What is it?
This is the 2019 version of Audi’s R8 Spyder, which has finally touched down in the UK following its reveal last year. It’s got two seats, a convertible roof and a rather large naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 engine positioned just aft of the cockpit – all of which makes it sound like a rather thrilling prospect indeed.
This particular car is the Performance version, which used to be referred to as the Plus, but a change in nomenclature has been employed as part of this facelift in order to align the R8 with the wider Audi Sport range. Anyway, where the Plus model’s V10 previously developed a mere 602bhp, it now churns out 612bhp. Torque has been increased too, rising to 406lb ft, which is delivered at 6600rpm. Yes, that’s six-thousand, six-hundred revolutions per minute, from a V10 engine, in a car with a collapsible roof. How are your knees feeling? A bit weak? Thought they might be.
Beyond the increased output from the engine, there are only a handful of changes that have been made. Audi’s engineers have subtly retuned the calibration of the suspension and steering, and it also now looks worse than it did before (to this tester’s eyes, anyway). Inside, the cabin is much the same as it’s always been, which is to say that the stereotypical description of it looking like a slightly larger TT still applies.