Audi Debuts the 560 hp R8 GT Spyder

It’s no surprise that, on the heels of its sold-out R8 GT supercar, Audi would reveal an open-top version based on the R8 Spyder—but that doesn’t diminish the thrill of its arrival.

As they did with the R8 GT coupe, Audi’s engineers examined every aspect of the R8 Spyder for possible weight savings. As such, the GT Spyder is about 188 pounds lighter than the standard car—a surprising 65 pounds of which comes from the use of feather-light glass-fiber-reinforced polymer. Suspension tweaks lower the car by four-tenths of an inch, and behind new 19-inch alloy wheels, huge carbon-ceramic disc brakes provide fade-free stopping power.

Thanks solely to modifications to the engine-management system, the GT’s normally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 sees output leap from 525 hp to 560 (a figure that lines up with the GT’s fearsome Italian cousin, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder). The engine pairs only with the R tronic automated manual transmission, which executes paddle-actuated gearchanges in a scant one-tenth of a second. Power is delivered to the pavement via Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system, which has been revised to provide a strong rear-wheel bias for a bit of supercar-appropriate tail-happiness under full throttle.

Performance is, of course, suitably impressive. Sixty miles per hour arrives in 3.8 seconds (just two-tenths of a second longer than the lighter R8 GT coupe) and the speedometer needle will swing all the way to 197 mph—top down.

Production of the R8 GT Spyder, like the coupe, is capped at 333 units, each wearing a number tag on the gearshift lever. Expect some 90 examples to find their way to the United States, and though pricing hasn’t been announced, look for the breezy GT to command a solid $50,000 more than the $162,700 R8 Spyder and at least $15,000 more than the $196,800 R8 GT coupe. If you want one, act quickly. (audiusa.com)

Lotus claims the sports car will embarrass its more expensive rivals...
Gooding & Company auctions a vintage Lamborghini to fund mental-health-care initiative…
Photo by Gerald Farber Photography
The pebble beach Concours d’Elegance and the surrounding four days of automotive auctions (...
Photo by Max Earey
Salon privé, the United Kingdom’s most prestigious automotive occasion, marks its 10th anniversary...
Photo by Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby’s has assembled a special sale of approximately 30 postwar sports cars dubbed the...
Ferrari 488 Spider front quarter panel view
The $275,000 open-air roadster can lower its top in 14 seconds and hit 62 mph in 3 seconds…
Photo by Basem Wasef
The new edition features a striking monochromatic color scheme and carbon fiber accents…
Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…