Thrilling open-air motoring accompanied by the guttural roar of a mighty naturally aspirated engine – this is the essence of the Audi R8 Spyder, and the formula has lost none of its intoxicating purity in an all-new successor which made its debut at March’s New York Auto Show. The latest R8 Spyder with naturally aspirated V10 power returns more technologically accomplished, more powerful and quicker against the clock, even more tightly pinned to corners and even more composed on the straights thanks to a 50 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity.

“With its spontaneous throttle response, quick revving-up and inimitable sound, the 5.2 FSI naturally aspirated engine in the new Audi R8 Spyder delivers undiluted emotion,” remarked Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development. “Compared to the R8 Coupé, the engine sound in the open high-performance sports car now delivers an even more intense experience.”

The dynamic character of the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 is immediately apparent at first glance. The forward position of the passenger compartment, the highly accentuated wheel arches and the long back define the classic silhouette of a mid-engine sports car. The new R8 Spyder is 14 millimetres shorter than the previous model and measures an overall 4,426 millimetres in length. It has grown by 36 millimetres in width to 1,940 millimetres. The height of 1,244 millimetres is unchanged from the first-generation R8 Spyder, as is the wheelbase of 2,650 millimetres.

Horizontal lines at the front and rear emphasize the width of the R8 Spyder, as does the large, low-height Audi

Interior
Interior

Singleframe grille with its honeycomb structure. Sculptural surfaces connect it to the wedge-shape headlights in each of which 37 light-emitting diodes generate bright LED light as standard. As a high-end option, Audi offers laser lighting for maximum visibility and range – identified by a blue anodized strip in the headlights that is additionally lit. This cutting-edge technology is combined with the dynamic indicator lights. At the rear, it is supplied as standard on all versions.

With its precise throttle response, free-revving ability all the way up to 7,800 rpm and stunning sound, the ten-cylinder engine is guaranteed to stir the senses. From its 5,204 cm3 displacement, it develops peak power of 540PS and peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. Along with direct injection into the combustion chambers (FSI), the V10 adds fuel injection into the induction manifold (MPI). The result is captivating performance: The new Audi R8 Spyder V10 accelerates from 0 to 62mph in 3.6 seconds. It races from a standstill to 124mph in 11.8 seconds. The speedometer needle only stops rising at 197mph. The roar of the V10 becomes more full-bodied and dramatic as the revs rise. Exhaust flaps are standard; the optional sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims gives the sound added edge.

Compared with the previous model, NEDC fuel consumption has been cut by ten percent – thanks to efficiency technologies such as cylinder on demand (COD), the dual injection system and the freewheeling mode in the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission: when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal at speeds over 34mph, the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain – the new Audi R8 Spyder then coasts. It returns up to 24.1mpg which corresponds to 277 grams CO2 per kilometre.

Most definitely a car to watch out for when it launches in the UK later this year.