Sleek styling; plenty of power from either available engine; super handling; new convertible option; supple leather cockpit
There is much to love about the 2011 Audi R8. In addition to the 4.2 and 5.2 coupes, Audi has added a Spyder model, equipped with the 5.2-liter V10. The car's canvas top takes just 19 seconds to open or close and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph.
Motive power for the entire R8 lineup comes from either a 4.2-liter V8 making 420 hp and 317 lb-feet of torque, or a 5.2-liter V10 producing 525 hp and 391 ft-lb. Both units are mid-mounted just behind the passenger cabin and benefit from FSI direct injection. Power is put to the pavement through a standard 6-speed manual transmission or through Audi's R-tronic 6-speed sequential automatic. Quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard, with rear-biased torqued distribution.
Audi claims 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway and 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds from the V8, while the V10 is rated at the same fuel economy but it scoots to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.
The R8 is built on an all-aluminum Space Frame technology, which offers a lightweight, stiff, compliant chassis. Aluminum double-wishbone front and rear suspension is paired with Audi Magnetic Ride, a system that offers push-button control over a magnetically charged fluid whose viscosity continuously adapts to driving dynamics. Drivers choose between "Normal" or "Sport" modes to customize the R8's handling. The result is improved driving dynamics, reduced body movement, better road handling and enhanced overall ride comfort.
Inside, the R8 features heated Nappa leather sport seats with 10-way power adjustability, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, metallic inlays, and aluminum pedals. SIRIUS satellite radio, HomeLink universal remote and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity are standard in all R8s. In the 5.2 coupe and Spyder, a Bang & Olufsen sound system comes standard, as does Audi MMI Navigation. Unique to the Spyder is a Bluetooth microphone integrated into the seat belt.
All 5.2 R8s feature LED headlights and taillights, while the former is optional on 4.2 coupes. Carbon fiber exterior accents are optional across the range, and include exterior mirrors, doorsill inserts, and distinctive sideblade. On all R8s, 19-inch wheels are the norm, with several optional styles to choose from.
Safety is paramount in Audi's supercar, so all R8s include driver and passenger advanced dual-stage frontal airbags, seat-mounted head and thorax airbags and knee airbags. Audi Hill Hold Assist comes standard on 5.2 coupe and Spyder models, and Audi parking system plus with rearview camera is standard on the Spyder, optional on coupes.
Popular packages add extra leather to the cockpit, as well as extra carbon fiber to the exterior. A park-assist system with rearview camera, power-folding mirrors and a navigation system are also optional.
For 2011, Audi adds an open-top Spyder model to its popular R8 supercar lineup. The Spyder is powered by the 525-hp 5.2-liter V10 found in the R8 5.2 coupe. The canvas top takes just 19 seconds to open or close and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. Prices for the R8 Spyder start at $161,000.
The Audi R8 operates in an exclusive but highly competitive supercar segment, and it excels there. Against the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world, the mid-engined German marvel offers amazing V8 or V10 power, perfectly balanced handling, all-wheel-drive sure-footedness and head-turning looks. And all of this comes at a price considered a bargain compared to its Italian rivals.
With an all-new R8 Spyder model for 2011, Audi has raised the bar once again, and driving purists may have to purchase one of each just to make themselves happy.
Vehicle Price: 153,250.00
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