204mph Audi R8 V10 Spyder Plus confirmed

The Audi R8 V10 Spyder Plus is set to join an exclusive club of drop-top supercars in Autumn 2017

A range-topping Audi R8 V10 Spyder Plus is set to become the fastest convertible in Audi’s history, with a top speed of 204mph.

It could even be the last hurrah for Audi’s iconic V10, which has 602bhp and revs to 8,700rpm, getting the soft-top from 0-62mph in 3.3 seconds - 0.3 seconds faster than the regular Audi R8 V10 Spyder thanks to its extra 70bhp. Large naturally aspirated engines are fast being replaced by smaller turbocharged units for improved efficiency, with added hybrid technology in the case of models like the Honda NSX.

All its extra power will cost you around £15,000 more than the standard R8 Spyder, but the Plus will still undercut the Ferrari 488 Spider and Lamborghini Huracan Spyder it competes with. All it’s power is sent to a seven-speed S tronic automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive system.

While it doesn’t look dramatically different, aficionados will be able to tell the Plus version is special thanks to its new grille with honeycomb mesh and a healthy smattering of carbon fibre parts. The front spoiler, side air intakes, door sills, rear diffuser and boot spoiler will all be constructed from the lightweight material derived from motorsport and help produce up to 100kg of downforce. The side sills and spoiler can be left bare, or painted the same colour as the car for no extra cost.

An optional ‘micrommata green design package’ sees the bodywork painted bright green, while the grille is finished in contrasting Anthracite Grey and black Nappa leather upholstery, armrests, doors and floor mats get luminous green stitching. Laser headlights will also be offered, improving forward visibility at night and featuring anodised blue elements within the light cluster.

Get close to the back of the Audi R8 V10 Spyder Plus and you’ll also see its gloss black trapezoidal exhausts. Unlike the Ferrari 488 Spider, the Audi uses a fabric soft top which can open or close in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. There’s even a wind deflector to stop the driver and passenger getting too ruffled with the roof down.

While it’s unlikely to be of great concern amongst the prospective audience, fuel consumption is pegged at 22.6mpg - the same figure as the Huracan Spyder - while CO2 emissions are 292g/km. Thanks to its smaller, turbocharged engine, the Ferrari 488 Spider is the economy hero, boasting figures of 24.7mpg and 260g/km.

Being a flagship Audi, technology is also comprehensive, with a 12.3-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital dashboard dominating proceedings inside. This takes care of everything from the infotainment system to the sat-nav, and the system has been designed so the driver can operate all major controls without taking their hands off the steering wheel.

Order books will open later this month in the UK and the first cars are expected with customers towards the end of summer this year, with a starting price of £147,470.

Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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