How much of the R8’s sensational dynamics have been preserved in the translation from coupé to Spyder? That’s what Autocar’s Jamie Corstorphine was left to decide in this week’s Autocar magazine. That and whether it can out punch the recently revised Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.
Driving the two back to back over the same stretch of road, the facts rapidly emerge. First, that although both cars are noticeably less rigid than their coupé equivalents, in neither is the degradation excessive. But over the toughest it is the Audi (£111,995) that flexes least.
The more interesting discovery is just quite how differently the Porsche (£109,048) and Audi go about tackling a tempting B-road, and what sort of kicks they serve up.
The R8 is more your classic supercar experience. Although it is one of the easiest to live with, it is still low and wide and, due to the driver’s proximity to the engine, rich with mechanical interaction.
Although the Spyder is softer than the coupé, it still turns with very little body roll, even with its magnetically adjustable dampers set in their more relaxed mode, and not once is it fazed by the evil crests, bumps and cambers that makes these roads such a test for a car.
The Porsche is a very different animal. And that’s down to torque – 479lb ft of it, all the way from 1900rpm to 5000rpm. The Audi, by comparison, needs 6500rpm to deliver just 391lb ft.
Porsche’s new 3.8 engine responds with almost no lag. This means that not only does this Turbo have more firepower than the last, but it’s also possible to meter it out more precisely. Net result? Much greater corner exit pace.