanks to its electrohydraulic clutch and switching unit it shifts through each of its six gears within one tenth of a second at high load and engine speed, and it can operate in Normal, Sport and 'manual' modes.

The Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system has a strong rear-wheel bias which is accentuated by the axle load distribution. If the situation calls for it, the system sends additional torque to the front axle. In tandem with the limited slip differential at the rear, it provides an added measure of high speed traction, stability and composure compared with more conventionally configured sports cars.

Aluminium double wishbones locate the wheels, and the rack-and-pinion power steering provides intimate feel and feedback. Taut tuning lowers the body by approximately 10 millimetres onto 19-inch wheels with 235/35 tyres up front and 295/30 tyres at the rear. The large, lightweight carbon-fibre ceramic brake discs decelerate the car with exceptional fade-free efficiency. The Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) has a sport mode and can also be deactivated entirely.

Audi R8 (2006 - 2015)

The interior is finished in black and can be trimmed in a choice of titanium grey or crimson red for added refinement. Alcantara upholstery comes as standard, and also features on the sports steering wheel and inner windscreen rail.

Audi also offers leather in Fine Nappa quality. Numerous details - including white dials and R8 GT logos - emphasize this car's very special position within the R8 range. The distinctive R8 "monoposto," a large arch encircling the driver's cockpit, is made of matte CFRP.

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