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Preview: 2011 Audi R8 Spyder

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2011 Audi R8 Spyder

2011 Audi R8 Spyder

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With the 2009 Frankfurt auto show hours away from opening to the media, the embargoes continue to fall--and this time, it's the 2011 Audi R8 Spyder that's broken cover.

The newest addition to the Audi supercar family arrives next summer with a fabric top, no sideblades, and the stunning powerplant from the 5.2-liter V-10 version as its sole engine.

Audi's staging the Spyder convertible version next year to give the V-10 R8 some breathing room, but once it arrives, the Spyder will be all about air. With a top that cycles down or up in 19 seconds, the Spyder will also sport special heat-reflective leather seats and--for fans of driving at 195 mph with the top down--microphones embedded in the seat belts, for better Bluetooth audio quality.

The mechanicals remain the same as with the R8 V-10--namely, the 525-hp V-10 engine, quattro all-wheel drive, and a choice of six-speed manual or R-tronic automated manual gearboxes. Minor details have been changed to the body--the sideblades have disappeared, the fuel cap's been moved, and there's additional aluminum trim in the sills. The convertible top will close or open at speeds of up to 30 mph. LED headlamps are standard.

It weighs a couple hundred pounds more than the coupe, but Audi promises the R8 V-10 Spyder will hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds on its way to a 195-mph top-end limit.

The R8 Spyder will be a 2011 model when it shows up in North America next summer.Stay tuned: High Gear Media is on the scene in Frankfurt, and there's more to come tonight, including more Audi e-tron details, news from Volkswagen's "Night of Driving Ideas," the world premiere of the Aston Martin Rapide, and later this week, exclusives with the new MINI concept cars, a drive in the BMW 5-Series GT and a cup of coffee with Tesla's Elon Musk.

MORE: 2009 Frankfurt auto show coverage

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