The Audi R8 Spyder V8 is a powerful and agile super sports car yet which a surprising level of practicality. Launched with the Lamborghini V10 engine from the Gallardo the R8 Spyder now has the option of the smaller but still impressive 4.2-litre V8 engine first seen in the RS4. Like the coupe, the open-top two-seater Audi features a spacious, high-quality interior that, helped by a front luggage compartment with a useful 100 litre capacity, is genuinely comfortable and practical enough to make everyday use a pleasure rather than a chore.
When the Audi R8 lost its top many were worried that the edge would be taken off the fine handling but in fact the Spyder is not only as great to drive as the coupe it also feels more characterful and is undoubtedly more desirable. It’s all thanks to the aluminium space-frame at the heart of all R8s that provide a rigid structure with or without a roof panel.
The V8 packs plenty of punch and the weight saving (of around 60kg) over the heavier V10 helps balance the car better. There’s obviously a cost saving too and a drop in power but it’s a difference that The only disappointment is that while the sound of the V8 is still fantastic it doesn’t have the awe-inspiring tone of its big brother.