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Car Video

2012 Audi R8 Spyder: New Car Review - Video

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Jeff Thisted:  Following the successful introduction of its race-inspired R8 coupe back in 2006, Audi has unleashed a convertible Spyder version to rave reviews. Now in its second year, the 2012 Audi R8 Spyder continues to steal the show.

Tracy Metro:  And it comes in two versions. You can get the R8 in a real peppy 430-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, or go for the 525-horsepower 5.2-liter V10. Either way, the R8 is a sweet ride, due in part to the fact that the engine is located ahead of the rear axle, giving the car its near ideal weight distribution.

Jeff:  That’s right, Tracy, and the body and chassis are proven in competition. Let me tell you why. It’s got aluminum, carbon fiber and magnesium all joined together to provide a light weight, strength and rigidity.

Tracy:  Which of course is really important in a convertible. When you have a top down on a convertible, I know you’ve been in them just like I have, there’s a noticeable shake when you go over bumps or rough roads, because it’s lacking a roofline that gives the car rigidity. Well, that is not the case right here with the R8.

Jeff:  Not at all. With the top up, this Spyder looks almost identical to the coupe.  And it’s triple insulated to provide a nice and quiet interior. Press a button, and the top retracts under a hard tonneau cover to maintain proper airflow at high speeds.

Tracy:  The arched instrument panel visor helps with visibility during bright daylight, kind of like what we have right now, and the extra-large speedometer and tach can be read real quickly at a glance. And this right here is the information center that provides page-by-page info on all systems in the car.

Jeff:  It’s true. Like we have on this R8, you can opt for Audi’s Parking System Plus, which has a built-in rear-view camera that I like, or a Bang and Olufsen premium sound system with 12 speakers and 465 watts of digitally amplified power.

Tracy:  Some standard features include Bluetooth communication with a seatbelt microphone, Sirius XM satellite radio and 10-way power adjusted heated sport seats.

Jeff:  The leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel is flat on the bottom, traditional Audi racing style. And the leather seats give lots of support—really nice when you go around those corners.

This is a pretty terrific-handling sports car, Trace.

Tracy:  And you know what? Audi started with their famous Quattro all-wheel drive with electronic stability control. To that they added something that I think is kind of cool. It’s a driver-controlled, magnetic fluid suspension adjuster, and to that they added competition-bred aluminum double-wishbone front and rear suspensions.

Everything about this R8 is super world class, and the braking system definitely does not disappoint.

Jeff:  All right, Tracy, how much does this bad boy cost?

Tracy:  You know what, Jeff, I am not gonna lie, it is not cheap. V8, $127,700. V10, $162,700. But if you just so happen to have just over $170,000, why not go for the R tronic six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters?

Jeff:  And although this thing could easily qualify as an exotic, it’s still priced thousands below what you’ll find at Lamborghini or Ferrari.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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