Friday, June 3, 2011

Audi R8 GT Spyder

Audi has introduced the lighter, more powerful R8 GT Spyder. Like last year’s R8 GT Coupé, production will be limited to just 333 examples worldwide.

Audi R8 GT Spyder (2011) Front SideAudi R8 GT Spyder (2011) Interior

Audi R8 GT Spyder (2011) SideAudi R8 GT Spyder (2011) Rear Side

Tipping the scales at 1,640 kg (3,615 lbs), the GT weighs 85 kg (187 lbs) less than the stock R8 Spyder V10 thanks to an all-round diet. Lots of the bodywork has been remodelled in carbon fibre reinforced polymer, including the soft top cover, rear side panels, rear bumper and both front and rear spoilers. The seats are based on the same material, and 19” lightweight wheels and carbon fibre ceramic brakes help to shed a few pounds too.

Tweaks to the direct injection, 5.2 litre V10 engine are limited to a revised management system. It increases power from 517 bhp (386 kW / 525 PS) to 552 bhp (412 kW / 560 PS), but torque rises only slightly from the usual 530 Nm (390 lb/ft) to 540 Nm (398 lb/ft).

As a result, the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time falls by 0.3 of a second to a very rapid 3.8 seconds. Conversely the move in top speed from 194 mph (312 km/h) to 196 mph (317 km/h), although academic for most situations, is barely perceptible.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting to note that those GT Spyder performance figures are exactly the same as the just-unveiled Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster manages. Coincidence, or had Audi realised its flagship convertible was about to be eclipsed unless it received a timely upgrade?

Visual changes to the R8 are subtle, and are restricted to red ‘GT’ badges, a larger rear diffuser, a dual-lip front splitter, different exhaust pipes, dark LED tail lights and titanium grey trim pieces.

On the inside, it’s all very black, although buyers can opt for grey or crimson stitching to contrast with the dark Alcantara upholstery. Leather trim is only on the options list, which is rather mean.

A UK price has yet to be announced, but in Germany the R8 GT Spyder will cost €207,800. That’s over €12,000 more than the SLS AMG Roadster…

Related posts:

2012 SLS AMG Roadster

Audi R8 GT

RWD Audi R8

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