The R8 mid-engined sports car combines Audi’s experience acquired from motorsports victories with unique styling and technological know-how. For 2011 the all-new R8 Spyder features the V-10 engine with a 5.2-liter displacement.
The 40-valve, FSI direct injection engine cranks out a whopping 525 horses at 8,000 rpm, while also generating 391 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,500 rpm. The mid-mounted mill is situated longitudinally and connects to either a six-speed manual gearbox or to Audi’s optional R-tronic sequential automatic transmission with manual mode and Launch Control function. The final drive is Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. The engine provides incredible thrust and delivers Audi’s unmistakable throaty sound when the throttle is prodded.
The 2011 R8 Spyder combines breathtaking V-10 performance with the added pleasure of open-air motoring. The R8 V10 Spyder can hurtle from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds with a top speed capability of 195 mph.
The stunning convertible sports car features a fully automatic lightweight cloth top in Black or Brown that weighs a mere 92.6 pounds. When closed it blends harmoniously into the design line, ending in two slim fins or sail panels that extend toward the rear.
Visually, the R8 Spyder V10 Quattro captures everyone’s attention at the very first glance, with its lines offering a unique interpretation of the dynamics and emotion of a quintessential, high-performance sports car. Two distinctive silver cowls, into which the large air intake openings are integrated, give the long back-end a powerful profile.
The R8 Spyder rides on double triangular wishbones made of aluminum at all four wheels, and the hydraulic rack-and-pinion power steering conveys a highly precise road feel. The suspension includes the high-end Audi magnetic ride technology, in which the shock absorbers adjust their response to the road conditions and the driver’s style within milliseconds.
The Spyder rolls on 19-inch wheels shod with staggered Pirelli P-Zero high performance rubber mounted on five-split “Y”-spoke alloy wheels. Braking is handled by four brake discs that are internally ventilated and perforated, and are gripped by a total of 24 calipers.
My test Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder came with the 6-speed, gated manual gearbox, and the base price was set at $161,000. The Audi R8 V10 Quattro Spyder trumps Ferrari. Yes, I said Ferrari. Mind you, the Ferrari is nothing to sneeze at, but the uniqueness of the R8 Spyder (and its considerably lower price point) ranks it above the Italian supercar.
The R8 Spyder is sexy, well proportioned and exquisitely styled with lines flowing in harmony. The unique LED headlamps resemble seashell reflectors and were patterned after famed Opera House in Sydney, Australia. The interior layout is ergonomically friendly, with gauges and instrumentation thoughtfully positioned. Seats are both comfortable and supportive and the ride quality is surprisingly compliant while delivering excellent stability.
The interior accommodations provide a totally driver-oriented cockpit arrangement. The instrument panel above the console is angled slightly towards the driver. There is generous space for the two occupants, where comfort levels are well beyond the average found in most high-performance sports cars. The luggage compartment up front has a capacity of approximately 3.5 cu.-ft.
The R8 Spyder is balanced with spot-on steering response providing precise and nimble handling characteristics. The Sport setting provides an even higher level of performance enhancement for more spirited driving scenarios. The Audi R8 is definitely a car to lust after for those requiring the ultimate in performance and high-speed open-air motoring. Move over Ferrari. — Arv Voss, Motor Matters

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