Audi R8 Spyder review: one of the most exciting cars the brand has ever made –

Posted: Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Unless you drove them back-to-back along a very demanding road, you’d be hard pushed to tell the differences between the R8 coupe and this Spyder version – and that’s a very good thing indeed. And if the Spyder does perhaps lack a modicum of the coupe’s precision, it more than makes up for it with the added sonic sensations that are provided when you lower the roof.

With the engine yowling in approval, a flat-out R8 Spyder is one of the most exciting driving experiences around, and the more you increase the pace the greater your respect of the car becomes. The quick, linear and predictable steering allows you to place the car perfectly, and when you put the gearbox into its manual mode it changes faithfully whenever you pull a paddle. 

The four-wheel-drive system offers lots of grip but not at the expense of an adjustable chassis, giving the R8 the best of both worlds. In short, it’s a sensational car to drive.

Reliability 4/10

Audi’s reputation isn’t great

Audi doesn’t make enough R8s for the model to have been rated in any reliability surveys, but Audi’s showing in the 2015 JD Power dependability study was pretty poor. The marque finished 23rd out of 27 in the list with a total of 169 recorded problems per 100 vehicles.

That result tallies with a disappointing score in Warranty Direct’s Reliability Index, which is based on warranty claims. Again, Audi was close to the bottom, finishing 34th out of 39.

You’ll also get a lesser warranty with your R8 than you will with the equivalent McLaren or Porsche. All come with three years’ worth of cover, but Audi’s is limited to 60,000 miles, whereas the others are unlimited by mileage. The Lamborghini Huracan, meanwhile, gets a four-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which really puts the R8 in the shade.


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