Audi has dropped the top on the second generation Audi R8 Spyder and spiced it up in many ways to ensure it remains on top of its game
Author: Chandan Basu Mallik
Audi introduced Gen I of its top-of-the-line R8 in 2007 with a unique USP. It was presented as a do-it-all supercar. It was a packaged cleverly to be comfortable and agile, sharp and subtle, powerful and tamed. It could be used as a daily car and also do track duties. As a dual purpose car, it could be factory customised to suit individual lifestyle tastes. The recipe has worked quite well for Audi and now its successor as expected seeks to improve the benchmarked package.
Gen II has been introduced as a 2017 model and there are subtle changes to the car. The incoming Audi R8 Spyder is 14mm shorter than the previous model and overall length is now 4,426mm. It has grown by 36mm in width to 1,940mm. The car’s height of 1,244mm is unchanged from the first-generation R8 Spyder, as is the wheelbase of 2,650mm.
The car’s strong backbone is the fact that it shares a foundation with the R8 LMS GT3 racecar which has been developed with close cooperation between racing engineers, racing drivers and developers, lightweight design through an all-new application of the ASF-based lightweight chassis and the use of a high percentage of carbon fibre composites. The body is more than 50per cent stiffer now and in profile the incoming car remains faithfully connected to its predecessor.
The drop top uses lightweight cloth roof and features an electrohydraulic drive system to raise and lower the roof in only 20secs at speeds of up to 50km/h. The roof weighs only 44kg, helping to keep the weight of the vehicle and center of gravity low. It can easily be opened or closed by operating the soft-top button in the centre console.
As before, the interior takes its inspiration from a racecar cockpit, with driver-oriented, easy-to-operate controls and functions, including the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit.
The Audi R8 Spyder features the same naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine and seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission as the R8 V10 Coupe. In this set-up it offers 540hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. The redline is 8,700 rpm and the Spyder can accelerate from 0-96km/h in only 3.5sec, which also means it is one tenth of a second faster than the previous generation R8 V10 Spyder. The new transmission allows for a launch control program in this car.
The all-wheel drive car now features a completely unique application of the quattro system. By default, the majority of torque is transmitted to the rear wheel, however, given certain driving conditions, the Spyder has the ability to send up to 100 per cent of all available torque to the front axle. This is made possible by new technologies such as the electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the front axle, torque vectoring, and quattro integration within the Audi drive select system.
Suspension set of the car is set-up for agility and performance and uses a double-wishbone design for both the front and rear suspension systems. The suspension weight is kept low through the use of forged aluminium control arms.
In keeping with the dual nature of the car, drivers can benefit from variable steering ratio that adjusts based on vehicle speed and the Audi drive select setting. At higher driving speeds, a less direct steering ratio helps to facilitate a more stable drive, and at lower driving speeds, a more direct steering ratio is utilized to help increase steering response.