At least it’s cheaper than a Huracan.
Get your piggy banks out, boys and girls, the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Spyder officially has a price. Starting at $175,100 in the U.S. – or $176,350 with tax, title, and registration – it's nearly $30,000 cheaper than its Lamborghini Huracan sibling. But that doesn't mean it's short on performance.
Under the hood is the same 5.2-liter V10 you'll find on the R8 coupe, producing 540 horsepower (402 kilowatts) and 398 pound-feet (539 Newton-meters) of torque. All that power is paired to a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, that allows the droptop to race to 60 miles per hour (96 miles per hour) in just 3.5 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 198 mph (318 kmh).
In order to combat the rigidity lost in ditching the roof, Audi engineers upgraded its aluminum and carbon fiber architecture. The new ASF lightweight chassis ditches most of the aluminum found on the first-generation model in place of even more carbon fiber. That means the new R8 Spyder is now 50 percent stiffer than the outgoing model.
Inside, the same driver-oriented cockpit carries over, but introduces new features like a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit and Audi Connect, which offers customers 4G LTE connectivity, destination entry via myAudi, travel info, and a Wi-Fi hotspot… for passengers, of course.
Further playing up its whole "Motorsport DNA," the R8 Spyder pricing announcement will coincide with the running of the Rolex 24 in Daytona. Last year Audi saw one of its R8 LMS take home the title in the GTD class – this year, with three cars headed to the event, the German automaker hopes to see some of the same success. Racing begins on Saturday, January 28. The R8 V10 Spyder, meanwhile, should go on sale in the next few weeks.
Gallery: 2017 Audi R8 V10 Spyder
The R8 Spyder features the same naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine and seven-speed S-tronic® dual-clutch transmission as the R8 V10 Coupe. The lightweight cloth roof, which is complemented by the added lower sideblade, combine perfectly with the Spyder’s strikingly athletic design. Its strong backbone is the newly developed ASF® aluminum and carbon fiber construction. Like its predecessors, the interior pays homage to the shape of a racecar cockpit, with driver-oriented, easy-to-operate controls and functions, including the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit.
Strong motorsport DNA
Each generation of the R8 brings to the road know-how acquired on the racetrack and from the legacy of Audi endurance racing. Like the R8 V10 Coupe, the Spyder shares a foundation with the R8 LMS GT3 racecar. As a result of this close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, the R8 Spyder made significant performance gains over its predecessor.
Top down driving experience
The soft-top in the new R8 Spyder features an electrohydraulic drive system to raise and lower the roof in only 20 seconds, at speeds of up to 31 mph. The roof was developed with lightweight construction in mind, and weighs only 97 pounds, helping to keep the weight of the vehicle and center of gravity low. It can easily be opened or closed by operating the soft-top button in the center console.
When opened, the soft top folds into a flat storage compartment over the engine. With the top up, the rear window blocks the wind, or can be opened to allow the rich sound of the naturally aspirated V10 engine to flow into the vehicle cockpit.
The new R8 Spyder embodies the brand’s expertise in lightweight design through an all-new application of the iconic ASF® lightweight chassis and the use of a high percentage of carbon fiber materials. Comprising 80 percent of the ASF, the aluminum components form a lattice structure that engineers used in order to incorporate specific reinforcements into the sills, A-posts and windshield frame. As a result, the all-new Spyder is more than 50 percent stiffer than its predecessor, allowing for a more dynamic, solid and visceral driving experience.
Powertrain and Performance
The R8 V10 Spyder with 5.2-liter engine and seven-speed S-tronic® dual-clutch transmission delivers 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. With its precise throttle response and free-revving ability all the way up to 8,700 rpm, the R8 V10 Spyder rapidly accelerates from 0-60 mph in only 3.5 seconds, one tenth of a second faster than the previous generation R8 V10 Spyder.
The S tronic dual-clutch transmission not only focuses on high levels of performance and acceleration and is fully integrated with the Audi drive select system. Additionally, the new transmission allows for a launch control program that provides a heightened level of acceleration through precise engine speed and an automated clutch release.
Chassis and Suspension
Similar to a racecar, the new R8 Spyder uses a double-wishbone design for both the front and rear suspension systems. The suspension weight is kept low through the use of forged aluminum control arms, while local dynamic rigidity has been enhanced by connecting the control arms directly to the ASF.
Available on 2017 R8 Spyder is dynamic steering, which offers a variable steering ratio that adjusts based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting. At higher driving speeds, a less direct steering ratio helps to facilitate a more stable drive, and at lower driving speeds, a more direct steering ratio is utilized to help increase steering response for easier maneuvering.
The all-new R8 Spyder also features a completely unique application of the quattro® system. By default, the majority of torque is transmitted to the rear wheels, however, given certain driving conditions, the Spyder has the ability to send up to 100 percent of all available torque to the front axle. This is made possible by new technologies such as the electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the front axle, torque vectoring, and quattro integration within the Audi drive select system.
High Performance Design
The exterior design of the new R8 Spyder is more strikingly athletic than its predecessor. The cockpit is positioned very far forward and prominent wheel arches are a cue to the quattro all-wheel drive. Dimensions have increased more than an inch in width but decreased in length, further emphasizing the flat, wide and muscular characteristics of the vehicle. For the first time on the Spyder, the strong shoulder line is now complemented by retaining the lower sideblade. Trapezoidal exhaust outlets highlight the distinctive rear and added ventilation across the deck lid replaces the adaptive rear spoiler and helps to improve engine cooling.
Similar to the R8 V10 Coupe, the interior is defined by the monoposto, the large arc that pays homage to the shape of a racecar cockpit, with driver-oriented, easy-to-operate controls and functions. Behind the wheel is the Audi Virtual cockpit, which replaces the classic instrument panel and instead features a large, high-resolution 12.3-inch display, delivering vibrant color at 60 frames per second.