Practical test Audi R8 V10 Spyder: save the dinosaurs!

Practical test Audi R8 V10 Spyder: save the dinosaurs!


You don’t see it in a hardware store parking lot and you rarely see it in front of a family hotel. It is narrow, loud and very expensive. However, the Audi R8 V10 Spyder is one of the most interesting cars made in Germany.

The open two-seater set with ten strong cylinders has been on a farewell tour since the Audi Annual General Meeting 2019. The second generation of the super sports car presented in 2006 will not have a successor, it was announced at the time. The brand’s focus on electricity leaves no room for further development. And, to be honest: the displacement of 5.2 liters and the peak of almost half a megawatt looks like a dinosaur in a zoo today.

But if you want to brand the 1.24m per se all-wheel drive as a climate pest, let me do the math: millions of small cars over the years in this country are guaranteed to emit more exhaust gas than the 463 R8s that were recently registered. in Germany in 2021. And the Germans appreciate the Neckarsulm riot gun like no other nation. About one third of the total production remains in the country, another 30 percent goes to North America. So to the point where you are not allowed to drive more than 55 miles (88 km/h).

That’s less than a third of what the R8 Spyder can do. And at 250 speed, he really just wakes up. At full throttle, the S-Tronic transmission shifts to sixth gear in sport mode. Most of the information provided by the digital cockpit now includes a display of power and torque, which pleases the occupants with meaningless data: at a constant speed of 200 km / h, 15 percent power and 30 percent torque are called . The deviation of the speedometer is surprisingly low even at high speeds. With 322 km / h on the clock, according to the GPS measurement, the actual speed was 313 km / h.

Like the proverbial blackboard, the R8 sticks to the left lane and the driver is praying for the sedan to stay on the right side of the horizon. The exhaust pipes are open, the thunderous roar from the tailpipes with a diameter of 20 cm causes a roar of more than 80 decibels in the interior. You should like that, because it can be turned on at almost any speed, regardless of whether the “sports sound” is activated by pressing the button on the steering wheel.

The Spyder is a real eye-catcher, since the 2019 facelift with a sharper look at the headlights and single-frame grill. At the gas station, camera phones are already being handed out all around. But it has one big disadvantage compared to the coupe: it prevents the curious to look into the engine display box, because the closed version puts a large window over the shiny technical sculpture, which symbolizes power and grandeur at its best. Even when the top is open (measured in 20.3 seconds) or closed (19.8 seconds), you can get a view of the ten cylinders. The hood can also be operated while driving at a speed of up to 50 km/h.

Instead of a mechanical theme behind the glass, the Spyder offers another pleasure for a “little thing” of at least 214,500 euros: to find the scents of forests and parks while flying quietly (and with limited sounds) on country roads or testing its qualities as a killer of hairstyle in stormy weather. The appeal of not having a roof over your head is greater than you think. You can safely leave the removable window behind the headrests in the resting position, because there is always a little draft somewhere. That’s just part of running the converter.

Cabin features a neoprene suit. Cut close to the skin, leaving a space of 1.40 meters from the door panel to the other side. When parking, you should make sure that the doors that come out have enough “air”. In fact, the driver should not be taller than 1.75 meters. Otherwise, the legs are bent more than usual, and the distance from the cover of the steering wheel airbag to the surface of the back seat is only 75 centimeters.

As is typical for Audi, the price of the expensive mobility assistance can be increased significantly for various special requests. In any case do not do without the Magnetic Ride chassis (with 2900 euros), which has also taught all-wheel drive which is already very safe for driving modes such as “snow”, “wet” and “dry”. The R8 is unmatched in terms of road surface recognition, but what else do you expect from a supercar with 30-pound tires on 20-inch rims? Parking assistance with a rear camera (620 euros) is also strongly recommended, because the rear view tends to zero, especially when the top is closed.

Whether the variable operation (1400 euros) is a must or a hobby can only be defined by direct comparison. The test car had it, it reacted immediately and accurately to direct changes in direction, while the steering assistance during driving could have been a little more. A few words about consumption: With an average value of 13.8 liters per 100 km stated by the manufacturer, the eco group may turn away in fear and do not want to know that a powerful naturally-aspirated engine burns fuel very efficiently. Despite frequent trips in the high-speed range and a short-distance segment of about 35 percent, the on-board computer calculated a test consumption of no more than 14.2 liters. Cheers!

Conclusion: impudently cheeky, wonderfully unintelligent, impressively powerful and handy as a zip-top bag: perhaps because it’s not a conventional car, the Audi R8 Spyder intoxicates the senses of its occupants. Today it is one of the dinosaurs of the automotive world and some will wish that the meteorite impact of EU regulations would have saved it. Anyone who has the financial means to buy such a fun car knows one thing for sure – now they still need a car. For practical things in life. (Axel F. Busse, cent.)

Data Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Length x width x height (m): 4.43 x 1.94 x 1.24
Wheelbase (m): 2.65
Drive: V10 petrol engine, 5204 ccm, direct injection, all-wheel drive
Power: 620 hp (456 kW) at 8000 rpm
Maximum torque: 580 Nm at 6600 rpm
Top speed: 329 km/h
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 3.2 seconds
WLTP consumption: 13.8 liters
Test consumption: 14.2 liters
Tank capacity: 80 liters
Test car empty weight: 1760 kg
Trunk volume: 112 liters
Base price: 214,500 euros
Test car price: 232,470 euros