McLaren recently unveiled its new 570S Spider with a retractable hardtop and that one looks quite stunning. What’s commendable is the fact that the 570S Spider does not compromise on performance and, with the roof in place, can clock just as much speed as the 570 Coupe.
Meanwhile, Audi too has unveiled the all new R8 V10 Plus Spyder which packs 610 PS of power, a 70PS power advantage over the ‘standard’ V10 Spyder. The new R8 Spyder V10 plus is capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 3.3 seconds – 0.3 seconds faster – and achieves a top speed of 203mph, an increase of 6mph. With a significant 70PS power advantage over the V10 Spyder, the R8 V10 Plus Spyder is 25kg lighter than the standard model.
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The high revving (up to 8,700 rpm), and responsive engine coupled with an evocative, voluminous sound, the top V10 with its 610PS and maximum torque of 560 Nm is the most powerful series-production engine from the brand with the four rings. Compared with the Audi R8 Spyder V10, the naturally aspirated 5.2 FSI engine, with a high 12.7:1 compression ratio in the plus version, features a 70PS boost in power and a 20Nm torque advantage. Moreover, the oil supply is designed according to the dry sump principle, like that of a racing car. This enables the engine to be positioned extremely low, giving the car an extremely low centre of gravity.
Behind the V10 there is a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The dual-clutch transmission, with its short transmission ratio, sends power to the quattro drive system in the front axle via a cardan shaft. Its key component is an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch. It is water-cooled for maximum performance. Management of the clutch is integrated in the Audi drive select dynamic driving system, which gives the driver a choice between Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual modes. The standard performance mode includes the programmes dry, wet and snow.
The most distinctive element on the front is the wide and flat Singleframe grille with its gloss honeycomb mesh, chrome-plated frame and the Audi Sport emblem. Below it stretches a low-lying carbon spoiler, which directs air around the large wheels. Optional Audi laser light in the LED headlights provides farsighted vision at night. These feature distinctive illuminated, anodised blue dividers as well as the dynamic turn signals.
The distinguishing features of the open-top mode are the sideblades, sill trim, lid on the convertible top compartment and the fixed rear spoilers all constructed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP). If desired, Audi can paint the sills and rear spoiler in the colour of the car at no extra charge. At the rear, large, glossy black trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes flank the opening of the wide diffuser, another component made from CFRP. Its suction literally holds the Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus on the road – with about 100 kilograms of downforce pushing down on the rear axle at top speeds.
The exterior skin of the cloth top is fabric, the substructure is primarily made from lightweight materials like magnesium and aluminium. The cloth top weighs 44 kilograms. Two fins running to the rear tighten the top. An electrohydraulic drive takes 20 seconds to open or close the top, even while driving at speeds up to 31mph. Folded in a Z-shape, it is housed in a flat storage compartment over the engine.
In addition to the 11 regular paint finishes, the palette extends to freely selectable colours and matt-effect paint finishes. The convertible top is available in three colours, and the side blades can be selected in five colours. Parts in carbon or titanium black are available for many areas of the exterior and interior. Numerous upholstery types, inlays, and colours add to the wide range of options.
Then there is the optional micrommata green design package. Its body is painted in a distinctive green while the Singleframe grille and black tailpipe covers are anthracite grey. Audi exclusive furnishes the interior completely in black, Nappa leather. Green contrast stitching accents the seats, centre armrests, doors and floor mats with luminous colour that matches the exterior. R8 bucket seats are fitted as standard in the flagship convertible.
Drivers can operate all important functions without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. The standard R8 performance leather steering wheel features integrated multifunction buttons as well as two large control satellites. The driver uses these to start and stop the engine and control Audi drive select. Two more buttons including a rotary wheel are used to control the performance mode and the exhaust flaps.
The large 12.3-inch, fully digital Audi virtual cockpit presents all information using 3D graphics – if desired, in a special performance view that puts the focus on the rev counter. It also serves as a gear shift indicator – when the seven-speed S tronic is being operated in manual mode. Next to it are indicators showing output, torque, g-forces, lap times and the temperatures of the tyres, engine and transmission oil.