Audi R8 Spyder (2016-2018) Review

Easy-to-use supercar with wind-in-your-hair thrills

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Easy to drive fast
  • Very quick
  • Sounds great
  • Interior could be more flamboyant
  • Gearbox can be notchy
  • Not a lot of standard equipment

£134,890 - £149,890 Price range

2 Seats

20 - 22 MPG


So you like the new Audi R8 for its added drama, power, and technology over the old model, but want to hear even more of that glorious V10? Well, the new Audi R8 Spyder – a 197mph supercar with a folding canvas roof – can help you do just that.

Just like the coupe R8, the Spyder is powered by a 5.2-litre V10 making 533hp, but there’s no Plus model. Still, the R8 Spyder isn’t far behind the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder in a 0-62mph sprint – 3.6 vs 3.4 seconds. That V10 also sounds fantastic, has an explosive power delivery and can even turn off half its cylinders or decouple the gearbox from the engine to save fuel – it’s a pretty advanced piece of engineering.

Another great thing about the Spyder is just how easy it is to drive fast. The original R8 might have been the first to make supercar pace accessible for people with one tenth of the talent of a racing driver, but with the help of the latest stability and traction control systems, the new R8 Spyder is even easier to drive on the limit.

Slide into the heavily bolstered sports seats and another pleasant surprise awaits – the interior. It is an exercise in exceptional build quality, high-tech design, and minimalistic beauty. For starters, there’s no central infotainment screen and there are very few buttons on the dashboard. That’s because everything is controlled by the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display that’s mounted in place of the dials. It’s easy to get your head round and provides you with a wealth of information. In the R8 it even has a special extra mode where the rev-counter takes centre stage.

Notable standard equipment includes sat-nav, air conditioning, all-round parking sensors and an electrically lockable rear differential. However, everything else, from a £250 cruise control to £7,700 carbon-ceramic brakes is in the options list. But that doesn’t stop the R8 Spyder being one of the most dramatic drop-tops you can buy.

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