The more interesting comparison is with its platform-mate, the Lamborghini Huracan. A drop-top version of the Italian supercar starts at $267,545 in similar AWD trim with a 5.2-liter V10. Now, it is true that the Huracan Spyder makes 602 horsepower, a 62 horsepower advantage over the standard R8 Spyder with the same engine (540 hp if you are bad at math). The Lambo also a tenth faster to 60 mph than the R8 Spyder, at 3.4 seconds. (The ’17 R8 Spyder is itself a tenth quicker than its predecessor, so there’s that.)
But, the R8 V10 Plus makes 610 hp. We’re waiting to hear back form Audi on pricing for that Spyder model. In the coupe, it’s a $27,000 increase over the base R8 V10. That logic would peg an R8 Spyder V10 Plus at around $203,000, or $64k less than the Huracan. In either case, you’re paying a lot for Lamborghini’s unique styling and tuning, although it’s hard to put a price on the specialness of driving a Lamborghini. The Huracan Spyder never for a moment lets you forget you’re in something fast and Italian.
That being said, both are legitimate supercars. The R8 Spyder was developed alongside its Italian cousin, and features an appropriately large amount of aluminum and carbon fiber materials in its construction. Of course, like its coupe counterpart, there’s no manual available for the new R8 Spyder. That died with the previous generation. The good news, for fans of open-air driving, is that the roof mechanism only adds 97 lbs to the weight of the car, and Audi kept the electrohydraulics that actuate it as low as possible. If it’s anything like the Coupe to drive, and you can be sure since it’s an Audi there won’t be much trade-off for the open roof, it’ll have a dual personality that will accommodate both daily driving and occasional track use. Sounds like a deal, huh?