Audi an­nounces R8 Spyder Plus, now with full 449kW force

The Star Early Edition - - NEW MODELS - JESSE ADAMS

AUDI has an­nounced a Plus ver­sion of its sec­ond gen­er­a­tion R8 Spyder, which means you’ll soon be able to blow your hair back with full 449kW force.

Un­like the all-new R8 coupe, which launched in base 397kW and 449kW Plus ver­sions si­mul­ta­ne­ously, the drop-top Spyder was in­tro­duced last year (last month in South Africa) in less pow­er­ful trim only. But it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore the mid-en­gined rag­top un­der­went the Plus treat­ment, and now the Spyder also comes with the same full cream 5.2-litre V10 as the range-top­ping tin-top­per.

To­tal out­puts are iden­ti­cal to the coupe’s at 449kW and 560Nm, and in Spyder form this means 0-100km/h in a claimed 3.3 sec­onds with a top speed of 328km/h. That’s three tenths quicker than the 397kW stan­dard Spyder, and 10km/h bet­ter at the top end. It’s also just one tenth and 2km/h slower than the plus Coupe mainly be­cause the elec­tronic roof mech­a­nism adds around 100kg to to­tal kerb weight.

The elec­tro­hy­drauli­cally op­er­ated re­tractable roof can raise or re­tract in 20 sec­onds, and there’s also a glass win­dow partition at the back which can lower to al­low a more di­rect path for the howl of a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 10-banger at 8700rpm to reach the cabin.

Like with the coupes, the Plus Spyder gets a fixed rear wing in­stead of the base model’s mech­a­nised rais­ing and low­er­ing one - but here it’s a much sub­tler look­ing lip spoiler. The can­vas roof comes in a choice of three colours, side blades in five, and reg­u­lar paint fin­ishes can be had in 11 shades. But, as usual with the Audi exclusive pro­gram, any colour can be ap­plied if you’re will­ing to pay ex­tra. Pic­tured here is the Mi­crom­mata de­sign pack which com­bines an out­ra­geously green body with a black in­te­rior ac­cented with green stitch­ing.

Me­chan­i­cally the Plus Spyder is iden­ti­cal to the coupe, with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gear­box pow­er­ing all four wheels through a quat­tro drive sys­tem. The R8’s quat­tro setup can ap­por­tion 100 per­cent power to ei­ther front or rear axles de­pend­ing on trac­tion ne­ces­si­ties, and the dou­ble wish­bone Magnetic Ride sus­pen­sion can be soft­ened and tight­ened at the push of a but­ton via the stan­dard Drive Se­lect sys­tem. Stan­dard wheel size is 19 inches, but 20s can be specced op­tion­ally.

Audi South Africa can­not yet con­firm when or if the R8 Spyder Plus will make it to our shores, but says its ar­rival is a strong prob­a­bil­ity. We’ll let you know as soon as we do.

This Mi­crom­mata Green paint job is op­tional, but you can have any colour you want.

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