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R8 V10 plus is Audi's fastest open-top ever

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Ingolstadt, Germany - 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.

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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.

IOL Motoring

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