• Aug 12, 2008

After more than a year of speculation, and even a leaked sketch, we finally have our first spy shots confirming that Audi is developing an open-air version of its R8 supercar. And just to sweeten the deal, the test mule spied is all but completely undisguised.

While nomenclature has yet to be confirmed – possibly using the Targa, Convertible, Cabrio, Roadster or Spider tags – the shots confirm that the convertible supercar will employ a fabric roof. Power is expected to carry over from the 420-hp FSI V8 coupe, but the presence of wider tailpipes on this test mule indicate that the highly-anticipated V10 is likely to appear in the roadster, as well. The car is expected to make its debut next March at the Geneva Motor Show show in Switzerland.

[Source: NextAutos]



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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thank goodness it has no sideblades. Those in my opinion ruin the looks of the hardtop. This is a nice looking car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There's still something very very wrong with the "top" they're showing us here. Doesn't look there's a way to open the doors with the windows rolled up.

      Where does the Fabric top go? It doesn't look like it would be designed to fold up into anything or anywhere in the structural confines of this car.

      The fit of the plastic or fiberglass rear shell where the rear window should be is terrible. The gap of the rear side panels is huge.

      Unless this is hiding a fully functional setup similar to the fabric roof on the Gallardo Spider, it's not a simple fabric top ala the MX5.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Car looks downright menacing in matte black.

      Glad they got rid of the blades that grace the sides of the coupe, this looks SOOO much better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Agreed about paint. :D
      • 6 Years Ago
      There no way this could be a Convertible HT, where would the top stow? Fabric is the only way for this particular vehicle.

      The thing I don't understand is why AB & another blog has named this model targa and others have called it a spider/roadster; which is what it looks like to me. Unless Audi plans on doing a Mazda 1990 RX-7 Roadster type roof, that would be cool.

      • 6 Years Ago
      but does it have a basket handle???Is there a targa-hoop there??? what is under the top?Is it like the VW cabrio???
      Inquiring minds want to know.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Fabric top? For serious? I understand with the rear mounted engine and all, but there had to be a better way! I say hard top convertible or no convertible at all.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm with you jonhouse. I just dont get how you can call a hardtop ugly.... thats like calling the normal car ugly... if the car is ugly before its converted you may as well not buy it. BMW 3series e93, MB SL. Two gorgeous looking cars. Hardtop convertibles. Ferrari California would look tacky and cheap with a fabric roof.

        most importantly, IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM ARE RAGTOPS AS WEATHERPROOF OR SOUNDPROOF AS HARDTOPS. Its just physics people. The hardtop is just stronger.

        But alas, I do concede that weight is an issue in some cars, and this would have to be one of them..... the car is a bit lacking in torque to push that extra weight around easily.... lets hope they bring out the V10 soon and get some real impressive supercar numbers that this car deserves.
        • 6 Years Ago
        how bout for people like me who like ragtops more than hardtops? hardtops are stupid - add weight all the while making the car ugly.

        (high quality) ragtops are just as sound-proof and weather-proof as hardtops (i've had both) and they are much prettier than hardtops.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Some cars look better with rag tops. For instances, the 2003- 2006 Audi A4 convertible, they look a lot better with fabric than hardtop. On the other hand, fabric "preserves" the traditional look of a convertible. Whats the point of a convertible if you have the top on and it looks exactly the same as the normal hard top one. Hard top convertibles may be the next hot thing, but it doesn't suit every car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "if the car is ugly before its converted you may as well not buy it. BMW 3series e93, MB SL."

        that is entirely untrue.
        BMW 3 series convertible pic
        http://z.about.com/d/cars/1/0/H/X/bmw_3conv_topupprofile.jpg
        BMW 3 series coupe pic
        http://us.autos1.yimg.com/img.autos.yahoo.com/ag/bmw_3seriescoupe_328i_2008_exterior_4_346x270.jpg

        i'm sorry, but the coupe looks 20 times better than the hard-top convertible. there's just no comparison. I cringe every time i see a 3-series hard-top convertible on the street. you can see the messed up trunk lines right away. it just all looks so wrong.

        as for the SL - it was designed from the ground up as a hard-top convertible, and has the dimensions to hold the entire thing correctly. that's why it looks nice. in fact the SL and the Volvo C70 are the only 2 hard-top convertibles that i think look good when the roof is closed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The coupe looks better. Something about the bulbous top, long front overhang and front wheels up against the cabin just doesn't look balanced.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To me that looks like they've applied a ghetto-fabulous faux soft-top to what is going to be a removable hardtop. Look at the way it terminates in/on the rear panels that slope down toward the rear deck. Pretty sure it's camouflage just to get people in a tizzy over the hardtop or softtop debate.

      Notice the rear window is completely opaque, and doesn't appear to be separate from the rest of the mold. It looks like this car is sporting a complete fiberglass mockup top - probably doing some early road trials.

      As for the "Targa" nomenclature - wouldn't that mean that only the roof above the cockpit is removable - in that situation, then why all the fiberglass work on the rear of the top?

      but - I've been wrong before.
      • 6 Years Ago
      To me, this vehicle is the pinnacle of automobile design.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The design necessitates eliminating the stupid side plates. It looks so much better...
      • 6 Years Ago
      It looks like it has ceramic brakes!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nah, they bought those covers off eBay.
          • 6 Years Ago
          I was thinking about putting those covers on my Audi. I'm doing it now since it looks so good on the r8.
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