2021 Audi R8 Spyder

MSRP $154,900 - $208,100

Ranked #2 in Compact Convertible

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2021 Audi R8 Spyder Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 18, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The R8 is a benchmark sports car from Audi and it has evolved to a razor-sharp vehicle as to what started as a curvier design. The R8 still remains as an underdog performance car and just because it doesn’t have those skyrocketing price tags of its Italian peers doesn't mean that the car is a slouch, and how could it be when it's one of the very few cars with a V-10 at the back. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Crazy V-10 power

On point styling

Elegant interior 

RWD is still available 

Cheaper than some Italian rivals 

Cons

Height restricted cabin space

Advanced safety tech is missing 

What's New?

RWD now standard 

Panther edition models (Only 30 to be made)

New interior packages 


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$154900

bodystyle

2dr Spyder

passenger capacity

2

top speed

205 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

318 cu.in.

horsepower

562 hp @ 8100 rpm

torque

406 lb.-ft.. @ 6400 rpm

transmission

7 speed Automated Manual

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

15/14 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

104.3 in.

length

63 in.

width

76.4 in.

height

49 in.

curb weight

3957 lbs.

ground clearance

4.5 in.

capacity

cargo volume

4 cu ft.

payload capacity

551 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.5 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

11.2 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$154,900 onwards

Performance$208,100 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Audi R8 Spyder in ALPINA Blue Metallic color
ALPINA Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

7.8

Engine and Performance

9.2

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

8.4

Exterior

9.9

Competition

9.6

8.6

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.6

Overall Rating


It has a huge 5.2 L naturally aspirated V10 engine under the hood mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Pricing starts at $154,900 for the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder and it competes against rivals like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster, Porsche 911 Turbo Convertible, and the Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder that all have insane horsepower & torque figures. So let’s see how the Audi R8 performs against the more powerful and pricier rivals. 

2021 Audi R8 Spyder front view
2021 Audi R8 Spyder rear view

9.2/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

8.4/10
Interior

9.9/10
Exterior

9.6/10
Competition


2021 Audi R8 Spyder Features

The 2021 Audi R8 Spyder comes with the most notable feature you will have on this car that is the convertible top but that also means you no longer can see that V-10 through the glass panel. The base trim car comes with 20- inch wheels, auto climate control, and a rather basic 5-speaker audio system. And you can always get the optional 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen setup for $6000. You also won’t find any infotainment screen as everything is being moved inside the Audi Virtual Cockpit itself.

The base trim car has all the comfort features Audi has to offer and for the V10 Performance trim the features are all mostly cosmetic and performance-oriented like carbon-ceramic brakes, laser LED headlights and rear spoiler, etc. The optional Diamond Stitch Leather pack wraps the dashboard in leather and the seats get a Diamond stitch pattern in contrasting colors for $3500. The Carbon Exterior package as the name suggests adds bits & prices of carbon fiber inside the cabin and on the outside of the car. This will cost you $5000 extra.

Trim

V10 RWD

V10 Performance Quattro 

MSRP (RWD)

$154,900

N/A

MSRP (AWD)

N/A

$208,100

Key Features

20-inch wheels

In addition to or replaces Base trim features with:

 

Power folding and heated mirrors, auto-dimming

Racing seats with fixed backrests 

 

Automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated seats

Audi LED laser headlights

 

Front and rear parking sensors

Fixed rear wing

 

The fully digital instrument cluster (Audi Virtual Cockpit) 

Ceramic brake rotors

 

Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, wireless charging pad, 5-speaker sound system 

Carbon fiber accents

 

Automatic high beams

Sports exhaust 

Which Trim should you buy?

Well, now we don’t have any confusion regarding which engine to choose or which drivetrain to choose. It is pretty much straightforward. The driving experience isn’t going to change as both the cars come with the same magnetic suspension, same 20-inch wheels and the RWD drivetrain is arguably more fun. You might get that extra pull from the specially tuned engine on the performance trim but ask yourself if it's worth 50k more just for a few extra ponies and some exterior bits.

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Engine and Performance

9.2/10

One thing is sure that the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder is a high-performance sports car and it behaves like one. you will know what we are talking about the moment you switch it on, the V10 growl is nothing short of a symphony. It can set competitive lap timings on the Nürburgring as well as to your workplace. This 5.2L, natural V-10 engine produces 532 hp & 398 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

2021 Audi R8 Spyder driving view

This is the standard engine and all the power is sent to the rear wheels so please keep the traction control on, always. The Performance Quattro trim gets a different state of tune and produces 602 hp & 413 lb-ft of torque coupled with an AWD system. This variant is an AWD but it still relies more on the rear wheels for transferring power on the road, it's like a 60/40 split power between the rear and front, respectively.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

MSRP

$154,900

$183,600

$229,428

$130,700

Engine

5.2L, Naturally Aspirated V-10

3.8L, Twin-Turbo, H-6

5.2L, Naturally Aspirated V-10

4.0L, Twin-Turbo, V-8

Drivetrain

RWD

AWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

7-speed dual-clutch automatic

8-speed PDK

7-speed dual-clutch automatic 

7-speed Dual-Clutch automatic 

Power (hp @ RPM

532 hp @ 4475 rpm

572 hp @ 6500 rpm

601 hp @ 8000 rpm

550 hp @ 5750 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

398 ft-lbs. @ 6300 rpm

553 ft-lbs. @ 2250 rpm

413 ft-lbs. @ 6500 rpm

502 ft-lbs. @ 2100 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

3.1

2.7

3.4

3.7

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

11.4

10.4

11.6

12.1

Top-Speed (MPH)

201

199

202

194

With respect to on paper horses, the Huracan has the most, followed by the Porsche, Audi, and Mercedes, respectively but the R8 is still one of the quickest. Honestly speaking, these 0.5-second differences aren’t even noticeable unless you are on a dyno so don’t stress on it too much. However, the Porsche surely does feel like a rocketship with a mind-blowing 0-60 mph time of 2.7 seconds.

How well does the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder handle?

On a straight line, the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder accelerates phenomenally well but as soon as you come across a turn the grip on the tires feels lacking but nothing an aftermarket set cannot fix. However, what can’t be fixed with an aftermarket solution is the numb steering feel, it's an electric unit that lacks proper feedback and does not translate what the front tires are doing that well to the driver as compared to a hydraulic unit.

2021 Audi R8 Spyder ride and handling

The 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is a breeze, gear shifts are smooth, and depending on the driving mode the shift timing can vary. The 20-inch tires sure do mean stiff ride quality but the R8 manages to stay comfortable enough on smooth city roads. Just make sure the roads in your locality are really good, like really. Because even the slightest undulation or crack on the tarmac is going to be felt inside the car.

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Braking Performance

Putting a stop to all the 500 horses is a mammoth task but Audi has been doing this for a long time. The 14.4 & 14.0-inch rotors do a splendid job of stopping the R8 in just 96 feet but there’s a catch. Will you be driving this car at 60 MPH? you will, but rarely, so do get a proper feel of the brakes beforehand, don’t just rely on statistics. The optional carbon-ceramic brakes won’t improve the braking performance much, however, they will surely increase the longevity as ceramic takes the heat better than conventional rotors and the brake fade is kept to a minimum. So, expect longer intervals in rotor swaps.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

14.4

15.0

14.4

15.4

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

14.0

15.0

14.0

14.2

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3,874

3,790

3,327

3,838

60-0 (feet)

107

N/A

104

96

All these cars come with properly equipped braking setups and like the optional ceramic brakes we have on the R8, Mercedes and Porsche offer similar optional braking technology. We are speaking about the pinnacle of performance regardless of the brand so ensuring potent braking is the top priority of the engineers from the respective brands. 

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Fuel Economy

6.5/10

There's hardly anything exciting about a performance machine as far as fuel economy Is concerned. The mileage on the R8 is a mixed bag, it is not that great of an economy in the urban areas but on the highways that dual-clutch transmission seems to have worked its magic as the fuel economy is much better compared to the city, actually it is best in its class. With a combined fuel economy of 17 MPG, the R8 Spyder is nothing to write home about.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

MPG (City)

14

15

13

15

MPG (Highway)

23

20

18

20

MPG (Combined)

17

17

15

17

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

21.1

17.6

21.1

19.8

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

295/485/358

264/352/299

274/380/316

297/396/336

The R8 is the most efficient out of all the cars here while the Porsche is also an efficient machine. The Porsche has the lowest capacity fuel tank while others compensate for the sub-par fuel economy with the larger fuel tank capacities. The R8 Spyder is the overall best performer here in terms of fuel efficiency as well as range. 

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Interior

8.4/10

The interior of the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder has a perfect balance between high-tech looks and simplicity. The most notable difference in this cabin from any other car is the absence of the infotainment screen and that means less clutter on the center console. The dashboard design is a bit too curvaceous for our liking, as it doesn’t match the sharp exteriors of the car.

2021 Audi R8 Spyder cockpit area

The seats on the base trim are comfortable with soft Nappa leather upholstery and thick bolstering for optimum lateral support. Just don’t get the optional racing seats as they are strictly made for track racing and not for everyday use as the backrest is flat and to add insult to injury these seats can’t be adjusted, at all. So, be careful before you go all out with the optional extras. Although the contrasting diamond stitching pattern does look stunning, no complaints regarding that.

2021 Audi R8 Spyder front seats

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

Seating Capacity

2

4

2

2

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

38.5/54.8/41.0

N/A

N/A

38.0/58.3/N/A

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

4.0

4.5

3.5

5.8

The interior styling on all the cars is really amazing. The AMG is typically Mercedes with an opulent outlook and a plethora of top-shelf features. The Porsche relies on high-tech looks with all-digital displays and a flat overall design language. Coming to the Lamborghini, it is pure ecstasy. The stark color contrasts inside the cabin uplift the mood while the seats are ridiculous, in a good way. However, the 911 Turbo is the most comfortable one to be inside. Some of the key features inside the interior of the Audi R8 Spyder are:

  • 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system
  • Navigation system
  • 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Voice recognition audio system

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The infotainment system on the base R8 is sufficed by the only 5-speaker sound system but the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit is the real highlight here. Audi has decided to ditch the infotainment screen on the dash altogether in favor of a digital drivers' display that is the main infotainment screen as well. 

Having a separate screen has its benefits but having everything on one single screen assures that the driver won't be distracted. There's also a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system that is available for a serious music listening experience as it literally fills the cabin with sound even when the roof is down. Some of the key highlights of the infotainment system are:

  • 12.3-inch Audi Virtual Cockpit
  • Navigation
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Exterior

9.9/10

If you are following the R8 since its inception you must be aware of its curvy design in the initial days. Well now that’s changed and the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder looks nothing short of a fighter aircraft with all those sharp cuts on the front bumper and not to mention that iconic side blades. The front end of this car is literally all air intakes and grilles. The inverted DRL and the matrix headlights supplement the overall aggressive front end. 

​  2021 Audi R8 Spyder 

The side profile with the chiseled side skirts and that side blade air intake just prove why we called it a fighter aircraft. The rear end continues the aggression as the stripped LED taillights look sinister in the dark. Audi has chosen to brand the R8 stealthily as all the logos and badges are black and thankfully that’s not an optional package. The only downside of the Spyder would be the lack of transparent engine cover as the convertible roof sits above it.

Models

2021 Audi R8 Spyder

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3,847

3,790

3,327

3,838

Length (inches)

174.4

178.6

178

179

Width (inches)

76.4

74.9

76.1

79.0

Height (inches)

48.9

51.3

46.5

49.6

Ground Clearance (inches)

4.5

4.2

5.3

3.8

Wheelbase (inches)

104.3

96.5

103.1

103.5

Lamborghini, a brand known for super low-slung sports cars, surprisingly has more ground clearance than any of the cars in the group, even better than the AMG GT. Except for the 911 turbo, all cars are quite wide which allows a little bit better shoulder room. Based on looks, none of these machines could be praised individually as all of them have a distinct design language and character of their own and all of them look gorgeous. Some of the key exterior highlights are:

  • Gloss carbon rear wing
  • Dual exhaust tips
  • 20-inch wheels
  • Power mirrors
  • Black honeycomb grille

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Safety

Well, this comes out as a bummer, it is 2021 and we still don’t have many of the safety features on the R8 that we should have by todays’ standard. Back in the days, the R8 was notorious for having almost no safety features but sadly the trend continues. It is good to know that Audi makes the R8 from aircraft-grade aluminum which offers similar strength to that of steel but while weighing much lesser. But we are not yet convinced regarding the safety of the R8. Some of the few safety features it gets are listed below:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes (Performance trim)

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Competition

9.6/10

2021 Audi R8 Spyder vs 2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

Mechanically both cars are powered by the same engine and the similarities end here. The price difference between Audi and the Lambo is huge, $80000 almost. What do you get for this extra cash? A better and sportier interior and a striking exterior design. Lamborghinis were always known for being crowd-pleasers and this one will definitely get the attention everywhere you go. If you have the extra cash to blow, the Huracan is the better choice as it offers the Italian design flair that the R8 misses out on.

2021 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder

2021 Audi R8 Spyder vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

The AMG GT is cheaper than the R8 and also has a little less power than the Audi but it triumphs in the practicality department. The interior space on the AMG is much better than the R8. The Mercedes-Benz is more elegant to look at compared to the angular Audi R8. To state things more clearly, apart from the fact that both are performance cars, they do things quite differently from each other. However, the AMG GT is inarguably the more friendly and liveable package out of the two.

2021 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C Roadster

2021 Audi R8 Spyder vs 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

The Porsche does everything better than the R8. The interior space is great, it is quicker than the R8 while staying fuel-efficient. The 911 Turbo even comes with several active safety features like lane departure warning, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, etc. However, the V10 on the R8 is much more exciting than the somewhat lifeless turbocharged 6-cylinder of the 911 Turbo.

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet

 

2021 Audi R8 Spyder Final Verdict

Everyone already considers the R8 an underdog supercar and it is in fact true. The raw V10 performance is everything one can ask for and driving the R8 is fun and thrilling. Especially when you are cruising on the highway and you floor the pedal, the way it accelerates with the V10 symphony is pure perfection. If you desire a supercar but do not want to draw too much attention to yourself, the 2021 Audi R8 Spyder is the right choice for you.