2011 New Cars: Europe

#BMW, #V-8

Audi R8 Spyder

New: A wind-in-your-hair option.

Noteworthy: Audi's R8 is now available with a soft top, a surprise to exactly no one. The big question was how the supercar's designers would deal with the side blades, the R8's trademark styling elements. Turns out that they simply removed them, and-who knew?-somehow the R8 is no less visually striking. The Spyder is available now with the 525-hp, 5.2-liter V-10 whose 8700-rpm shriek can shatter windows from a block away. The 420-hp, 4.2-liter V-8 from the base R8 coupe will join the lineup in early 2011 and its 8250-rpm music is just as symphonic. All R8s come with a six-speed manual gearbox with a gated aluminum shifter or a single-clutch automated manual that's decidedly five years ago.

On sale: Now/Early 2011 (5.2/4.2)
BASE PRICE: $162,250 (5.2)
Specs: 4.2L V-8, 420 hp, 317 lb-ft; 5.2L V-10, 525 hp, 391 lb-ft; 4-wheel drive

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