In Depth

Audi unveils radical 602bhp R8 Spyder V10 Plus

Drop-top supercar goes from 0-62mph in 3.3secs and has a top speed of 203mph

Audi has launched a more powerful Plus variant of its R8 Spyder V10 - and orders for the drop-top supercar opening later this month.

Previously only available on coupes, the Plus ups the regular Spyder's power output from 533bhp to a mighty 602bhp and adds an extra 14lb-ft of torque, bringing the total to 413lb-ft.

The 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine is paired with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox, which sends power to all-four wheels. Drivers can, however, modulate the power distribution between the front and rear axles, meaning the R8 Spyder V10 Plus can be 100 per cent rear-wheel drive.

Onboard computers can automatically distribute power across both axles to maximise traction, allowing the R8 Spyder V10 Plus to go from zero to 62mph in 3.3secs and on to a top speed of 203mph.

Audi's magnetic damper system is an optional extra, says Evo, but the "excellent" package improves the car's "body control without compromising too much on comfort and wheel travel". 

The Plus's "liberal use of carbon fibre" visually separates it from the regular R8 Spyder, the magazine says, while a "more subtle carbon fibre lip" replaces the V10 Plus coupe's larger rear wing.

The announcement comes in the wake of McLaren launching its new 570S Spider, one of the R8 Spyder V10 Plus's key rivals.

While the McLaren boasts a 0.1sec faster zero to 62mph time and has 30lb-ft more torque, the R8 Spyder V10 Plus has 40bhp more power and matches its rival's top speed.

The R8 Spyder V10 Plus also costs considerably less than its rival, as the Audi's £147,470 price tag is over £17,000 cheaper than the McLaren 570S Spider.

Orders for the R8 Spyder V10 Plus are due to open later this month, with deliveries expected shortly after.

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