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Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI Quattro: How many sports cars are there in a luxury convertible?

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Audi R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI Quattro
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A ls selects the first rollout zone for the R8 Spyder Audi the surroundings of the southern French city of Nice. Does this mean that the future application area of ​​the open two-seater is already predetermined? After all, the promenades in the Mediterranean villages serve as a promenade for numerous exclusive roadsters. But while the snow is still sparkling on German racetracks, the first rays of sunshine are already gaining the upper hand on the Côte d’Azur. Perfect convertible weather is of course preferable to sliding at home.

Audi R8 Spyder with 525 hp V10 engine

In contrast to the coupé debut with an eight-cylinder engine, the open-top sports car can be enjoyed straight away of the 525 PS strong 5.2-liter V10, which he shares with the Lamborghini brother Gallardo. An eight-cylinder variant will not follow until next year. But besides the top engine, is there more to the Spyder than meets the eye? We take a closer look. The cabriolet is based on the same aluminum chassis, but 30 percent of it has been modified. On the one hand, due to the construction, the rigidity had to be increased by using reinforced struts, on the other hand, the design and material cocktail were also further developed.

Externally, the front remains unchanged up to the reinforced A-pillar, so that even the coupé's windscreen fits. Even the doors only have attachment strips to slightly raise the belt line towards the rear. However, by doing without a fixed roof, the designers have redesigned the distinctive R8 sideblades in front of the rear wheels. The new side panels with long air inlets and the trunk lid with two scoops were made from newly developed carbon fiber structures.

A power-to-weight ratio of 3.3 kg /HP

Lightweight plastic is used for the engine compartment lid, rear spoiler and bumper. Overall, the Spyder weighs 1,720 kilograms, which is 100 kilograms more than the coupé. In combination with the well-known ten-cylinder, this results in a power-to-weight ratio of 3.3 kg /hp (Coupé: 3.1). The technical requirements for a high-performance athlete are therefore given.

With the Spyder, all you need to do is press a button to wrap the soft top including the magnesium frame in a sophisticated choreography above the engine. This transformation takes 19 seconds, which is also possible at speeds of up to 50 km /h and thereforenot only attracts attention on the Côte d’Azur. With the strolling properties, he can be seen anywhere. It's time to leave the village to explore dynamic capabilities. With the standard six-speed gearbox, it is a real pleasure to direct the gear lever through the open shift gate. Clack, clack - the gearshift works like a Swiss clockwork and, with nimble handling, should catapult the convertible to 100 km /h within 4.1 seconds. The 530 Nm torque cannot be better managed with the optional sequential switching R-Tronic, but the automated double-declutching shocks are a feast for the ears. In general, the Zehnender has a beguiling sound development that is second to none. In the interior, when the roof is closed, the differences in noise compared to the coupé are marginal up to the recommended motorway speed. However, the glass rear window can be lowered at any time, so that the engine sound floods the monocoque. Even the 14 loudspeakers of the standard Bang & Olufsen sound system cannot counter this.

Spyder freedom has its price - from 156,400 euros

So that the phone -Communication with the outside world still works, three pin-head-sized microphones have been incorporated into the driver's belt. Otherwise the R8 cockpit remained unchanged. The mid-engine athlete is also in his element on winding roads like the French Maritime Alps. With the permanent, rear-biased four-wheel drive, the open two-seater is also on a coupé level in terms of driving dynamics. The adaptive damper system of the Magnetic Ride chassis adapts to all conditions, whether cruising over cobblestones or the asphalt strip of the motorway. The latter can be driven on rampantly, because Audi waives self-restraint and allows a top speed of 313 km /h. The soft top can cope with it, but the hairstyles of the occupants when driving with the open top certainly not. Even at the speed of a country road, the airstream rushes over the window frame and blow-dries the head of hair. The convertible is also ideally positioned for a visit to the ring. Even with the obligatory helmet, there is enough space under the closed hood, and the seats provide sufficient support even with strong lateral acceleration. Even a lap timer is standard on board, just waiting to be used. The first tour of the Mediterranean shows that the open top athlete unites two worlds. But the Spyder freedom has its price, which is 12,000 euros above that of the coupé and starts at 156,400 euros.

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