2019 Audi R8 Spyder - Stunning Powerhouse
The Audi R8 Spyder has received a mid-life facelift, and the results are mightily impressive. The Spyder was already a gorgeous looking car, but now Audi has made it even better with small tweaks to accentuate the bodywork. The Audi R8 Spyder is a convertible supercar trading punches with the likes of Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren and it is certainly holding its own.
The Audi R8 was first unveiled back in 2006, and customer deliveries started in 2007. Over the years it has received many upgrades and enhancements to keep up with its rivals in a popular sports/supercar market. The R8 Spyder came out a few years later and impressed journalists and petrolheads around the world with its excellent handling and performance levels. Audi has not made any dramatic alterations to the R8, but they have consistently improved the overall package. They have made the R8 range, a useable, everyday supercar that you could take to the shops or local pub or take to the track to embarrass some more prestige and expensive supercars.
Continue reading the yoauto review to help you decide if the Audi R8 is the right car for you. If the R8 doesn't tick all of your boxes, then don't forget to visit our Used Car buying page, where you will find thousands of cars available across the UK at excellent prices.
Engine - Power and Performance
The Audi R8 Spyder keeps the impressive, roaring 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 petrol engine. This same engine can also be found in the Lamborghini Huracan and was formerly in the Lamborghini Gallardo. There are two power variations with the engines, depending on which trim you choose, either the base trim V10 Quattro or the V10 Performance Quattro. The base V10 develops 562hp with 560Nm of torque and will hit 0-62mph in 3.5secs going on to a top speed of 200mph. The Performance V10 is tuned to develop 612hp with 580Nm of torque achieving 0-62mph in just 3.2secs and hit a top speed of 204mph. Both engine variations are paired with Audi’s superb seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission.
The R8 Spyder comes with Audi’s AWD Quattro system, to add extra grip and stability, allowing you to push the R8’s capabilities to the limit while making you feel safe and secure. The Spyder is fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank, so less stops needed to fill up on those weekend breaks or Sunday morning tear ups on twisty ‘B’ roads. The brakes in the Audi are impressive and quickly pull you to a stop. There is the option to upgrade to ceramic brakes for added stopping power, and these come as standard on the performance model. The ceramic brakes, although won’t wear out as quickly as regular brakes, they are more suited to aggressive and track driving, so may not be worth spending the extra money on.
Because the engine is a naturally aspirated V10, it growls so lovingly when just idling. Then when you put your foot down, the sound is spine-tingling, and you just want to enjoy more and more of it. Who needs turbochargers when you get a soundtrack as wonderful as the one in the Audi R8 Spyder, especially when you have the roof down.
Interior Quality, Space and Practicality
Inside the Audi R8 Spyder, the dashboard is very similar to the ones found in other Audi models, the TT springs to mind. Having a similar interior is good in the sense that nothing is confusing. However, it would have been better for the R8 to get a glamorous, bespoke dashboard and interior setup, to set it apart from the other Audi’s. The overall build quality and finish are superb as we have come to expect from the guys at Audi. Quality materials are used throughout, and everything looks and feels to be in a perfect position, angling everything towards the driver. The R8 Spyder gets the Audi ‘Virtual Cockpit’ as standard. It is a 12.3-inch colour digital screen which replaces the analogue instrument cluster. As well as showing things like speed, fuel levels etc. it also doubles up as the infotainment screen, featuring the MMI navigation plus with MMI touch navigation system. There is smartphone connectivity using Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto, as well as Bluetooth and DAB radio.
There is a flat bottomed, multi-functional leather sports steering wheel, where you can control the virtual cockpit and infotainment system. The leather sports seats are comfortable and electronically adjustable, with 4-way pneumatic lumbar adjustment to make you snug.
There is a good amount of space for driver and passenger, and unless you are really tall, you should have little difficulty finding a good driving position. Storage space, on the other hand, is very limited, with the main luggage space reaching a tiny 112-litre capacity. There are a few small storage compartments inside the R8 but nothing significant just enough for a book, drink and a mobile phone really. The roof will go up or down in under 20 seconds and can also be operated at speeds up to 31mph, so pretty good.
Safety and Security
The R8 Spyder comes with quite a few safety features and assists as standard, with the option to purchase extra safety kit readily available. Some of the standard features include front and rear parking sensors, multiple airbags, cruise control, Audi Parking System Plus, Isofix point on the passenger seat and Parking system plus with reversing camera. One of the optional extras, which may be worth considering, is the Laser Light headlights which illuminate the dark roads brilliantly.
The Audi R8 Spyder has not yet been safety tested by the guys at Euro NCAP, but given Audi’s performance across its range and the standard features, it should have no problem achieving the top 5-star rating.
With a price similar to that of the Porsche 911 cabriolet and McLaren 570s Spider, the Audi faces some stiff competition. Throw in the mix the more expensive but prestige Ferrari 488 Spider and Lamborghini Huracan Spider you soon realise this could be a trickier choice than first thought. The Ferrari and Lamborghini are much more expensive, so the R8 offers better value for money. The Porsche and McLaren have their own unique qualities as well and are priced in the same ballpark as the R8 Spyder. The R8 is an excellent car throughout with great styling, a top-quality interior and one of the best sounding engines money can buy to make its superb handling. It will be a difficult decision to make but also a lot of fun test driving all of these to find which one suits you best.