Audi R8 GT Spyder Car Review
Engine: 5.2-litre V10
Gearbox: six-speed R tronic, all-wheel drive Power: 553 bhp
0-62 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top Speed: 197 miles per hour
Economy: 19.9 miles per gallon
Emissions: 332g per kilometre
Equipment: Carbon ceramic brakes, carbon bucket seats, GPS, carbon front and rear splitter, climate control, Bang & Olufsen stereo (no-cost option), Bluetooth
On Sale: Now
The R8 GT Spyder is by far the most expensive Audi ever released. Though it sheds weight in order to be able to increase performance, can it really justify that price tag?
This has to be the ultimate Audi R8. That certainly is what that price tag wants us to believe anyway. Since £158,145 is nothing to be sneezed at, the R8 GT Spyder had better turn out to be one hell of a vehicle, a definite improvement on the V8 and the V10 and something that is hardcore enough to show the Ferrari 458 Spider and the Mercedes SLS Roadster what a real car looks like. Is it?
One thing that has decreased even as the price has increased is the weight of the vehicle. Those clever engineering types over at Audi have taken off as much as 85 kilograms in order to bring the weight of the car down to 1640 kilograms, which is still sizeable. In addition, they have made use of carbon fibre for the rear and front splitter as well as the spoiler, which is now permanently fixed into position. The largest single bit of weight saving, however, comes via the bucket seats, which are as much as 35 kilograms lighter than is the case with the regular ones. On the downside however, they are not quite as comfortable.
The fact that the weight has been significantly reduced is something that the makers of the GT Spyder clearly do not want anybody to be able to forget, given that wherever you look it is almost impossible to see something that is not carbon fibre. Then again, that might not be such a bad thing. In all honesty, if it were not for this fact, you really would be hard pressed to notice that you are not sitting in a perfectly run of the mill V10.
Bulk is also reduced by carbon ceramic brakes that likewise serve to offer fade-free stopping power. There have been a number of additional mechanical changes as well. These include a standard spring suspension set-up that sits 10 millimetres lower than the ordinary V10’s variable Magnetic Ride system. Also included is the R tronic single-clutch auto gearbox, which seems a bit on the old-fashioned side when sat next to the latest dual-clutch systems, sort of like taking your grandmother out to see the latest Sex and the City movie.
The bad news, however, is that that extra 34 bhp, which has been discovered courtesy of a simple engine management tweak, just is not really felt by the driver. The V10 is certainly capable of chucking itself down the road in a convincing enough manner and yet, the rich, smooth and often surprisingly relaxed nature of the engine itself has not really altered very much at all.
The R8 GT Coupe might make some sense for very wealthy track day fans, but the unfortunate fact is that the Spyder just does not make much sense for anyone.