2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder

Some may beg to differ, but from where we sit, the acquisition Audi made of Lamborghini back in 1998 was a good thing, and remains as such. The resulting supercars to roll out of Sant'Agata Bolognese have been better than those made under prior owners by leaps and bounds. But who would have thought the relationship would benefit Audi as much as it has?

Not only did the partnership give Ingolstadt the sweet-revving V10 engine that powered the RS6 and S8 (until recent pressures necessitated a switch to a twin-turbo V8 instead), but it also gave Audi the underpinnings for the R8 ... and a page or two out of the Lamborghini playbook.

The R8 has since grown to include two different engine specs, a convertible version and the hard-core R8 GT. But as if all that weren't enough, it led to the crême-de-la-crême R8 GT Spyder. The limited-edition roadster packs the 5.2-liter V10 engine tuned up to 560 horsepower and unburdened of 187 pounds of excess weight, all without a roof to get between driver and the wind rushing rapidly by.

The hard-core, tire-burning attitude, however, is not all the R8 GT Spyder got from its Italian cousins. It also picked up a Lamborghini's price tag, as Audi USA has just announced the sticker on the exclusive roadster: $210,000. That doesn't include the $1,200 destination charge, taxes or optional equipment like carbon-ceramic brakes or Bang & Olufsen sound system.

That may seem mighty steep, but if you've got the cash to burn, don't hesitate for too long, because with only 333 units to be built in total and just 50 earmarked for the United States, they're bound to go fast. Like, Lamborghini fast. Follow the jump for the full press release, and seeing as how Audi has released a whole mess of new photos since the car's initial launch, we've put those together for you in a fresh high-res image gallery.
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Audi Announces Pricing for the Limited-Edition 2012 Model Year R8 GT Spyder

The recently introduced Audi R8 GT Spyder is a hand-built, limited production vehicle with just 333 units produced world-wide and 50 units coming to the U.S. Similar to the R8 GT Coupe unveiled last year, each car will be uniquely distinguished with an individual vehicle number displayed on the gear shift.

The 2012 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the limited-edition R8 GT Spyder is as follows:

MSRP $210,000 (excludes $1,200 Destination and Delivery and Taxes)

Even lighter, more powerful and captivating, the Audi R8 GT Spyder delivers breathtaking performance. The open-top flagship version of the high-performance sports Coupe features a 5.2-liter V10 with direct injection and has been boosted to an output of 560 horsepower. With the reduced weight and increased engine performance, the R8 GT Spyder accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of
197 mph.

Using the principles of Audi ultra lightweight technology, the R8 GT Spyder has trimmed a full 187.39 lbs from an already low weight, increasing fuel economy, performance, strength and rigidity. The engine frame is constructed of ultra-light magnesium, and the long cover over the soft-top compartment and the large side panels at the rear are made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer. A fixed rear spoiler also made of carbon fiber composite provides the necessary downforce on the rear axle. The Audi R8 GT Spyder is capable of extreme lateral acceleration and engineered to deliver exceptional responsiveness through its sport suspension has a stiffer calibration and lowers the the R8 GT Spyder by ten millimeters versus the R8 V10 Spyder.Legendary quattro all-wheel drive system provides exceptional grip on 19 inch wheels and xyz ventilated and cross-drilled rotors provide exceptional stopping power.

Visual styling cues include a performance enhancing enlarged diffuser, front splitter and a fixed rear spoiler.

The interior is black and can be adorned with stitching in a choice of Titanium Gray or Crimson Red for added refinement. Alcantara applications include, seat inserts, flat-bottom sport steering wheel, hand brake cover and windshield frame.

R8 GT Spyder customer vehicle deliveries will begin as of February.

R8 GT Spyder Standard Features | Highlights:
− 5.2L 10-cylinder, gasoline engine, aluminum block
− quattro® all-wheel-drive
− Exterior mirrors: power adjustable, heated Front Airbags: Driver and passenger full-size dual-stage front airbags and knee airbags
− Side airbags: Driver and passenger seat mounted head and thorax airbags
− Front disc brakes: 8-Piston calipers, perforated, internally vented
− Rear disc brakes: 4-Piston calipers, perforated, internally vented
− LED headlights and daytime running lights
− Sport seats, heated, 10-way power with 4-way power lumbar
− Audi navigation system plus, 6-disc CD changer, Sirius Satellite Radio, Aux-in jack with 7 speakers and 5-channel amplifier with a total output of 140 Watts
− Preparation for mobile phone (Bluetooth®) with seatbelt microphone

R8 GT Specific Standard Features | Highlights:
− 19" R8 GT wheels with summer performance tires
− R tronic ®, 6-speed sequential gearbox with shift-by-wire technology and sports mode
− R8 GT specific sport suspension system
− R8 GT specific carbon fiber matte exterior mirrors
− R8 GT specific LED tail lights
− R8 GT specific aluminum door sill inserts
− R8 GT specific steering wheel
− R8 GT specific sport seats in Alcantara and leather
− R8 GT specific carbon fiber matte interior inlays (monoposto and interior door handles)
− R8 GT specific numbered aluminum gear knob
− Windshield frame in Alcantara

Optional Equipment | Highlights:
− Audi navigation system plus with Audi music interface w/ iPod® cable (replaces 6-disc CD changer)
− Audi Carbon Ceramic Brakes
− Bang & Olufsen Sound System (12 speakers 495 watt)
− Titanium Finish 19" 5-arm-double-spoke-design aluminum alloy wheels with summer performance tires
− Forged Aluminum 19" 5-twin-spoke-Y-design in matte silver look with summer performance tires
− Carbon fiber matte door and center console panels
− Windscreen Frame in Fine Nappa Leather (interior)

ABOUT AUDI
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2011, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visit www.audiusa.com or www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.