Audi R8 Spyder

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New car is just as thrilling as its predecessor – But there’s a waiting list to buy one

Last year our art editor Damon Cogman and I were lucky enough to be lent an Audi R8 V10 to go to the Nürburgring 24 Hours. We were both blown away by how easy it was to drive and how breathtakingly fast it was. Yes, we were told a few times how ‘the R8 doesn’t have the excitement of some supercars’, but quite frankly, we didn’t agree. The R8 worked in the real world, and it could manage speed bumps as well as it could accelerate in a cacophony of noise. People say Alfas are exciting, but they are prone to breaking down…

The company has since brought out the R8 Spyder and the more hardcore R8 GT. I was lucky enough to take the Spyder to Germany for this year’s race and it is exactly what you’d expect from Audi – more of the same excellence. Without a roof, of course.

There are a couple of drawbacks with the Spyder, such as there is now no space behind the seats for your belongings as there was in the coupé. But really, in the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty minor defect. Also, there will always be the odd purist who’ll argue that it doesn’t handle as well as the hardtop. But again this doesn’t hold much weight as an argument, because you’re unlikely to use an R8 Spyder on a race track where you might be affected by this. A soft top is for getting all the enjoyment of the coupé but with the added bonus of being able to take the roof down – which is done by merely pressing a button on the Spyder.

So the R8 Spyder is another success, a view that seems to be shared by a reasonable number of people considering there is already a one-year waiting list for the car…