Those who routinely read between the lines are no doubt nonplussed to learn Audi is doing a Spyder version of the R8 GT. In fact, we openly speculated Audi would eventually offer an open version of the car back in March when pricing was announced for the coupe. Scheduled for launch in the early part of 2012, after debuting at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the R8 GT Spyder is indeed slated to be reality.
Propelled by the same 5.2-liter, 560-horsepower V10 found in the R8 GT Coupe, the R8 GT Spyder would easily be the fastest open car Audi has ever produced for the street. Just as the closed version of the German exotic sports car is a limited run one off, the Spyder is expected to be a limited edition model as well. While the U.S. market was slated for but 90 examples of the coupe, allotment of the Spyder has yet to be announced.
You may recall the coupe owes its lighter weight to a broad incorporation of selected carbon fiber components, erasing some 180 pounds from Audi’s flagship performance coupe. Primary carbon fiber bits include the rear hatch, spoiler and diffuser. In addition to adding speed, the new carbon componentry helps improve handling as well. Other bits benefiting from lightening were the fixed rear wing, modified brake calipers, reduced engine-bay sound deadening and a lighter windscreen fashioned from thinner glass. It is reasonable to expect those modifications will also be incorporated into the Spyder.
To convey its limited-edition nature, the Audi R8 GT Spyder, like it’s coupe sibling, will enjoy a variety of exclusive interior and exterior touches. Based on the preliminary sketches released by Audi, one can surmise each car will have a numbered gearshift knob. The instrument cluster will be white with the R8 GT logo and the interior will feature carbon matte inlays. Black Alcantara swathes the seats, headliner, steering wheel and handbrake lever—accented with contrasting stitching. Additionally, the doorsills are laced with aluminum inserts containing the R8 GT logo.
As you might well imagine, pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date. Given the coupe goes for $198,050 with destination charges, one can reasonably expect the Spyder to come in somewhere around $215,000.