We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. Audi just officially announced production of the R8 Spyder 4.2 FSI quattro – the latest in the R8 supercar lineup. We already have the R8 Spyder 5.2, featuring Audi’s 525 hp V10, but now those seeking a bit less performance can opt for the excellent 4.2-liter V8 producing 430 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque.
The drop-top R8 is similar to the coupe – standard quattro (AWD) powertrain, available in 6-speed manual or R tronic gearbox, optional LED headlights and seatbelt microphone. The soft top weighs only 93 lbs, controlled with an electrohydraulic system that closes up in 19 seconds.
And for those of you afraid the soft top R8 is for wieners – well, you’re probably right, but it can still scoot. 62 mph from a stop comes in only 4.8 seconds, up to a top speed of 186 mph. That’s with both the manual or R tronic gearbox. And since fuel economy is apparently a concern in a supercar nowadays, the car comes with a regenerative braking system that recoups energy normally wasted while slowing down. This helps the car get an impressive 17 mpg (16 mpg with the manual) combined highway/city miles.
Germany will start seeing the R8 Spyder 4.2 on showrooms within the next few months; no word on bringing the car to the States.
Me, I’ll pass on the silly-looking convertible and head straight for the R8 GT, thank you.