Audi R8 Spyder (2016) launches in the UK: Virtual Cockpit interior and seat-mounted speakers in a 197mph car

The Audi R8 might be one of the most iconic sports cars around today. Ever since it was first released around ten years ago, Audi’s flagship supercar has made an instant impression – and was even the car of choice for Tony Stark. Today I went to the launch of the new 2016 R8 Spyder, and it’s the fastest, most advanced open-top version of the R8 yet – and it includes some interesting tech. As well as the ever-useful Virtual Cockpit system, the Audi R8 also includes crazy, seat-mounted speakers.

Tech is usually the last thing that comes to our minds when we look at supercars like the Audi R8 – which is understandable. Despite being finished in an odd custard-yellow, the 2016 R8 Spyder has jaw-dropping looks thanks to some seriously thoughtful Audi design touches. But the Audi R8 also packs in interesting technology that would be welcome in any car.


Seat-mounted speakers

Open-top cars can be a pain to design for a few reasons. Most cars get their stiffness from the roof structure, so carmakers have to reinforce the chassis to make it as rigid as it should be. The lack of roof also means there are fewer places to mount speakers – but Audi and Bang & Olufsen have got around this by mounting them in the seats. That’s right: the Audi R8 actually puts speakers in the headrest for a more immersive audio experience.


Virtual Cockpit is better than ever

The R8 also sees a new improved Virtual Cockpit system. A 12.3in screen takes the place of traditional dials, and gives you access to everything you’d need in snappy, 3D graphics. Audi also says it’s even easier to use voice control with the new R8 Spyder, thanks in part to its seatbelt-mounted microphones.


Although the tech is interesting, it’d be an injustice to ignore some of the more traditional, powerful aspects of the R8 Spyder. Thanks to a V10 power unit with 540PS of power, the Audi R8 can propel itself from 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds, and to an eventual top speed of 197mph.

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