• Limited-production, hand-built supercar; only 333 to be sold
  • V10 tuned to make 560 horsepower
  • Lightweight materials and construction reduce weight

Making its first US appearance at the LA Auto Show, the track-ready R8 GT Spyder joins Audi's lineup of mid-engine sports cars. Like the R8 GT Coupe, the GT Spyder is a lighter and more powerful, exclusive, hand-built model with a limited run of only 333 cars.

The GT Spyder gets the larger of the R8's two motors, a 5.2-liter V10. For the GT, Audi tweaked the high-revving, direct injection unit to produce 560 horsepower, a 35-horsepower increase. An R tronic automated manual transmission delivers fast gear changes selected through steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Launch control and Quattro all-wheel drive help the GT Spyder dart to 62mph from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds. Top speed is nearly 197mph.

Weight is kept low and the GT Spyder's enormous power is harnessed thanks to standard equipment like carbon ceramic brakes, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and a carbon fiber splitter, diffuser and spoiler.

The hydraulically-operated soft top shared with the standard R8 Spyder saves space and weight compared to a retractable hard top. It's operable when the car is moving at up to 31mph and opens and closes in 19 seconds. A heated glass rear window lowers into the bulkhead, which also houses rollover protection. A wind deflector can be installed manually.

The cost of ripping across road and track, wind in your hair and V10 bellowing, has not been announced. But it is sure to be commensurate with this supercar's race-bred engineering, spectacular power and certain rarity.

Whatever the price, the R8 GT Spyder will go fast in more ways than one. Audi says all 333 GT Coupes have long been spoken for.

What it means to you: A few well-heeled customers will enjoy the R8's V10 song in its rawest and most powerful open-top form.

See more LA Auto Show news.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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