Audi R8 GT Spyder (2011) sketches

Published: 15 April 2011

This is the car to render the Lamborghini Gallardo Performante pointless – it’s the Audi R8 GT Spyder, a drop-top version of the lighter, faster R8 GT coupe. Previewed in these design sketches from Audi, the R8 GT Spyder is expected to be revealed in full at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show in September.

So this Audi R8 GT Spyder is a R8 GT without a roof?

Essentially, yes. Under the rear deck is the same 5.2-litre V10, with 552bhp and 398lb ft – up from 518bhp and 391lb ft in the R8 V10 Spyder. And like the R8 GT coupe, the Spyder will also use an R-tronic robotised manual gearbox to send power to all four wheels.

GT-spec diet secrets include standard carbon-ceramic brakes, a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic rear deck, bumper and side blades, a lighter battery, less insulation, thinner carpets, a thinner-walled exhaust, carbon-backed bucket seats, and a thinner aluminium bonnet.

What else?

There’s a carbon front splitter too, downforce-improving winglets, new 19in wheels, and two fat exhaust pipes. The adaptive dampers are ditched for manually adjustable coilover suspension, and Cup-type tyres are an option.

Just 333 R8 GT coupes were ever built, and we doubt Audi will build more GT Spyders. Lucky owners can expect a sub-4.0sec 0-62mph time and a top speed above 190mph. Oh, and a price tag north of £160k.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy