One of the newest stars in New York isn’t debuting today on Broadway, but on the Audi stand at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
Audi’s latest is the soft-top version of its second-generation R8 supercar. Available for UK deliveries later this year, the all-new Audi R8 Spyder is equipped with a naturally aspirated V10 motor, developing 520PS and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm. Enough to propel this two-seater roadster from 0-62 mph in 3.6 seconds, and on to a claimed maximum speed of 197mph.
Audi states that this new R8 Spyder will offer a more intense driving experience over the original soft-top derivative, with a new driving dynamics system utilising Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology, with a 50 percent improvement in rigidity over the first generation model.
Audi’s V10 powerplant, first seen in the original R8, returns in the new Spyder model with more power and sprightlier performance. Remarking on this new R8 derivative, Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development, says, ‘With its spontaneous throttle response, quick revving-up and inimitable sound, the 5.2 FSI naturally aspirated engine in the new Audi R8 Spyder delivers undiluted emotion. Compared to the R8 Coupé, the engine sound in the open high-performance sports car now delivers an even more intense experience,’ he adds.
The new R8 Spyder has a lightweight foldable cloth hood tapering into two fins. These stretch the cloth so that it harmonises stylistically with the lines of this high-performance sports car. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the hood in 20 seconds, up to a speed of 31mph. The rear window, sunk into the bulkhead, can be retracted and extended.
The Spyder weighs in at a lean 1,612 kilograms. The R8’s strong backbone is the newly developed Audi Space Frame (ASF) using a multi-material construction principle, made from aluminium and carbon fibre. The aluminium components make up 79.6 percent of its weight.
In a progression from the current R8 Coupé, they form a lattice that Audi’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills, A-pillars and windscreen frame. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. As a result, the highly rigid body weighs just 208 kilograms, and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous R8 Spyder.
Positioned behind the R8’s mid-mounted V10 is a seven-speed ‘S tronic’ dual-clutch transmission, which the driver controls via steering wheel-mounted paddles. The DSG transmission directs forces to a newly designed quattro all-wheel-drive system with an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. The all-wheel clutch, water cooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torque fully variably according to the driving situation – in extreme cases, up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels.
Audi is using the new R8 Spyder as its launch platform for the Audi smartphone interface, a new technology that makes it possible to display selected content from the smartphone directly in the ‘Audi virtual cockpit.’ From the middle of this year, this option will also be available for the R8 Coupé.
The Audi phone box can also be specified to connect mobile phones to the car aerial and charge them inductively. Audi connect gets the R8 Spyder on the Internet via LTE and provides a wide range of services – from online media streaming to real-time traffic information.
A Bang & Olufsen Sound System is another highlight, with Audi integrating two head restraint loudspeakers into each seat for the very first time to optimise the audio experience with the roof down.
The UK order book for the new R8 Spyder will be opened up shortly, with the first deliveries to British customers expected later this year. No prices have been announced as yet.