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204mph Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus blasts in with 602bhp

Auto Express logo Auto Express 14/06/2017 James Brodie

Audi has revealed a new drop-top supercar in the form of the R8 Spyder V10 Plus – the firm’s fastest convertible ever. 

It turns the wick up on the standard R8 Spyder, using the same mid-mounted naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine but with performance tweaks to bring out 602bhp – 70bhp more than the 532bhp figure of the non ‘Plus’ version of the convertible supercar. 560Nm of torque is also promised alongside an ear-splitting 8,700rpm redline.

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As a result, Audi promises additional performance – the 3.3-second 0-62mph time is 0.3sec faster, while top speed climbs from 197mph to 204mph. Compared to the hardtop Plus it’s one tenth of a second slower to 62mph from standstill, and the 204mph top speed is officially 1mph down, at least on paper. 

The engine’s primary concern may be pace, but Audi hasn’t neglected efficiency technology.

A cylinder-on-demand system can deactivate one of the cylinder banks, transforming the engine into a five-cylinder when low demands are placed on it. A coasting function means the engine disconnects from the drive if the driver lets off the accelerator at speeds over 34mph, and a stop-start system is fitted. This is still the thirstiest, dirtiest R8 though, with Audi claiming 22.6mpg and 292g/km CO2. 

Power is delivered to the quattro all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while variable torque distribution means that up to 100 per cent of the torque can be sent to one axle if the driving situation depends on it. Selectable driving modes mean that the driver can choose between various drivetrain and suspension setups.

Weighing in at 1,695kg, the convertible roof mechanism and additional chassis strengthening adds 140kg to the curb weight. It is, however, 25kg lighter than the normal R8 Spyder thanks to the usage of more lightweight materials, such as carbon-fibre reinforced plastics and aluminium components. The folding roof itself is primarily made from aluminium and magnesium, but is finished with a cloth exterior skin. It takes 20 seconds to open and close, and can be done on the move at speeds up to 31mph.

An aggressive look is carried over from the R8 V10 Plus coupe with a large, carbon front splitter and gloss black grille at the front. A diffuser capable of generating 100kg of downforce, plus a carbon lip spoiler, are found at the back, and lightweight 19-inch aluminium wheels are fitted as standard. Inside, carbon fascias trim the dashboard, while deep bucket seats and Audi’s virtual cockpit system are fitted as standard.

Order books for the new R8 Spyder V10 Plus are open now, with first deliveries scheduled for later this summer. In Germany it’ll cost from €207,500, which would translate to a UK price of £182,550. Should it command the same £15,000 premium the R8 V10 Plus carries over the normal coupe, a price tag of £147,020 would be on the cards.

 What do you make of Audi's new soft-top supercar? Let us know in the comments.

Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder front quarter dynamic © Auto Express Audi R8 V10 Plus Spyder front quarter dynamic

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