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by Matt Campbell

The most high-performance drop-top Audi ever has been revealed, with the 2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus claiming the title of the “fastest series-production convertible model from the brand with the four rings”.

How fast? Well, its high-revving 5.2-litre 449kW/560Nm mid-mounted V10 engine is capable of slinging the new-generation Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus from 0-100km/h in just 3.3 seconds, a whopping 0.3sec quicker than the regular V10 Spyder. It’ll also hit a top speed of 328km/h, up 10km/h. Interestingly, the McLaren 570S Spider, also revealed today, is 0.1sec quicker…

The all-wheel-drive super sports car has a standard-fit seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto transmission, and while it is designed for speed, it has some economy-focused measures to ensure it doesn’t guzzle too hard, like engine stop-start, cylinder-on-demand technology to make it run as a five-pot under low loads, and a coasting mode that temporarily disconnects the driveline. The resulting fuel use claim is 12.5 litres per 100 kilometres.

The new model is described by Audi Sport GmbH managing director Stephan Winkelmann as the final version in the R8 line-up.

“The Spyder is now also available as a 610hp (449kW) top version in addition to the coupe,” Winkelmann said. “It benefits from our many years of experience in motorsport and combines breathtaking dynamics with the emotion of an open-top sports car.”

The model is available in a distinct ‘Micrommata’ green paint, as seen here, and has plenty of carbon-fibre elements, not to mention a dry sump oil supply for the power unit, which “enables the engine to be positioned extremely low, giving the car an extremely low centre of gravity – a requirement for the sporty and agile driving behaviour”.

The quattro drivetrain features an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch that is water-cooled “for maximum performance”, and Audi says that – depending on the situation – the drive available is “completely variable”, and “in extreme cases sends up to 100 per cent to one axle”. There’s a standard mechanical rear diff lock.

Assuring plenty of racetrack nous is a set of staggered standard 19-inch wheels and tyres (245/35 up front; 295/35 at the rear), while the 20-inch wheels, which are expected to be standard on Australian-delivered cars, will have 245/30 front and 305/30 rear tyres.

Helping stop the R8 Spyder V10 plus are 380mm front discs with six piston calipers and 356mm rear discs with four piston calipers, with the discs constructed from carbon-fibre ceramic composite.

Audi will offer optional laser light headlights, in addition to the LEDs, and the fabric soft top construction features lightweight materials such as magnesium and aluminium, resulting in a 44 kilogram increase over the R8 V10 plus Coupe. The lid takes 20 seconds to open or close, and is operable up to 50km/h.

Inside there’s the brand’s Virtual Cockpit display for the driver, and Audi’s MMI navigation plus system with all the latest phone connectivity, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and even seatbelt microphones “for optimal audio quality, even when the top is down”. In addition, the MMI navigation plus has an integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for the mobile devices of passengers.

Australia

CarAdvice has contacted Audi Australia to see when the new-generation 2018 Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus will make it here, and at what cost. Stay tuned.

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