Portrait of a Supercar: Audi R8 Spyder

Audi has been making automobiles for over 100 years, but the Audi R8 Spyder is a car for modern times, you might even say it’s a car of the future. Due to be released in Germany sometime this year, it will make its film debut in the upcoming Iron Man 2.

Who else but Robert Downey Jr., AKA super hero Tony Stark, would have these wheels? Well, maybe Tom Brady or Scott Weiland or maybe even Rahm Emanuel (if he stayed in the private sector). Penelope Cruz might drive this car. You get the point, this vehicle is bold, beautiful, very now, and it is not the slightest bit interested in anyone’s personal opinion—on anything.

Recently, I snuck onto the Iron Man 2 set during filming to catch a glimpse. Once Stark tucked into his trailer, I approached. The full-LED headlights of the polished two-seater lock onto my eyes. I’m a frozen deer. Regaining myself, I walk over to it, running a finger along the folding soft top.

“My top folds down in 19 seconds,” it says. And just like that, it peels back the top like some old Rat Pack tipping his hat. The shining leather winks in a flash of light and I place myself behind the wheel. The seats are cool and comfortable, the interior is lush and spacious. Plenty of legroom here.

It reads my mind: “The special leather reflects the sun’s rays, so you won’t singe your legs in the summer.” The voice purrs through the Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Grinning, I grasp the steering wheel, which is flattened at the bottom, like in a racecar.

“Do it,” it taunts, “Whatever you got, my V-10 can handle. I’ve got 525 horsepower, and I weigh less than 4,000 pounds. I’ve been on this serious carbon-fiber diet…”

I look back at the trailer.
“A-Hem. Hello?”

The electric seat moves me into a perfect driving position and the leather warms. I zip past the film set’s security booth and out onto the highway. The car handles the sharp curves so well I wonder if it’s Hollywood special effects, but when we make the straightaway, the speedometer pushes to sixty in only a touch over four seconds. I forget I’m driving and almost let go of the wheel.

“I top out at 194 miles per hour.”

“Good thing,” I say to the rear view mirror, “so I know this place just up the coast…”

quattro AWD I MPG: 16 I Park & Nav Sys I Audi Space Frame I Aluminum Double Wishbone Suspension

The Audi R8 Spyder will launch early this year in Germany for €156,000. USA launch information is coming soon.