An open-and-shut case: new Audi R8 Spyder scooped undisguised

Published: 10 March 2016

► Audi R8 Spyder scooped
► It's the second-gen R8 cabrio
► Now caught completely undisguised! 

Our spies have caught the new 2016 Audi R8 Spyder, the second-generation soft-top supercar from Ingolstadt, completely bereft of all disguise. It's our best look yet at the convertible, which accounts for one in four R8s sold in the UK.

The R8 convertible sticks with the format of its predecessor: there are no trick folding hard tops planned here, just a good, old-fashioned fabric roof, hidden under that body-coloured rear deck.

Audi believe customers at this level will benefit from the lighter mass and speed of operation of a canvas hood. Besides, most Spyders are sold in warmer climes, where the roof will be mostly folded away and the urgent tin-top, traffic-light acrobatics offered by a folding hard top are less essential.

The new 2016 Audi R8 Spyder: what we know

The first R8 coupes arrived in showrooms in 2015, and the soft-top will be unveiled at the New York auto show, with UK sales following later in 2016. It's certainly very unusual to see an uncamouflaged car on public roads unless the launch is imminent.

New Audi R8 Spyder (2016) spied by CAR magazine on manoeuvres in Germany

Engines will mirror those available in the hard-top R8 coupe - it shares the Lamborghini Huracan's V10 with cylinder deactivation shutting down one bank of five cylinders at low speeds:  

  • 5.2 FSI 532bhp, 398lb ft 3.5sec 0-62mph, 201mph, 275g/km CO2
  • 5.2 FSI 602bhp, 413lb ft 3.2sec 0-62mph, 205mph, 289g/km CO2

CAR magazine has already revealed how the entry-level 4.2-litre V8 has been dropped from the second-generation R8 (sob...). Seems a bi-turbo V6 is likely, as the company seeks to dodge under Chinese tax brackets with a new sub-3.0-litre block.

Downsizing doesn't equal down-pacing, however. This 2.9 V6 is said to be good for 450bhp.

Expect the new R8 Spyder to bolster sales of the top-end range in the UK. Audi has already sold more than 3500 R8s in the UK to date - and the imminent range expansion will only swell that number further.

Note the pop-up glass rear window which will act as a wind deflector

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

  • The new 2016 Audi R8 Spyder: undisguised
  • "Yes. I forgot to put the camo on. Sorry!"
  • Like the coupe, just with no roof: meet the new Audi R8 Spyder
  • Rear deck lifts to swallow canvas roof
  • Quick look inside the 2016 Audi R8 Spyder's cabin
  • This bright yellow example was spied in Europe
  • The Audi R8 decapitation has been well judged
  • Rear deck is body-coloured
  • That bulging grille is almost Lexus spindle-alike
  • The new 2016 Audi R8 Spyder chops its top
  • Not very good disguise: they've forgotten to hide the new bit - the roof!
  • Fabric roof, pop-up glass rear window
  • Style follows the R8 coupe, taut roofline keeps shape intact
  • Huge rims, massive brake discs suggest this is a fast R8 Spider
  • Cooling ducts aplenty to supply air to brakes, mid-mounted engine
  • Cameraphone fodder from heaven: it's the new 2016 Audi R8 Spyder
  • Lack of rear spoiler makes us think this is a regular Audi R8 Spyder, not the V10 Plus
  • We somehow think this might've been more discrete if not painted in swirly-whirly camo wrap!
  • Expect the new Audi R8 Spyder in showrooms in 2016
  • V10 engines at first, V6 turbo to follow
  • The difficult follow-up album: Audi's R8 Spyder Mk2