Spied: 2017 Audi R8 Spyder

Spied: 2017 Audi R8 Spyder

The 2017 Audi R8 Spyder has been spotted in Germany, and though it is camouflaged, it gives us a reasonable first look at the third component of the automaker’s halo lineup.

As with previous ragtop R8s, the new Spyder’s exterior differs very little from the coupe’s. The major styling difference is apparent in the rear deck, where the coupe’s fastback taper is abandoned to accommodate the drop-top. It’s not as clean of a look, but then convertibles are meant to be admired without any roof at all.

Underneath, everything is expected to be carried over from the coupe. The Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine rated at 540 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque will be the base engine, linked exclusively to a seven-speed S tronic transmission controlled by shift paddles.

The R8 V10 plus should also be available in roadster form, giving buyers access to a hotter V10 that has been tuned to generate 610 horsepower and a healthy 413 lb-ft. of torque. The coupe plus is capable of reaching 62 mph from a stop in 3.2 seconds before going on to a top speed of 205 mph. The Spyder’s less aerodynamic body will likely stunt those figures slightly.

The only model not expected to get a Spyder variant is the e-tron, which relies on a modified, low-drag variant of the coupe body to maximize the range of its electric powertrain. Notably, the e-tron features a model-specific front fascia and lightweight wheels with carbon fiber inserts.

Spy photos by Brian Williams. R8 and R8 e-tron galleries by Ronan Glon.

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