Along with the hard top, the R8 Spyder lost the coupe's trademark side blades but gained a anodized aluminum coating for the windscreen surround and a newly designed engine cover that houses two arched cowls, which extend to the spoiler lip and include large, integrated air vents.
If you must know, the cover over the storage compartment for the cloth top, which by the way, is offered with a choice of three colors, is made from a carbon fiber composite material.
Inside, what makes this R8 different (other than the fact that its passengers can have an unobtrusive view of the sky, that is), is the specific trim and some special goodies such as the leather for the seats which is colored with pigments to reflect the infrared component of sunlight keeping the seats up to 20 degrees Celsius cooler (always according to the automaker).
The Spyder also comes equipped with a heated glass window, which is separate from the cloth top and can be raised and lowered at the press of a button, with the top up or down. as well as with an additional net-like wind deflector.
Audi says that the soft top's approximate weight is 30 kg (66 lb) while the necessary reinforcements in the area of the sills, the center tunnel, the rear wall, the floor pan and the A- and B-pillars, result in a weight increase of just 6 kilograms (13 lb) over the R8 Coupe.
The overall weight of the Spyder 5.2 FSI with the manual transmission is 1,720 kg (3,792 lbs) or 100kg (220 lbs) more than the respective R8 Coupe model.
The 5.2-liter V10 engine that produces 525 horsepower is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or an optional automatic six-speed transmission optionally that send power to all four wheels.
Audi has announced a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 4.1 seconds, meaning that the Spyder is two-tenths of a second slower than the coupe. The Spyder hits the 200km/h (124mph) mark in 12.7 seconds while top speed is 313 km/h (195 mph) with the six-speed manual transmission.
Those that opt for the stick shift will see a theoretical average consumption in the combined cycle of 14.9 lt/100km (15.8 US mpg). With R tronic, this figure improves to 13.9 liters (16.9 US mpg).
The open-top two-seater will be launched in its home market in the first quarter of 2010 with a base price of €156,400 which comes to around $228,600 USD with the current exchange rates.