Introducing the Audi R8 V10 Spyder.
There's very few things better than Audi's R8 V10 supercar, but with the convertible version it's possible that Audi itself has made a better car.
First things first, the core of the R8 V10 Spyder is the same. This means a 532hp, 5.2-litre V10 FSI engine that delivers the most unique soundtrack amongst even the supercar set as other manufacturers head for V8 and V12 engines, commonly supplemented with turbochargers.
Driving a 7-speed S tronic dual clutch gearbox through a new quattro four-wheel drive system, this engine propels the R8 Spyder to 60mph in just 3.6 seconds - 10 per cent faster than the first generation model - and on to a top speed of 197mph. It's also 10 per cent more efficient than the first generation car, with efficiency technologies such as a new freewheeling mode that operates when coasting helping the Spyder return a combined fuel economy of 24.1mpg - equivalent to 277g/km CO2.
The Spyder also uses the same Audi spaceframe - a highly rigid body that thanks to the high proportion of aluminium and carbon fibre, weighs just 208kg and increases torsional rigidity by over 50 per cent when compared to the first generation car. This keeps the Spyder's weight down to 1,612kg - just 158kg more than the coupe.
You'll find the interior familiar too. Unchanged from the coupe R8, the Spyder includes the 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit, with MMI navigation plus and mobile phone connectivity. Like the coupe model, Audi Matrix LED headlights with laser technology are available to light the way at night - the laser high beam assist giving more than half a kilometre of additional light. A new Bang & Olufsen sound system, with two head restraint speakers in each seat, is the only major difference.
The major difference then is the lightweight cloth hood. This 44kg roof can be opened or closed in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, with an electromechanical drive. Levels of road and wind noise are lower than its predecessor, with a synthetic textile wind deflector that reduces turbulent air flow around the shoulders by 80 per cent - and with the roof down you are even closer to that intoxicating V10 soundtrack.