A stunning new take on the much lauded Audi R8 opens to the public - quite literally - at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show (17th to 27th September 2009). The new Audi R8 Spyder with fully automatic lightweight fabric hood brings added wind-in-hair intensity to the already extreme driving experience delivered by the lightweight aluminium, mid-engine and quattro-equipped super car. Based on the 525PS, 5.2-litre FSI model, but featuring a bespoke body incorporating additional weight-saving carbon fibre composite panels, the new open-air Audi R8 will be available to order in the UK from November 2009 in six-speed manual and six-speed R tronic automated manual forms priced at £111,955 OTR and £117,155 OTR respectively. UK deliveries will start in the first quarter of 2010.
The sculpted lines of the emotion-packed Audi R8 have been subtly re-interpreted to create the new Spyder. The absence of the distinctive side blades that extend into the roof of the fixed head Audi R8 Coupe has been compensated for by the use of elegantly curved new side panels made of carbon fibre composite that blend beautifully with striking arched and vented cowls behind the cockpit which flow apparently seamlessly into the gently curving carbon fibre composite cover for the hood compartment.
The open-top two-seater from Audi features a spacious, typically high quality interior that, helped by a front luggage compartment with a useful 100 litre capacity, is genuinely comfortable and practical enough to make everyday use a pleasure rather than a chore. The low-mounted, electrically adjustable seats position the body perfectly in relation to the flat-bottomed steering wheel and the clear, logically arranged dials.
The generous standard equipment list for UK models includes an extended leather package featuring Fine Nappa leather, the Audi Music Interface iPod connection system (or a CD changer as required) linked to a Bang & Olufsen sound system, heated seats, DVD satellite navigation and - in another world first for Audi - seatbelt-mounted microphones which make it possible to talk on the phone even with the top down on the motorway.
Like its Coupe relative the Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro, which was developed in cooperation with quattro GmbH, delivers absolutely uncompromising performance. The naturally aspirated V10 engine with its aluminium crankcase, much of which is hand-built, produces 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm and peak output of 525PS at 8,000 rpm as it revs freely to its 8,700 rpm limit.
Performance reflects this awesome potential: 0 - 62mph in 4.1 seconds; 0 - 124mph in 12.7 seconds; a top speed of 194mph for the six-speed manual version - all delivered with a heady ten-cylinder soundtrack that is of course even easier to savour in this open-top model.
The optional six-speed R tronic transmission offers a normal and a sport program as well as a fully automatic and a manual mode. The manual mode allows the driver to make lightning-fast gear changes using the lever on the centre tunnel or with the paddles on the steering wheel. The open-air sports car also comes with 'Launch Control' - a program that manages engagement of the clutch perfectly to maximize acceleration at start.
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