► New Audi R8 V10 Spyder tested
► Capable of 0-62mph in 3.6sec
► On sale now for £128k
It’s a bit dull, the Audi R8 Coupe, in my opinion. Hark! I can hear the understeer, and smell the burning oil, as das Audi fanboys career towards my house.
Hold your horses; I am not saying it’s a bad car, not by any stretch. That sonorous V10, smooth ride, fabulous interior and staggering accessibility – even Pastor Maldonado could get it cleanly around a circuit – all count heavily in its favour.
Why so little love for the Coupe, then?
As an everyday supercar, it excels. It is extremely proficient, refined and disciplined. It is also, as a result, terrifically safe and somewhat aloof. Consequently, those looking for heart-trembling excitement may find it lacking.
This new drop-top version, however, reinstates some of the thrill required to get the blood flowing. The fixed-roof cocoon of safety is gone, and you are more exposed – both to the elements, which can be joyous itself, and the car.
What makes the biggest difference?
Primarily, you’re infinitely more aware of the machinations of that fine naturally aspirated powertrain; the murmur of the valvetrain and whirr of the ancillaries, the piercing exhaust note, the sharp, guttural induction roar prompted every time the throttle blades shift a degree – the additional volume serves to further connect, involve and animate.
Then there’s the slick, elegant roof mechanism, and those meaner, leaner looks...
The new Spyder is not without its foibles. It’s predictably less stiff than the Coupe; mount a kerb to provoke a little twist and you’ll hear myriad trims shudder and scuffle. Can you feel this in the corners? Fractionally, but you’ll be too busy revelling in the experience – even at sensible speeds – to care.
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