Topless V10 Pleasure in Barcelona – The R8 Spyder
It was a quick hop over the Mediterranean with our friends at Audi to sunny Spanish lands and an airport parking full of brand new Audi R8 Spyders.
Testing this car has been high on our to-do list since we saw it in the flesh at Frankfurt motor show and again in London Piccadilly for its UK Premiere. The Audi R8 is a prime example of what can be done when genius minds come together and push the boundaries. It’s simply a super sports car with everyday drivability and the coupe is one of my favourite cars to drive period… so how was the new convertible?
Lets get down to business then. The car keeps it’s naturally aspirated 5.2 V10 engine, which is without doubt the centrepiece of this auto. 0-60 is achieved in 3.6 seconds and it comes from 540 hp of power at 7,800 rpm and 540 Nm. The high revving engine just ensures pleasure time and time again, and with a rev range as such, driving this car is extremely dynamic. The R8 Spyder is of course Quattro, running all wheel drive through a double clutch gearbox. Top speed is set at 198mph and with the top down, that would be quite some fun. Similar stats to the coupe but now lets try out the new feature; the soft top. Hello Spain!
Top Down? Yes Please!
Within 20 seconds and up to speeds of 31mph you are able to drop or retract the lightweight soft top and by doing so you are opening up the stage curtain to your very own symphony. Let that V10 roar and enjoy the characteristic of one of the industries best engines. Its sporty, tactile and noisy! We like it.
Whilst flooring the throttle through diverse and dynamic mountain routes and feathering the throttle on the beaches of Costa Brava, we truly rediscovered the usability of this sports car. Cars built to this standard should not only be for the weekend. People turn heads and cant help but hear the beautiful engine note as you fly past, which ensures you are the centre of attention at all times.
The R8 Spyder features a wealth of technologies including the Second Generation Modular infotainment platform, MMI navigation plus with MMI touch as standard and seatbelt microphones for clear telephony. As expected, we have the smartphone interface with inductive charging and my favourite yet; Audi’s new Bang & Olufsen Sound System with head restraint loudspeakers. This means even with the top down you have uncompromised audio quality, which was so brilliant during the whole driving route.
Something was urging me to wake up in the morning and take this car up to the mountain tops to see the sunrise, so I figured why not? It was 7am and dark, with much of Barcelona sleeping, however after starting her up and driving slightly out of the city it was just myself and the car. The 7 speed S-Tronic transmission, the long rev range, the laser lights and the echo of exhaust backfire through the canyons were all elements to my enjoyment. This combined with the pure acceleration and braking capabilities made my morning. You feel so at home in the cockpit, almost like the centre of the car. You feel embedded into the machine, and with the engine just behind your head and the chassis surrounding you, also safe and confident. For me, one of the key features of this car is the driving sensation and connection as a driver to the car itself. Credit to Audi for making such a wonderful toy. Que Bueno! More information on The R8 Spyder over at Audi