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Audi R8 Spider Photos & Review | Audi R8 2009 | Secret New Cars | Car Magazine Online

By Tim Pollard, artist's impression Radovan Varicak

Spy shots

28 March 2008 10:21

Audi will next year launch this open-top version of its R8 supercar. The Spider is one of a growing choice of R8s – buyers bored of the default 911 will soon be able to pick between two petrols and a V12 diesel, plus coupe or targa bodystyles. It’s typical of a car maker not exactly afraid of baffling buyers with extensive choice of engine/gearbox/driven wheels even in its most humdrum ranges.

It’s also a logical step as Porsche makes plenty of capital out of the 911 soft-top versions – and the R8 is aimed squarely at that domestic rival. Our artist’s impression has been built using the exclusive sketch CAR smuggled out of Ingolstadt last year (image, middle right) and isn’t mere fantasy. Expect to see twin speedster humps sprouting above the mid-mounted engine and a subtly truncated aluminium blade ahead of the rear wheels.

Audi R8 Spider: the hood

Our sources in Germany suggest that the roof of the Spider will be a removable targa affair, with detachable panels rather than a canvas hood or folding hard top. Although more flexible, the latter two would be hard to engineer with the mid-mounted engine sitting where you’d need a cubby for the lowered hood and associated mechanism. As most of these cars will be sold in warmer climes of the world’s biggest soft-top market (think Florida), targa panels shouldn’t worry typical buyers.

Today’s R8 coupe costs £78,200 suggesting the Spider will cost nearer £85,000 with the 414bhp 4.2-litre V8 engine option. But there is a raft of engines under development at Audi, creating a supercar range with a car for all tastes.

Click ‘Next’ to read about the new engines under development for the R8