The Audi R8 Spyder isn't wanting for power or performance, with its 5.2-liter V10 engine pushing out 540 hp and 3.5-second 0-60 mph times. But Audi has had its most powerful series-production engine rattling the aluminum and CRFP of the R8 V10 plus coupe for two years ... so where's the convertible version? It's here and now, bringing with it Audi's 610-hp V10 engine, quicker acceleration and more top-end speed. This is the new R8 Spyder V10 plus.

The high-revving 5.2-liter V10 at the heart of the V10 plus puts out 413 lb-ft (560 Nm) at 6,500 rpm to complement its 610 hp (455 kW). That torque works its way through a fast-shifting seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive, opening the new convertible up for a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) of just 3.3 seconds, three-tenths quicker than the standard R8 Spyder. Top speed rises by 6 mph (10 km/h) to 204 mph (328 km/h).

To help keep the R8 off the US EPA's "worst (fuel economy) vehicles" list (where other VW Group brands like Bentley and Lamborghini tend to hang out), Audi equips the naturally aspirated V10 with efficiency-boosting technologies like cylinder deactivation, engine start/stop, dual injection, and engine-disconnected cruising at speeds over 34 mph (55 km/h) when the driver steps off the accelerator. It manages an estimated US fuel economy just shy of 19 mpg (12.5L/100 km, NEDC) and emissions of 470g/mile (292g/km).

The R8 Spyder V10 plus also weighs in 55 lb (25 kg) lighter than the standard R8 Spyder thanks to equipment like bucket seats, light alloy forged wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes. As on the standard Spyder, the lightweight electro-hydraulic retracting soft top and multi-material Audi Space Frame contribute to the low total weight, which sits at 3,737 lb (1,695 kg) for the V10 plus, before the driver loads up the car up and slides in.

Once in his or her low-riding, contoured Nappa leather bucket seat, the driver wraps fingers around a leather multifunctional steering wheel and references Audi's 12.3-in virtual cockpit instrument display. The MMI navigation plus infotainment system gives the driver some flexibility, offering physical, touch and voice controls. It also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot. Microphones built into the seat belts enrich audio quality for phone calls, particularly useful with the top down.

R8 Spyder V10 plus options include a new "micrommata green" design package, Audi connect LTE internet connection, phone box with Qi wireless charging, laser light LED headlights, Bang & Olufsen audio with headrest speakers, magnetic ride adaptive damper control, and plenty of color combinations, trims and finishes. Audi is accepting orders for the new convertible now and will begin deliveries in late summer. German pricing starts at €207,500 (approx. US$231,000).

Source: Audi

View gallery - 10 images