2017 Audi R8 Spyder V10 with 540hp output stuns at the 2016 New York Auto Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 25, 2016

Behold the latest iteration of the Audi R8 Spyder. The new 2017 Audi R8 Spyder features the standard Audi virtual cockpit that displays relevant information in high-resolution 3D graphics on a 12.3-inch monitor. Drivers could choose among three screen views: classic, infotainment and performance.

When performance view is selected, the monitor displays various information about the operation of the Audi R8 Spyder like power output, torque, oil and tire temperatures as well as lap times and g-forces. Moreover, drivers could customize the displays around the speedometer and rev counter to suit their preferences.

Thanks to a lightweight construction involving carbon fiber components, the new 2017 Audi R8 Spyder features a dry weight of just 1,612 kg (3,553.9 lbs), bringing the power-to-weight ratio to 3.19 kg (8.6 lbs) per hp. This is greatly helped by the new Audi Space Frame (ASF) that employs the multi-material construction principle.

ASF combines aluminum components with structurally integrated carbon fiber reinforced polymer. Around 79.6 percent of the multi-material ASF is made up of aluminum components, which form a framework that engineers use to fit reinforcements into the sills, A-posts and windscreen frame.

Moreover, Audi employs cutting-edge manufacturing methods to further make individual components lighter by up to ten percent. Overall, the ASF in the new Audi R8 Spyder weighs around 208 kg (458.6 lbs) but boasts of a torsional rigidity higher by 50 percent than the previous model.

Because of this, the car managed to realize high ratings for acoustics and crash safety. Furthermore, the underbody of the new Audi R8 Spyder features a smooth trim for improved aerodynamics while a large rear diffuser increases the downforce. Both of these solutions were adapted from motorsport.

Exterior Design

Compared to the previous model, the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder at 4,426 mm (14.5 ft,) in length, is around 14 mm (0.6 in) shorter. However, the new Audi R8 Spyder is around 36 mm (1.4 in) wider than the previous model at 1,940 mm (6.4 ft). Its height and wheelbase remained the same as its predecessor’s at 1,244 mm (4.1 ft.) and 2,650 mm (8.7 ft), respectively.

Its silhouette is marked by the forward position of the passenger compartment, accentuated wheel arches and long back. Highlighting the width of new Audi R8 Spyder are horizontal lines both at the front and rear.

Its front end is marked by a large yet low-height Audi Singleframe with a radiator grille featuring honeycomb structure. This grille linked to the wedge-shape headlights by sculptural surfaces. Each headlamp features 37 light-emitting diodes as standard.

Laser lighting – marked by a blue anodized strip -- is offered as an option, thereby ensuring optimal visibility and range. This laser lighting technology is complemented by dynamic indicator lights.

On the other hand, the hood of the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder is made of cloth and weighs just 44 kg (97.0 lb), thereby helping keep the overall weight of this high-performance sports car at a minimum.

This hood can be availed in three different colors: black, brown and red. Thanks to an electro-hydraulic drive, the soft top of the new Audi R8 Spyder can be opened and shut in just 20 seconds with a single press of a button, even when the vehicle is cruising at speeds of up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph).

Its hood module -- located behind the seats – includes components like roll-over protection, hood, hood tray and rear-window compartment as well as a multiple-joint hinge for the hood compartment cover, which is carbon-fiber reinforced and hydraulically powered.

Thanks to its new design, the levels of road and wind noise inside the new Audi R8 Spyder are now significantly lower than those of its predecessor. Air turbulence at head level is now also lower even with the hood down thanks to a wind deflector made from synthetic textile.

This wind deflector could reduce the reverse flow around the head by around 90 percent and around the shoulder and neck by 80 percent. The rear window, with the hood open, could serve as a wind deflector.

Moreover, the flat compartment for storing the hood features a large cover with three sporty ventilation slits on each side. Additionally, the new Audi R8 Spyder comes with two fins flowing to the rear stretch the hood to lend the car a dynamic profile.

Powertrain

The new Audi R8 Spyder for the 2017 model year has been unveiled at the 2016 New York Auto Show, as powered by a V10 naturally aspirated engine that develops up to 397 kW (540 hp) of output and up to 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque available at 6,500 rpm.

Interestingly, this engine could rev up to 7,800 rpm while offering precise throttle response and producing amazing sound. It features the Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI) system that directly injects fuel into the combustion chambers as well as an MPI system that injects fuel injection into the induction manifold.

Thanks to these features, the Audi R8 Spyder V10 is able to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 3.6 seconds and from nil to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in only 11.8 seconds while achieving a restricted speed of 318 km/h (197.6 mph).

Featured as standard are exhaust flaps, although the sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims is available as an option. Interestingly, the Audi R8 has been effectively highlighting the marriage between the brand’s technological expertise and its motorsports links.

For instance, Audi engineers developed the Audi R8 Le Mans GT3 racing car in parallel with the second-generation production models of the R8. Because of this, nearly half of the parts on the R8 LMS are also fitted in the R8. As a testament to the success of the R8, its Coupé grabbed a number of accolades in 2015 like the “Golden Steering Wheel” and the “Auto Trophy.”

Now, the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 is hoping to again capitalize on the success and continue the momentum set by its predecessors. Matching the power underneath the Audi R8 Spyder is the quattro drivetrain that combines three high-tech modules – a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that quickly changes gear via two clutches.

One of these clutches is an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch on the front wheels that distributes the torque freely between the axles.

Moreover, the vehicle features a mechanical rear differential lock whose locking values have been re-tuned to function more cooperatively with the actively controlled quattro drive. Through the Audi drive select system, drivers could choose from four modes for its quattro drive: comfort, auto, dynamic and individual.

This system allows drivers to choose a mode that suits their preferences or needs, thereby adjusting the characteristics different elements found in the Audi R8 Spyder like that of the quattro drive, accelerator, the steering, the S tronic and the exhaust flap control function as well as the optional Audi magnetic ride. Despite the power it develops, the new Audi R8 Spyder is 10-percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, according to NEDC fuel consumption ratings.

This is all thanks to the fact that the car comes with an array of efficiency technologies like the dual injection system and cylinder on demand (COD). Moreover, the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder’s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission features a freewheeling mode.

When the accelerator pedal is depressed at speeds over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain, causing the new Audi R8 Spyder to coast and consume only -- on average -- 11.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (20.1 US mpg) while emitting just 277 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (445.8 g/mi).

An optional performance leather steering wheel could also be availed for the R8 Spyder, adding three more driving programs -- dry, wet and snow. This way, drivers could easily adapt their R8 Spyder according to the prevailing conditions of the road.

These modes are also influenced by the ESC stabilization control system. More importantly, a number of important functions can now be operated through the optional sport or performance leather steering wheel, thus drivers could still focus on the road ahead even without taking their hands off the wheel.

For instance, the new performance leather steering wheel comes with satellite buttons for starting and stopping the engine, as well as buttons for the Audi drive select driving dynamics system. Also, the performance leather steering wheel features two extra control satellites – for the performance mode and for the exhaust flap control.

Press Release

Dynamic driving open to the sky – the new Audi R8 Spyder V10

Spectacular design and breathtaking dynamism, combined with the allure of open-top driving – Audi presents the new Audi R8 Spyder* at the New York International Auto Show 2016 from March 23 to April 3. Its V10 naturally aspirated engine supplies 397 kW (540 hp) and 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) of torque.

The new open-roof high-performance sports car opens another chapter in the Audi R8 success story. It all started in 2007 with the market introduction of the first-generation Coupé, followed by the Spyder in 2010. Sales of both versions combined reached nearly 27,000. They demonstrate the high-tech expertise of Audi and the brand’s affinity with motorsport. The brand restates this with the second R8 generation – its engineers developed the new Audi R8 Le Mans, a GT3 racing car, in parallel with the production models. As a result, almost 50 percent of all the parts used on the R8 LMS are also to be found in the R8. The success of the new Coupé is confirmed by prestigious awards bestowed on it last year, such as the “Golden Steering Wheel” and the “Auto Trophy”.

“Our new R8 line is the sporty vanguard of Audi,” remarked Board Member for Development Dr.-Ing. Stefan Knirsch. “Following on from the Coupé, we are now bringing out the second generation of the R8 Spyder. The open high-performance sports car delivers thrillingly captivating performance and gives the driver an even more direct experience of the V10 naturally aspirated engine’s unmistakable sound.”

Athletic design: wider than predecessor
The dynamic character of the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 is immediately apparent at first glance. The forward position of the passenger compartment, the highly accentuated wheel arches and the long back define the classic silhouette of a mid-engine sports car. The new R8 Spyder is 14 millimeters (0.6 in) shorter than the previous model and measures an overall 4,426 millimeters (14.5 ft) in length. It has grown by 36 millimeters (1.4 in) in width to 1,940 millimeters (6.4 ft). The height of 1,244 millimeters (4.1 ft) is unchanged from the first-generation R8 Spyder, as is the wheelbase of 2,650 millimeters (8.7 ft).

Horizontal lines at the front and rear emphasize the width of the R8 Spyder, as does the large, low-height Audi Singleframe with its radiator grille in honeycomb structure. Sculptural surfaces connect it to the wedge-shape headlights in each of which 37 light-emitting diodes generate bright LED light as standard. As a high-end option, Audi offers laser lighting for maximum visibility and range – identified by a blue anodized strip in the headlights that is additionally lit. This cutting-edge technology is combined with the dynamic indicator lights. At the rear, it is supplied as standard on all versions.

Typically Audi: lightweight cloth hood
The newly developed hood of the R8 Spyder is made of cloth, in typical Audi fashion. It weighs a mere 44 kilograms (97.0 lb), thus contributing to the low overall weight of this high-performance sports car. An electro-hydraulic drive opens and closes the soft top at the press of a button in just 20 seconds, and this can even be done while driving at speeds up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph). The hood module is located behind the seats. It comprises the components roll-over protection, hood, hood tray, rear-window compartment and a multiple-joint hinge for the carbon fiber reinforced, hydraulically powered hood compartment cover.

The levels of road and wind noise inside the car are much lower than on the predecessor model. With the hood down, air turbulence at head level has also been reduced. There is a wind deflector made from synthetic textile for an extra boost to comfort. It reduces the reverse flow around the head by approximately 90 percent and around the shoulder/neck by 80 percent. As well as the textile wind deflector, with the hood open the rear window can act as an additional wind deflector. Whereas if it is retracted, the driver will have an even more intense experience of the V10 engine’s characteristic roar.

The flat storage compartment into which the hood is folded down as it opens has a large cover with three sporty ventilation slits on each side. Two fins running to the rear stretch the hood and give the R8 Spyder a dynamic profile. The hood is available in three different colors: black, brown and red.

Lightweight construction with carbon fiber components: dry weight just 1,612 kilograms (3,553.9 lb)
The new Audi R8 Spyder V10 impressively demonstrates the dynamic potential of lightweight automotive construction with a dry weight of 1,612 kilograms (3,553.9 lb). The power-to-weight ratio is just 3.19 kilograms (8.6 lb) per hp.

The key to this outstanding figure is the new Audi Space Frame (ASF) that uses the multi-material construction principle. As in the R8 Coupé*, it combines aluminum components with structurally integrated carbon fiber reinforced polymer. The aluminum components make up 79.6 percent of the multi-material ASF. In a progression from the Coupé version, they form a lattice that Audi’s engineers have used to incorporate specific reinforcements especially into the sills, A-posts and windscreen frame. Innovative manufacturing methods lower the weight of individual components by up to ten percent. Overall, the ASF in the new Audi
R8 Spyder weighs just 208 kilograms (458.6 lb); what is more, its torsional rigidity has increased by 50 percent compared with the previous model. It has achieved top marks for acoustics and crash safety, too. The underbody has a smooth trim, to improve the aerodynamics. And at the rear, a large diffuser increases the downforce – two more solutions taken directly from motorsport.

Inspiring: the V10
With its precise throttle response, free-revving ability all the way up to 7,800 rpm and stunning sound, the ten-cylinder engine guarantees goosebumps. From its 5,204 cm3 displacement, it develops a power of 397 kW (540 hp) and a torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. Along with direct injection into the combustion chambers (FSI), the V10 adds fuel injection into the induction manifold (MPI). The result is captivating performance: The new Audi R8 Spyder V10 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds. It races from a standstill to 200 km/h (124.3 mph) in 11.8 seconds. The speedometer needle only stops rising at 318 km/h (197.6 mph). The snarl and roar of the V10 become more full-throated and passionate as the revs rise. Exhaust flaps are standard; the optional sport exhaust system with gloss black tailpipe trims gives the sound added edge.

Compared with the previous model, NEDC fuel consumption has been cut by ten percent – thanks to efficiency technologies such as cylinder on demand (COD), the dual injection system and the freewheeling mode in the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission: when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal at speeds over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the engine is decoupled from the drivetrain – the new Audi R8 Spyder then coasts. It consumes on average 11.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (20.1 US mpg) which corresponds to 277 grams CO2 per kilometer (445.8 g/mi).

Triple-strength high-tech: the quattro drivetrain
The quattro drivetrain combines three high-tech modules: The seven-speed S tronic, which is located behind the engine, changes gear with lightning speed thanks to its two clutches. There is an electro-hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch on the front wheels, an electronic-control, watercooled system that distributes the V10’s torque freely between the axles. A mechanical rear differential lock is the key to sporty road behavior. Its locking values were newly tuned to work together with the actively controlled quattro drive.

The driving dynamics control for the quattro drive is integrated into the Audi drive select system, which offers the four modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. In each of these, the open-top high-performance sports car displays a different character ranging from effortless autobahn cruising to a style that savors every bend on a mountain pass. The system also draws on the accelerator characteristic, the steering, the S tronic, the exhaust flap control function and the optional adaptive damping system Audi magnetic ride.

The car’s handling becomes even more accomplished and precise with the optional performance leather steering wheel, which makes its debut in the R8 Spyder. It adds three more driving programs: dry, wet and snow. Because each mode has its own specific friction parameters, the driver can adapt their R8 Spyder individually to the prevailing conditions of the road being traveled. As well as the above technical modules, the ESC stabilization control system also influences these modes.

Firm and precise: the suspension
The R8 Spyder owes its decidedly dynamic handling among other factors to the low installed position of the engine, which is achieved thanks to dry sump lubrication. The wheels are controlled by lightweight aluminum wishbones – a layout that reveals motorsport DNA. The electromechanical power steering provides excellent road contact thanks to its subtly differentiated feedback. Alternatively dynamic steering is available. It changes the ratio as a function of speed, while adapting the steering torque to suit. The result is an even more precise steering feel and enhanced ride comfort.

Audi supplies the new R8 Spyder as standard with 19-inch wheels with a mix of tires (245/35 at front and 295/35 at rear). There is the option of 20-inch wheels with size 245/30 tires at the front and 305/30 tires at the rear. The brakes provide supremely controlled retardation for the open-top high-performance sports car. The calipers are each fitted with eight pistons on the front wheels, and four on the rear wheels. Large, ventilated and perforated wave-design discs are used all round. As an equipment option, Audi can also supply extra-durable, lightweight brake discs made from carbon fiber reinforced ceramic material capable of handling especially high loads.

The controls: full focus on the driver
The operating concept of the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 focuses consistently on the driver, as in a racing car. The driver can control all important functions from the new sport or performance leather steering wheel. Their hands remain on the steering wheel so that they can concentrate fully on the road. Standard features include satellite buttons for starting and stopping the engine, and for the driving dynamics system Audi drive select. The performance leather steering wheel comes with two additional control satellites – one for the performance mode, and one for the exhaust flap control.

The standard Audi virtual cockpit presents all information in richly detailed, high-resolution 3D graphics on a 12.3-inch monitor. The driver can choose between three screens – the classic view, the infotainment view and the performance view. Ambitious drivers taking to the racetrack will particularly appreciate the latter, which supplies data on torque, power output, oil and tire temperatures, lap times and g-forces The displays around the speedometer and rev counter can be customized to individual preferences.

MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is standard equipment in the R8 Spyder. As with a smartphone, its control features are structured in flat hierarchies, including a free text search function. Vehicle functions can be controlled from the steering wheel, the MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel or by natural-language voice control. The latter is especially convenient and delivers high-quality results thanks to three small microphones in the belts. They are standard in the R8 Spyder.

Well connected: Audi connect and Audi smartphone interface
The perfect counterpart to MMI navigation plus is the Audi connect module, which gets the open two-seater on the Internet via LTE and gives access to a wide range of services. These extend from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to online media streaming and real-time traffic information. Inductive smartphone charging via Audi phone box is available as an option. The Audi R8 Spyder is the first model on which selected mobile phone content can also be displayed directly in the Audi virtual cockpit via the Audi smartphone interface. From the middle of this year, this option will also be available for the R8 Coupé.

One highlight for audio enthusiasts is the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 13 loudspeakers, including the new head-restraint loudspeakers. There are two of these in each seat, positioned at ear level of the driver and passenger; they are notable for their excellent sound and low weight.

Top drawer: quality and equipment
The Audi R8 Spyder V10 is almost entirely hand-built at the “Audi Böllinger Höfe” purpose-made production plant near Neckarsulm. quattro GmbH is steadily building up its expertise in small production runs there. The manufactory character of the production operations affords ample scope to accommodate specific customer requests. The sport seats for driver and passenger come as standard – upholstered in exquisite diamond-pattern leather as an option. Alternatively Audi can supply bucket seats for even better lateral support.

Add-on body components such as the front spoiler, diffuser or the new, striking sideblades can be customized, for instance in high-gloss carbon fiber. Another element that is both a technical innovation and provides visual differentiation is
the optional Audi laser lighting with anodized blue strip. An entirely new color is available especially for the R8 Spyder, Argus brown, matt, along with ten other paint finishes.

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