AUDI R8 Spyder V10 supercar: spectacular design and breathtaking dynamics, combined with the allure of open-top driving — AUDI presents the second generation of the ‘R8 spyder’ and has invited designboom to test drive its 540 hp V10 engine in the sunny hills of lloret de mar, barcelona. with a keen focus on the evolution of this supercar, we also hone in on its technological additions; comfort; and its exterior and interior design.
‘the new AUDI R8 spyder is faster; lighter; and more dynamic than its predecessor,’ says stephan winkelmann, CEO of quattro GMBH. ‘together with the coupé, it forms the vanguard of the AUDI model lineup and offers the ultimate in open-top driving enjoyment.’
honed: the design
the new AUDI ‘R8 spyder’ is much more chiseled and athletic than its predecessor. it has grown by 36 millimeters (1.4 in) in width to 1.94 meters (6.4 ft). this added width is underscored by the horizontal lines at the front and rear. the sculpted singleframe with its eye-catching honeycomb grille appears wider and is positioned lower. it is flanked by large air inlets with vertical bars. positioned seamlessly above the singleframe are the wedgeshaped LED headlights, which are optionally available with AUDI laser light. this option provides for optimal visibility in the dark and can be identified by the lighted, anodized blue strips dividing the headlights and also by the dynamic turn signals. the narrow LED lights provide a distinctive red light signature at the stately rear of the car. downforce is provided by a large diffuser bordered on both sides by trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. the new sideblades emphasize the sporty lines on the flanks. the inlets there feed air to the mid-mounted V10 engine.
typical AUDI: lightweight soft top
the convertible top of the ‘R8 spyder’ weighs just 44 kilograms (97.0 lb), thus contributing to the low center of gravity of the open-top, high-performance sports car. two fins running to the rear stretch the cloth. they and the large cover of the compartment for the convertible top harmonize perfectly with the striking design of the ‘R8 spyder’. an electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the top in just 20 seconds at speeds up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph). the rear window is sunk into the bulkhead and can be retracted and extended electrically. with all windows up, the air stream strokes the ‘R8 spyder’ with a minimum of turbulence.
aluminum and carbon fiber components: the new AUDI space frame
the open-top two-seater has an unladen weight of 1,720 kilograms (3,792.0 lb). when weighed without operating fluids as is the norm in motorsport, it tips the scales at just 1,612 kilograms (3,553.9 lb). its strong backbone is the newly developed multimaterial ‘AUDI space frame’ (ASF), made from aluminum and carbon fiber. the aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of its weight. in a progression from the ‘R8 coupé’, they create a lattice that AUDI’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills, a-posts and windshield frame. besides the choice of materials, innovative manufacturing methods reduce the weight of individual components by as much as 10 percent. as a result, the highly rigid body weighs just 208 kilograms (458.6 lb), and its torsional rigidity has increased by over 50 percent compared with the previous model. that is the key parameter for a dynamic; solid; and premium driving experience.
roof conveniently stows away behind seats
the impressive mid-engine with dual injection system sets the tone in the new AUDI ‘R8 spyder V10’. the free-breathing, 5.2-liter engine responds spontaneously and revs up quickly. its sonorous sound–which can be optionally amplified by a sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims–is goosebump-inducing. 397 kW (540 hp) of power at 7,800 rpm and 540 nM (398.3 lb-ft) of torque at 6,500 rpm deliver impressive road performance: from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 318 km/h (197.6 mph). the new ‘R8 spyder’ thus tops its predecessor by 15 hp, 0.2 seconds in the sprint and 7 km/h (4.3 mph) in top speed. at the same time, a variety of efficiency technologies reduce fuel consumption by ten percent versus the previous model. these include the new freewheeling mode, in which the ‘R8 spyder’ coasts when the engine is disengaged, and the cylinder on demand (COD) system, which deactivates one cylinder bank entirely at low to intermediate load. when the car comes to a stop, a start-stop system deactivates the V10 engine. thanks to these technologies, the new ‘R8 spyder’ consumes just 11.7 liters per 100 kilometers (20.1 US mpg), corresponding to 277 grams CO2 per kilometer (445.8 g/mile).
5.2 liter engine provides sonorous sound
working behind the V10 there is a seven-speed ‘S tronic’ with lighting-fast action, which the driver controls electrically–by wire. the dual-clutch transmission directs forces to a newly designed ‘quattro’ drive system with an electro-hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch at the front axle. in contrast to the previous component, the all-wheel drive clutch, which is water-cooled for maximum performance, distributes the drive torque completely variably depending on the driving situation. in extreme cases, as much as 100 percent is directed to one axle. a mechanical locking differential on the rear axle provides for outstanding traction and even more dynamic handling. the intelligent control system for the ‘quattro’ drive is incorporated into the AUDI ‘drive select’ system, which offers four modes ranging from overtly dynamic to comfort-oriented. in conjunction with the new, optional ‘R8 performance’ leather steering wheel, there are three more driving programs: dry; wet; and snow. they adapt the handling even more precisely to the respective road conditions.
seven-speed ‘S tronic’ with lighting-quick action
no matter how fast the car is moving through the corners, the low ‘R8 sport seats’ with integrated head restraints hold the driver and passenger securely in position. optionally available are ‘R8 bucket seats’, which are even more strongly contoured for even greater lateral hold. the standard ‘R8 sport leather’ steering wheel serves as the control center, with two large satellite buttons in addition to the multifunction buttons for telephone; navigation; media; and the voice control system. the driver can use these to start and stop the engine and adjust the settings of the driving dynamics system AUDI ‘drive select’. the optional ‘R8 performance’ leather steering wheel includes two additional buttons and a rotary wheel for controlling the performance mode and the exhaust flaps. the large 12.3-inch, fully digital AUDI virtual cockpit presents all information using rich 3D graphics–if desired, in a special performance view. it brings the tachometer into the center and supplies information on the power output and torque of the 5.2 FSI engine; G-forces; lap time and the temperature of the tires; engine; and transmission fluid.
large 12.3-inch, fully digital AUDI virtual cockpit
new onboard the ‘R8 spyder’ is the AUDI smartphone interface. it displays selected content from the smartphone directly in the virtual cockpit. examples include apps for telephony; navigation; and streaming services. the driver operates them via the multifunction steering wheel, the voice control system and the rotary pushbutton on the center console. it connects cellular phones to the car’s antenna and charges them wirelessly according to the QI standard. AUDI connect gets the ‘R8 spyder’ on the internet via LTE and makes a number of services available: from navigation with google earth; and google street view, to travel; and traffic information, to searching for points of interest. the bang & olufsen sound system is another highlight: for the first time, AUDI integrates two head restraint loudspeakers into each seat, for an excellent audio experience even when driving with the top down.
b&o loudspeaker integrated into head restraint
the workmanship of the new ‘R8 spyder’ satisfies the most demanding quality requirements. at the ‘AUDI böllinger höfe’ near neckarsulm, roughly 500 highly qualified employees build each car with painstaking craftsmanship. prior to delivery, each high-performance sports car undergoes a stringent procedure that begins with quality control in the factory and includes laps on the factory’s own test track and a final acceptance test drive on public roads. initial deliveries of the AUDI ‘R8 spyder’ will begin this fall.
first deliveries this fall
bang & olufsen sound system mapping
designboom CEO testing R8 spyder in lloret de mar (barcelona)
CAR DESIGN (645)
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