When the R8 was first revealed back in 2006, the world was astounded at the fact that Audi, a company with rather humble beginnings, could produce a supercar of such high caliber, and the drop-top version, the R8 Spyder, was one of the best-looking cars on the road. Fast forward to 2021, and the Audi R8 Spyder has changed, but a lot has stayed the same: the second-generation model is still a gorgeous thing to look at, it's still great to drive, and there's still a naturally aspirated V10 engine roaring behind your head. The interior is typical of Audi: clean and well put together, and the tech has also kept up with the times. Going up against competitors such as the McLaren 570S Spider, the Audi might have its hands full, but with 602 horsepower screaming in your ears and the wind in your hair, it becomes very difficult to fault this German supercar.
For 2021, Audi has made the entry-level R8 Spyder a rear-wheel-drive model. To get all four wheels spinning, you'll have to opt for the more expensive but faster R8 Performance model that packs a 602-hp punch. Performance models also get a new interior design package.
See trim levels and configurations:
It's the Audi R8's engine that gives it its character. This Lamborghini-sourced 5.2-liter V10 gas engine produces a strong 532 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, which it sends to the rear-wheel drivetrain via a 7-speed automatic transmission. For those who want maximum performance, the AWD Performance model offers 602 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque and will sprint to 60 mph in only 3.3 seconds. Keep the top up, and you'll reach a top speed of 204 mph.
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
The 2-door R8 has been cruising US roads for years, and in that time, it has cemented itself as one of the leading supercars. Yes, newer competitors on the block offer sharper handling and bigger power figures, but few offer such a well-rounded supercar experience. The R8 Spyder is a stunning thing that turns heads, sounds amazing thanks to a naturally aspirated V10 engine, and feels every bit as premium as its price tag would suggest. Sure, you don't get a lot of trunk space, there's no legit safety rating, and it drinks more fuel than an Abrams tank, but it will thrill the senses when called upon and keep you comfortable the rest of the time, with good reliability as a bonus. If you're just entering the world of supercars, then the R8 Spyder should be high on your list.
If we had the privilege of buying one of these vehicles, we'd stick with a RWD model in Ara Blue crystal and then add the sports exhaust package, which also includes a sport steering wheel and Audi drive select with performance mode. We'd also get the Carbon exterior package for some added spice. Even with these extra features, this R8 slips comfortably below the asking price of the Performance V10 and will still offer just as much of a thrill.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Audi R8 Spyder: