German automaker Audi brought its new R8 Spyder sports car to the New York International Auto Show for an unofficial unveiling this week.
One executive called the vehicle the brand’s “halo car.” President of Audi America Scott Keogh believes that “this is the car that made the brand famous,” at least in the United States.
Audi performing well in U.S. despite Volkswagen scandal
Audi enjoyed strong sales in the U.S. market last year, breaking the 200,000 barrier for the first time in its history. Alongside the R8 Spyder, Audi also showed off the altogether more sensible 2017 Audi A4, a family saloon.
Keogh also spoke out on the emissions scandal which enveloped parent company Volkswagen, telling reporters: “clearly we want a fix, clearly we want to treat customers well when that fix comes.”
The executive said he believes luxury sales in the U.S. will slow between 2-3% this year.
Audi R8 Spyder brings awesome performance
The new sports car will go from 0.62 mph in just 3.6 seconds thanks to a 540 horsepower engine. Top speed is 197.6 mph in the R8 Spyder model.
A host of improvements have been made to build on the popularity of the previous edition. The car borrows heavily from the Audi R8 Le Mans GT3, sharing around 50% of parts.
The only available engine is a 5.2 liter V10, coupled with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission. Audi engineers have worked hard to ensure that the R8 Spyder version offers comparable performance to its hardtop sibling, and the 0-62 mph time is only 0.1 seconds slower.
Although the hardtop version is available in a higher-performance V10 Plus model, Audi made no mention of availability in the Spyder at launch.
The fabric roof can be opened or closed when the car is moving at up to 31 mph, and takes 20 seconds to fully open or close. Although the launch of the R8 Spyder is hardly a secret, it’s exciting news for Audi fans.
Audi was spotted testing the vehicle in August last year, and it also appeared on a leaked product road map which listed a March/April launch date. If you are in the market for a high-performance sports car you can’t go far wrong with the Audi R8 Spyder.