Feature

New cars: 2011 Audi R8 Spyder

What the critics say about the $161,000 Audi R8 Spyder

Motor Trend
This Audi deserves a spot on the shopping lists “of those who need to work on their tan and go 193 mph.” The R8 convertible features the same handling, acceleration, and 525-hp, V10 engine as the original R8 coupe. “Roll onto the throttle and a rising chord plays, as if there were a Hammond B3 organ” piping through the car’s stereo.

Automobile
The low-slung, wide-track exterior styling of the limited-edition R8 Spyder is guaranteed to turn heads. “With the top down, the muscular tonneau cover and its huge silver engine vents blend beautifully into the surrounding bodywork.” The balky six-speed shifter isn’t really made for city driving, but any problems should begin to recede “when you flail this powertrain out on the open road.”

Car and Driver
The R8 coupe has always been “the most user-friendly supercar of the current era,” and this drop-top variant is no different. “All the usual convertible penalties”—heavy weight, reduced luggage space, diminished performance—are nonexistent. Innovative features include LED headlamps, seat-belt microphones for hands-free calling, and hidden roll bars that pop up automatically when a rollover threatens. Act fast, though: Only a few hundred will be imported here.

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