Audi ’s 2017 R8 Spyder debuted this week at the New York Auto Show, the same week the new R8 was named World Performance Car of the Year. Powered by the milder of two hand-built V10s available in the R8 Coupe, the 540-horsepower R8 Spyder is the German half-brother to the newly arrived Lamborghini Huracán Spyder. The two cars differ in exterior and interior design as well as suspension and powertrain calibration, but share fundamentals.
Top-down motoring with a top tenor naturally aspirated V10 at your shoulder is the main appeal of the R8 Spyder. Audi claims road and wind noise inside the car are much lower than on the first-gen R8 Spyder, though a test drive is the only way to confirm veracity. In typical Audi fashion, interior design is logical and pragmatic yet luxurious, with Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital display the centerpiece.
Power from the 5.2-liter engine feeds into a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive. Acceleration to 60 mph takes less than 3.6 seconds, and 125 mph arrives in under 12. Top speed is 197 mph.