Breathtaking cornering speeds, highly precise and always stable handling – the new Audi R8 Spyder* is also at the head of the pack when it comes to the drivetrain. It combines three high-tech components: a seven-speed S tronic, a newly developed, fully variable multi-plate clutch and a locking differential.
Freewheeling mode: the S tronic
The ultra compact and lightning-fast seven-speed S tronic is placed behind the V10 engine, and commands are transmitted strictly electrically – by wire. The driver can shift gears manually using the gear selector lever or the shift paddles on the steering wheel. Or the driver can have the S tronic shift automatically in the D or S program. At the push of a button, the launch control system automatically engages the clutch at approximately 4,500 rpm to enable maximum acceleration from a standing start.
If the driver lets off the accelerator at a speed of over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the transmission opens both clutches and the new R8 Spyder coasts at idle with minimal fuel consumption.
Redesigned: quattro permanent all-wheel drive
The power is transferred via a propshaft from the seven-speed S tronic to a completely redesigned quattro drive. Its heart is an electronically controlled and electro-hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch that is integrated into the front axle transmission and is connected to the engine cooling circuit for maximum performance.
Unlike the component used previously, the clutch regulates the drive torque variably. The all-wheel drive software continuously computes the ideal distribution of torque to the axles for the given situation as a function of the driving situation, driver input and ambient conditions. Up to 100 percent of the power can flow to the front or rear axle, for instance. During fast cornering, the wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent software function of the electronic stabilization program, uses targeted, minor braking interventions at the inside wheels to make handling even more stable and fluid.
Management of the multi-plate clutch is integrated into the driving dynamics system Audi drive select, which offers the four modes comfort, auto, dynamic and individual. In each of these, the open-top high-performance sports car displays a different character ranging from effortless, relatively comfortable autobahn cruising to an uncompromising style that savors every bend on a mountain pass.
Improved traction: the locking differential
The mechanical rear axle differential further improves traction and handling. It has a locking effect of 25 percent during engine traction operation and 45 percent during engine overrun. It is precisely tuned for the dynamic character of the new R8 Spyder and the actively controlled quattro drive.
The mid-mounted engine is positioned very near the vertical axis of the car’s center of gravity, so its mass inertia hardly comes into play in fast changes of direction. The new Audi R8 Spyder has an axle load distribution of 42:58 (front/rear) – a very good value thanks to its mid-engine concept.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.