New Audi R8 Spyder V10 Plus is a topless brute

If the “normal” 540-horsepower R8 Spyder isn’t doing it for you, the wait is over. Audi has upped its convertible, mid-engined Huracan sibling to Plus spec, which means the FSI V10 gets a whopping 70-horsepower bump, all the way up to 610. Plus, like its lowlier sibling, you get a power folding soft top that goes up or down at up to 31 mph.

But wait, there’s more! The normal R8 Spyder can hit 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds, according to the manufacturer, while the new one will hit 62 mph in 3.3 seconds. (Since the first specs we have are for the European version, we get 0-100 km times rather than 0-60 mph times. It’s clear the V10 Plus is notably quicker.) No matter where you buy one, each V10 Plus will rev out to 8,700 rpm. Top speed increases slightly, to 203.8 mph – much faster than you’d want to go with the top down, surely.

The rest of the powertrain is standard R8. There’s a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox, the only transmission available, and Quattro all-wheel drive standard. Like the standard R8, it can send up to 100 percent of its power to either axle in extreme situations, and there’s a rear differential locker for added traction. While a variable-assist steering rack is an option, the standard steering box is an electromechanical unit.

Inside and out, there’s a lot of exotic stuff. Optional Audi laser headlights and standard Audi virtual cockpit tick the box for Euro technophiles, while diehard Audi Sport enthusiasts will appreciate the carbon fiber diffuser that adds up to 220 pounds of downforce to the package.

Speaking of pounds, that top weighs 97 pounds, but the total package weighs 55 less than the regular R8 Spyder. That weight savings is due to lightweight bucket seats, carbon ceramic brakes (15 inches up front, 14 in the back), and lighter alloy wheels.

The cars will be delivered in Europe in late summer. We’ll know more about US-market cars soon, surely.

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