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by Tim Beissmann

Audi has released sketches of the 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder – the car that promises to be the fastest drop-top Audi ever made.

The world will get its first look at the new R8 GT Spyder at the Le Mans 24-hour race in June before the production vehicle takes to the stand at September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

From there, a limited production run (potentially capped to 333 like the R8 GT coupe) is set to commence in early-2012.

The Spyder will feature the same 5.2-litre V10 as the coupe, with power peaking at 412kW and 540Nm of torque.

According to Autocar, the Spyder’s top speed will be 10km/h lower than the coupe’s, although it will still be good for a hair-raising 310km/h.

The R8 GT uses a six-speed R-tronic robotised manual transmission to deliver power to all four wheels (15 percent to the front, 85 percent to the rear), and the Spyder is expected to benefit from the same set-up.

The GT models are distinguished by their unique front splitter with carbon fibre winglets, matt black features in place of the standard chrome highlights, and interior tweaks including revised instrument graphics, gear knob and Alcantara upholstery.

The coupe is around 95kg lighter than the standard R8 V10 due to the use of carbon fibre panels, fixed rear spoiler, revised brake calipers and a lighter windscreen with thinner glass.

The Spyder kit adds 100kg to the weight of the R8 V10, although it is still expected that the R8 GT Spyder will be capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in less than 4.0 seconds.

Expect more details of the 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder to be revealed as its Le Mans debut approaches.




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