This Audi is just perfect
YOU might know someone like this: fantastically good-looking, highly intelligent, charismatic and extremely nice.
Anyone with one or more of these attributes is bad enough but combined it makes for a thoroughly irritating combination, chiefly because you've no reason not to like them.
And so it is with Audi's R8. It started off as an athletic Coupé, turned even more brawny with the introduction of the V10 and more glamorous with the Spyder version. Then they rolled out the harder and lighter GT Coupé which seemingly had it all.
So now Audi has created arguably the most irritatingly perfect R8 of them of all with the introduction of the R8 GT Spyder. It combines the hardcore specification of the GT, which comprises of lots of lightweight carbonfibre, more power and tauter suspension, and then slots it into the glorious drop-top bodyshell of the Spyder – so it's like a supermodel with a PhD in astrophysics that makes a mean roast potato and raises money for charity at the same time. It's the looks that get you first, though. The carbonfibre add-ons can be hidden by darker shades but in the matte white finish that the test car appeared in, the slivers of lightweight material add purpose to the shape.
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The grey alloy wheels help, too – it would take a particularly hard heart not to find the R8 GT Spyder a totally arresting shape.
There's no skimping on the inside, which benefits from a similar range of enhancements.
For a start, there are lightweight bucket seats which not only help to shave a few pounds and grip you tightly but also look fantastic.
There's more carbonfibre detailing, the gorgeous flat-bottomed steering wheel is finished in Alcantara and the white instruments catch the eye a little more.
Elsewhere, the cabin is the typical high-quality affair that works well and is easy to understand – why would you want your supercar to be anything else?
But this isn't a shiny limited edition with extra bells and whistles, it is the ultimate R8.
Weight-saving has cut 85kg compared to the R8 V10 Spyder (so a hefty mate you've decided to leave at home) and on top of that it has 552bhp wrung from that magnificent V10 engine with 398lb.ft of torque to back it up.
Rolling gently down the pit lane at Silverstone (at pit lane speeds of course) and with the R tronic gearbox taking care of the shifts and the V10 emitting a controlled burble, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of serenity.
With the sun shining and the roof down, you could bowl around in the GT Spyder feeling like a million dollars and working on your tan at the same time.
And that would be fine apart from it being a total waste of some first-class engineering. What you really need to do is fully exercise that mighty powerplant and push the chassis as hard as you dare. But doing so isn't quite as easy as you might think. Despite being seemingly prepared for 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 197mph, the first full throttle blast through the gears delivers a sensational punch, accompanied by a terrific V10 wail – and possibly some expletives.
It feels even faster than the figures suggest, with every gear change snapping through thanks to the very fast R tronic gearbox. You'll not find a faster or more sensorial supercar for less than twice the price.
This is a sadly rare machine – just 43 will be coming to the UK – and every single one of those 43 lucky blighters will have themselves a stunning and utterly thrilling supercar.