The Audi R8 Spyder V10 is clearly a petrol heads dream. Today I drove the test car which Audi had fitted with £36,505’s worth of optional extras including the £3,500 Sport Pack Plus. Which allows you to be even noisier at the exhaust. Yes the R8 Spyder V10, will set you back a minimum of £129,990. I was approaching the R8 Spyder with caution, from a distance this sporty couture looking beast represented my personality to a T. It was passionate, loud and eccentric. This car was all about being heard, seen and begging for public attention. So it made only perfect sense to take this open-top thrill of a cabriolet for a spin along the Costa Brava in Spain. I opted for the dynamite red, solid paint.
From the moment I started the V10 engine via a big red button on the steering wheel, it gave me goosebumps. In regards to the brawny sound and visual statement, for me, it screamed endless fun. In regards to its performance ability, the R8 Spyder top speed is 197mph, it does 0-62mph in 3.6sec and delivers 24.1mpg and 277g/km of carbon dioxide. Ladies that means really loud and very fast. There was an option dare I say it if the wind and noise were all too much. Thanks in part to a rear deflector that can be raised and lowered to suit the drivers (or passengers) needs.
— oliver jarvis (@ollyjarvis) October 19, 2016
Tour Costa Brava – The Test Route
The R8 Spyder weighing in at 1720kg is no light car, but with its rear-mounted engine and its perfect weight distribution it handled perfectly. This proved to be very handy around those Costa Brava hairpins. These windy roads with their breathtaking views were best driven with the rooftop down, off I went. For me, once I built my confidence and felt comfortable with the car it really took those corners far too well. This car gave me the respect I was seeking, phenomenal engineering and massive handling competence and never once did I feel it could lose grip. This is Audi it was a Quattro 4WD after all.
From a noise point of view, the echoing of the motor from the mountains was just fabulous. When I stopped reluctantly, for some views, from a distance I knew I was not alone on my review quest. I could hear other journalists, driving the R8 fast, hard and mean. That gave me a lot more confidence to push her to the limit regarding its performance on an open road. In this case, watch how the R8 Spyder handles the roundabouts heading to Barcelona airport.
The Gear Box
The R8 Spyder V10, brings out the best of both worlds. On a personal level, my emotions were like a roller coaster. The acceleration is simply extraordinary, although the way the transmission reacts to flooring the throttle is abrupt and a little bit frightening. So I decided to change gear manually to compare the difference. I loved this option especially when overtaking.
Audi accompanied the R8 with a quick exhaust pop. The exhaust was built by the German specialist Capristo, and the results are impressive. The Capristo exhaust takes advantage of the R8 V10’s existing valve system in the stock exhaust setup and improves upon that with programmable valve control offering different modes. By pressing buttons on the keyfob, the driver can go from “Cruise” mode to “Sports” or “Open”, all differing in loudness. My translation, loud, louder and very LOUD.
For me, this was like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with high-performance class. The ceramic brakes are responsive, and just like silk stockings, they beautifully matched the car.
Soft Top Message
Most of the time I had the roof down and it certainly was one of the most expensive blow-drying experience to date. In speaking to Benjamin, who designed the rooftop which took him fours years, he explained how much pressure there was in getting this right. Benjamin highlighted the extra grey hairs he gained over the years in creating the soft top, it was why he was keen to share with me his design thoughts in the interview below.
Rob from marketing explains more about the R8 Sypder
The Side Mirrors
Sometimes in these sports cars, the side mirror can be too small or just not work so well in a visual point of view. I just loved these carbon beauties, they matched perfectly the air inlet. I could not stop looking at the mirrors. I am fashion conscious after all.
There were tonnes of entertainment to go with the precision of the driving experience, and the Bang & Olufsen speaker system was just brilliant. Every time I turned the music up and pressed hard on that acceleration, I felt like Claudia Schiffer on a photo shoot, with my hair blowing. This car genuinely was a different way to travel and allowed others to literally glare at you when turning into the back roads all along the seafront of the Costa Brava. Every time I stopped a crowd would build, stop and glare. For me this is one awesome reason why the R8 Spyder, represented my personality, it just simply could not get enough attention. One interesting comment by a gentleman, passing by, summed up the overall review.
“It’s just as good if not better looking than a Ferrari, it’s stylish and its German class after all”.
For those ladies out there I would encourage you to take a closer look and have a test drive. This car certainly belongs in a women’s world too. To any petrol head out there, the R8 Spyder literally in power and sheer guts will literally knock your socks off.