Audi’s second-generation R8 supercar will receive an open-top Spyder sibling early next year, as these latest spy pictures show the new model in testing ahead of its planned debut at the LA show in November.
The biggest styling changes to the Spyder occur at the rear, where these prototypes have been fitted with a flatter rear deck in order to accommodate the folding soft-top roof. The glass panel seen on the coupé has also been removed, while new air vents to help cool the R8’s V10 engine have been added.
Like the R8 Coupé, the Spyder is set to be offered in two states of tune. Power will come from a 5.2-litre V10 engine, which in standard form produces 532bhp at 8000rpm and 398lb ft at 6500rpm. In V10 Plus form, power is increased to 601bhp and 8150rpm and torque to 413lb ft – the same as the Lamborghini Huracán, with which the new R8 shares some of its components, including its chassis.
Expect the R8 Spyder to closely match its Coupé sibling in terms of performance. The coupé is capable of reaching 62mph in 3.5sec and has a top speed of 201mph. In top-spec V10 Plus form, the same sprint is acheived in 3.2sec, with a top speed of 205mph.
Power will be sent through Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.
By comparison, the near-£200,000 Ferrari 488 Spider gets 660bhp from its 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, is able to reach 62mph in 3.0sec and has a top speed of 203mph.
The new Spyder is expected to use the same lightweight aluminium and carbonfibre-reinforced plastic spaceframe structure that underpins the coupé. At the Coupé’s launch in Geneva, Audi claimed the new structure had shaved 66kg off the car’s kerb weight, meaning the the V10 Plus model weighs in at 1454kg. The German manufacturer will be looking to make similar savings for the Spyder.