There are some cars out there that will, for one reason or another, stop you dead in your tracks. What you see before you is one of those cars. Fully clad in its brilliant red paint the this Audi R8 Spyder was simply beautiful to witness in person, as was evident from the hoards of people that surrounded it. Now, let me preface this by saying that I actually have a fair amount of seat time in a standard 4.2 liter R8 (as if you can call any R8 standard), so I was pretty psyched to see how the Spyder stacked up from not only a visual standpoint, but a comfort standpoint as well.
Visually the new Spyder looks like nothing else on the road today. Its clean lines and simplistic design only lend to its allure. The beauty of the R8 is, and always has been, the fact that it is one of the few super cars that you can drive year round as a daily driver. For 2010 though, Audi up’d the anti on the R8 by bumping up the power with an adrenaline shot from a 5.2 liter V10 derived from the Lamborghini Gallardo. This means 525 hp, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds and a top end of 195 mph. Combine that with Audi’s bulletproof all wheeled drive system and you’ve just created automotive heaven.
The Spyder’s cabin was a familiar sight to me and I was welcomed in with open arms. From the uber comfortable supportive seats, to the firm grip steering wheel, the Audi is just as inviting on the inside as it is on the out. It’s also very roomy with ample leg and shoulder room. This particular car was trimmed throughout with red stitching as a compliment to the gray leather interior and carbon fiber accents.
I am always surprised by the fact that the Audi is indeed a super car, because in all honesty it doesn’t feel like one… let me clarify. Most super cars, in both styling and comfort can be a bit harsh to deal with. Take the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8’s Italian cousin. On the outside it’s brash and in your face, with an attitude that wants to pick a fight with the car next to it. It’s also obnoxiously loud. The Audi R8 however is mild in comparison and comes at you with a somewhat elegant attitude that says, “I’ll kick your ass in a minute, but first I have to finish my tea”. Does that make sense to everyone? Exterior wise the R8 Spyder was treated to some updates as well. Take the windshield frame for example – it’s coated with anodized aluminum… talk about classy. The mirrors have been given the treatment as well by way of integrated LED turn signals in a carbon fiber housing, again, some really nice touches here.
I suppose my only caveat here and it’s VERY minor, is the Spyder’s backside. On the standard R8 you are treated to a view of the engine, where on the Spyder every detail is concealed. Obviously Audi engineers had to put the folding canvas top (which goes up in a mere 19 seconds btw) someplace but It’s just a shame we lose our beautiful view. At the end of the day, the new Audi R8 Spyder positions itself as an alternative to it’s bold and brash Italian cousins by offering up a subdued elegance that must be seen to be appreciated.