Orders are now being accepted for Audi’s latest R8, a Spyder version of the R8 Plus. Only previously available in standard R8 form, the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus brings with it the same mechanical and specification upgrades as the hard top. It's been unveiled at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Headline figures are impressive, with 601bhp, a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds and top speed of 203mph. Those figures come via the 5.2-litre V10 FSI engine that we all know and love. As one of the only naturally aspirated engines in the class – along with the similar unit in the Lamborghini Huracan – the Plus has the same tingly 8700rpm rev limiter as the hard top, giving it an extra edge that's missing from the cooking R8 Spyder. Power is driven through Audi’s excellent 7-speed S-Tronic dual clutch gearbox and rear-biased quattro all-wheel drive system.
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The all-wheel drive system is controlled by a set of electro-hydraulic clutches that vary torque between both axles according to both the conditions and driver mode selected. This means that the R8 Plus Spyder is able to send as much as 100% of available power to either axle, while there is also limited slip differential on the rear to further enhance traction under load.
As in the rest of the R8 range, Audi’s magnetic ride adaptive damper control is an option, instilling excellent body control without compromising too much on comfort and wheel travel. The contentious Dynamic steering option is also available, although as in the coupe, carbon ceramic brakes are standard fit
Visually, the Plus is distinguished from the normal Spyder by its liberal use of carbonfibre, being used on the front splitter, rear diffuser and side intake cover. Unlike the Plus coupe’s ungainly rear wing, the Spyder features a more subtle carbonfibre lip, and can be specified in the corresponding body colour if so desired. The folding soft-top is, as expected, the same unit as on the standard car - still allowing you to drop the rear window for better access to that wonderful noise regardless of weather conditions.
Audi has also revealed details of a Micrommatic Green colour package, combining a black trim package and violent green paintwork set off by black leather interior trim and complementing green stitching. This is on top of the numerous Audi Exclusive paint and interior options that Audi will let you choose between if you are willing to pay for it.
Otherwise the rest of the package is much the same as the hardtop R8 Plus. Judging by how little the transformation from coupe to Spyder affected the standard R8’s dynamic ability, we suspect the Spyder V10 Plus to be a right laugh and it's here just in time for summer.