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Audi R8 Spyder Spied on the Nurburgring with Fabric Roof

The new R8 prepares to go topless.

While we know it won't offer a manual transmission, we can rest assured that the new Audi R8 will continue to be offered in open-top Spyder form. Our spy shooters spotted the Audi R8 Spyder testing in Europe, with a fabric roof above the passenger compartment. Lower it, and you'll have an even easier time listening to the sonorous tones from the car's ten-cylinder engine.

The Audi R8 Spyder shares much of its chiseled design with the 2017 Audi R8 coupe, with sharply creased body panels, angular head- and taillights, prominent air inlets in the front fascia, and additional intakes just ahead of the rear wheels. Because of its folding fabric roof, however, the R8 Spyder has a slightly different profile to its coupe sibling. Instead of a large glass rear window above the engine, the car has a flat decklid. Also gone are the large, contrast-colored sideblades that extend to the top of the coupe's roof.

That decklid will almost certainly conceal the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine as is fitted to the 2017 Audi R8 coupe, where it produces 525 hp in standard trim and 542 hp in V10 Plus configuration. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission directs power to all four wheels. The 2017 Audi R8 coupe also sheds significant weight compared to its predecessor, so we expect the Spyder will also go on an aluminum diet to help reduce its curb weight.

We expect the Audi R8 Spyder to arrive early next year.