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2017 Audi R8 Spyder: First Look

img 2147053452 1458745862770 jpg 2017 Audi R8 Spyder | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Jaguar F-Type Roadster, Porsche 911 Cabriolet and your mortgage payment

Looks like: The R8 never should be ordered with a roof; the Spyder looks that good

Drivetrain: 5.2-liter V-10 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission

CARS.COM — Audi has taken the lid off of the new version of the R8 by unveiling the R8 Spyder, the convertible version of its supercar, at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.

More 2016 New York Auto Show Coverage

On the outside, the R8 Spyder doesn’t break any new ground — it looks like an R8 with the roof chopped off — but the bodywork behind the cockpit looks particularly sleek and could make one wonder why Audi bothers to make a coupe version at all. Audi says the new cloth top opens or closes in 20 seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

The car will be powered by the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine that drives the R8 coupe. It will be linked to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Convertibles — owing to the fact that the roof is missing — can be less rigid than hardtop versions of the same car, but Audi says the R8 Spyder has a “strong backbone” of aluminum and carbon fiber. Time and testing (hint, hint) will be the only way to tell if this is true.

Finally, the R8 Spyder features what Audi calls a racecar-inspired interior with driver-oriented controls and Audi’s fully digital virtual cockpit, a system we tested recently on the Audi Q7 SUV.

The R8 Spyder will be built in Germany and Audi says more information regarding pricing and full specs will be available at a later date.

img2146990323 1458745862515 jpg 2017 Audi R8 Spyder | Manufacturer image

 

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Former assistant managing editor Bill Jackson manages the Research section, and he enjoys triathlons and cross-country skiing. Email Bill Jackson

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