2021 Audi R8 Spyder Review: Expected Prices, Release Date, MPG and Performance

John Bedrow's image
John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

July 29, 2020  at 11:59 AM

Since its launch in 2006, the Audi R8 has been one of the most popular sports cars in the market. It's powerful, premium and delivers a mind-bending performance as well. With its second-gen redesign in 2017, the R8 also got more sharp and edgier curves on its outside making it an absolute stunner. Thankfully, being a carried-over model, similar to its predecessors, the 2021 Audi R8 lineup would still offer its core attributes.

The Audi R8 is one of the most successful cars among the sports car fleet. Ranking at the top with its simple styling and thrilling performance, the R8 is available in several configurations and is also the most expensive and powerful Audi. This supercar from Audi has been around for more than a decade and has never failed to impress with its top-class performance and build quality. Its current of the second generation R8 introduced for 2017 followed by minute additions in its successive model years. The Audi R8 beat the well-established brands like Mercedes, Jaguar, and BMW and became one of the most popular supercars in the world, after being recognized as the official car of ‘’Iron Man’’. 

Debuted in 2006, the R8 Spyder followed up in 2008. With a drop-down roof and the safe fury and power of its hard-top sibling though. No surprise, the R8 duo went up to be an instant hit in the market. No joke and the hot sports car is all about performance. No Ferrari and Lamborghini on its nose, yet the R8 offers you a rare taste of a naturally aspirated V10. Since its second-gen unveil in 2017, though it is a looker down the lanes, it has remained mostly carried-over in its successive model years. Even the upcoming 2021 Audi R8 and R8 Spyder are expected to remain mostly unchanged. That being said, we take a quick look here at the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder here.

What’s new with the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder?

  • No significant changes for 2021

Expected Price and Release Date of the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder

The 2021 Audi R8 Spyder is expected to be released sometime around fall to winter in 2020 at an estimated price of about $171,000. These are beforehand estimations though as Audi is yet to make an official announcement on the 2021 R8 lineup.

What’s under the hood of the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder?

Under the hood, the 2021 Audi R8 would proudly retain its familiar behemoth. We are talking about the 5.2L V10 FSI engine with a towering horsepower of 562/611 hp in the standard and performance models respectively. Paired to a smooth and quick-shifting 7-speed S-Tronic automatic transmission, Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system delivers power to all four wheels in a seamless fashion.

The maximum power and torque figures provide an exemplary performance with the naturally aspirated engine. It is not only so powerful and has a high revving nature, but also suitable to drive at low revs in cities. No shortage of power at all and the R8 feels like it has all the power in the world. Flick the throttle and the R8 pushes you at the back of your seat almost instantly. Courtesy to the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic which shifts very smoothly and in a lightning-fast fashion.

Model

2021 Audi R8 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Mercedes Benz AMG GT Roadster

2020 McLaren 570S Spider

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

MSRP

$184,600

$159,800

$211,800

$110,200

Engine type

Quattro Premium Unleaded V10

Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded V8

Twin-turbo Premium Unleaded V8

Twin Turbo Premium Unleaded H-6

Fuel system

Port/Direct injection

Direct Injection

Direct Injection

Direct Injection

Horsepower @ RPM

 

562 @ 8100

 

550 @5750

562@7500

 

443 @ 6500

Torque (lb-ft) @ RPM

 

406 @ 6400

 

480 @ 1900

443@5000

 

390 @ 2300

Engine displacement

 

5.2L

 

4.0L

 

3.8L

 

3.0L

Drivetrain

All Wheel Drive

Rear Wheel Drive

Rear Wheel Drive

Rear Wheel Drive

0-60 MPH (seconds)

3.2 - 3.4

3.4

3.1

2.9

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

11.5

11.2

11

11.1

No surprise being a hotly contested segment, the R8 rivals some of the most exotic cars in the market right now. All the cars in the lot here are similarly powered and offer a very similar performance as well. With competition this tight, it comes down to the finest details. Among the lot, the Audi R8 Spyder and McLaren 570s offer the same power output but the R8 Performance races ahead with its 611 hp. However, while the R8 and 570s cover the 0-60 mph run they are not the quickest heer. That crown rests with the Porsche 911 turbo which races from 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds. 

How well does the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder handle?

With the standard AWD, the R8 Spyder is sure-footed while cornering and it feels more liveable compared to other V10 super coupes. In cities, the R8 feels peppy and handles better at lower revs than most of the competitors, while it’s a different beast on the track. With the R8 Spyder, you will feel the urge to push the car’s limits around tight corners and you’ll never feel the car to be difficult to control. 

The car feels stable and the power is well-balanced through all four wheels, thanks to the Quattro AWD system. It is great fun to drive with the AWD and suspension equipped with magnetic fluid pistons that can adjust according to the drive mode. The four drive modes on the Audi Drive-Select let you choose between a relaxing ride or an aggressive track performance. However, the stiffer suspension does encourage its handling and grip, it does tend to feel a bit harsh on straight stretches.

What are the expected MPG figures for the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder?

A sports car as furious as the Audi R8 is not meant to be frugal by any means. The Audi R8 Spyder offers a city/highway/combined MPG of 13/20/16, which indicates that the 5.2L V10 engine is quite fuel-thirsty. The case is pretty much the same with the other cars in the lot here as well. Having said that, buyers looking for a car belonging to this category are less likely to care about fuel economy.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Mercedes Benz AMG GT Roadster

2020 McLaren 570S Spider

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

MPG (City)

13

16

17

19

MPG (Highway)

20

22

24

24

MPG (Combined)

16

18

20

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

21.1

19.8

19

17.6

Range (City/Highway/Combined) Miles

274/422/337

297/416/356

304/437/380

334/422/370

However, when you compare the R8 with its rivals, it happens to be the most gas-guzzler. All its rivals here offer better efficiency than the R8 with the 911 turbo being the best of all. While the R8 Spyder offers a 16 combined mpg, the Porsche 911 turbo offers an impressive 21 combined mpg. Thanks to Porsche's smaller engine, lighter body and enhanced aerodynamics. While the aforementioned stats are of the 2020 model, the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder is also likely to offer the same efficiency. Thanks to its carried-over structure from 2020.

What to expect from the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder’s interior?

The Audi R8 Spyder emphasizes more on the comfort of the occupants than pure performance, unlike most other supercars. The Audi R8 Spyder’s interior is a treat to your eyes with its top-notch cabin in all-black made of premium materials. The seats are well-positioned with excellent support and superb fit ‘n finish. The dash is well-appointed and anthracite inlay upholstery is standard, where you can also get the optional Premium Nappa leather upholstery.

The cabin has a nice blend of sportiness and luxury and everything you put your hands on feels solidly put together. The sport seats are comfortable and snug to hold you in place and give you a comfy driving posture. The seats are 8-way power adjustable and you get dual-zone automatic climate control. You also get a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The steering wheel too has a good heft in it and feels nice to hold. 

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Mercedes Benz AMG GT Roadster

2020 McLaren 570S Spider

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Seating Capacity

2

2

2

4

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room)

 

38.5/54.8/41 inches

N/A

N/A

 

39.4/55.6/39.2 inches

Trunk Capacity (cu.ft.)

4.0

5.8

5.0

5.8

The roomy cabin and the low-slung seating position give you a spacious head, leg, and shoulder room. The cabin is roomy, however, the 911 Turbo Cabriolet offers better space. It is just a very little difference in the space, though. The Porsche might claim to accommodate 4 passengers in its cabin, but the rear seat can hardly accommodate adults. Not meant for shopping sprees ideally, the 2020 Audi R8 Spyder also offers a 4.0 cu.ft. of cargo space. However, the cargo box in the Audi is again the smallest in its segment. 

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder?

No central infotainment and Audi’s 12.3-inch virtual cockpit monitors all the infotainment and connectivity needs in the R8 and R8 Spyder. Only the driver has the whole control over the infotainment. The infotainment offers an 8-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM, and HD radio as standard features, and there is an optional 550 watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with 13 speakers. 

You also get Audi Connect, Google Earth, built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and G-meter as standard. While it might be a tad difficult to switch between gauges and infotainment needs on the screen, the digital screen is sharp and crisp with a clean layout as well. No changes ahead and the infotainment setup should mostly remain unchanged on the 2021 Audi R8 as well. 

Will there be any changes on the exterior of the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder?

The exterior of the R8 Spyder looks and feels like a proper supercar with the carbon fiber trim, side blades, and spoiler. Elements that make it stand out, include the mid-engine design, side intakes, and the low profile doors. The three faux inlets above the grille inspired by the GT4 race cars adds to the style. There is a wide range of color options to choose from, with recent additions like the Kemora Gray and Ara Blue Crystal. 

In performance trim, you can have black Audi badging and red ceramic brake pads. On the streets, it’s very hard to divert your eyeballs from its unique appearance. A slim and wide grille long with slim headlights and low body makes it look aggressive yet sporty from the front. Wider fenders, slim tail lamps along with a large air-vent at the back add a lot of muscle into its profile.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder (Expected)

2020 Mercedes Benz AMG GT Roadster

2020 McLaren 570S Spider

2020 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

Curb Weight (lb)

3572

3560

2989

3517

Length (inches)

174.3

179

178.4

177.4

Width (inches)

76.4

76.3

76

74.0

Height (inches)

49.0

50.7

46.3

51.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

6.3

4.9

3.6

4.2

Wheelbase (inches)

104.4

103.5

105.1

96.5

The R8 Spyder has a pretty high ground clearance of 6.3 inches with almost the same dimensions as the coupe, thanks to the available air-suspension. However, its compact proportions do carry a heavy-weight with it. However, that barely seems to affect its driving dynamics. Speaking of its overall exterior silhouette, the Audi R8 Spyder does look fierce, powerful and sporty with a great blend of different cuts and proportions blended together.

Will the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder be worth it?

The R8 has its own fan base even if it doesn’t have a lot to impress against its rivals. Though the Audi R8 Spyder is quite expensive and has subpar storage, its stupefying performance and unique styling attract quite a lot of folks. Its powerful V10 is aggressive at tracks while being calm and composed at low revs in city traffic. Its performance may not be up to the mark as the competition, but its handling impressions and braking are far more than impressive. Let's see what Audi brings forth to impress fans with the R8 E-Tron coming in the future.

Share this:  
#2021#AudiR8#Spyder