Mansory Augments the Audi R8 Spyder
It’s hard to believe that just 20 short years ago, Audi was little more than a bit player in the premium car market. Its American sales were almost nonexistent following the mainstream-media-led “unintended acceleration” witch hunt of the late-‘80s (which, like the Toyota one that occurred a couple years ago, was largely a cavalcade of half-truths and outright BS born out of a desire for higher ratings), and the most opulent model the company offered was the V8 Quattro, a car that had a body and engine about half a size smaller than the flagship sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and others. Lean times, those were, for the folks in Ingolstadt.
Now, though, the four-ring brand is riding high. And no product proves Audi is for real better than the R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI, which is one of the baddest convertibles on the planet. It is worth noting, however, that it is less expensive and less rare than many other droptop exotics, meaning you’re more likely to find another one at your monthly One-Percenters Association meeting. If the possibility of that upsets you, you’ll be pleased to know that the folks at Mansory are ready to help.
A lot of people have (justly) ragged on Mansory over the years for modifying vehicles’ aesthetics in ways that, how should we say this, left no retina unmolten. Lately, though, it seems the German firm has learned the art of restraint, and the restyling package for the R8 Spyder is proof of this. The front valence, front trunklid, side skirts, side vent scoops and rear bumper are replaced by reshaped pieces, and the hind end is topped by a carbon fiber wing. It also rolls on a set of Mansory’s own 20” five-spoke alloy wheels, and the ride height has been lowered slightly.
The interior has also been redone without being ridiculous. If this suite of upgrades had come out a year or two ago, you better believe the seats, dash and door panels would have been reupholstered in neon mauve iguana skin. But it didn’t, so those surfaces have instead been re-covered in plain old red leather. There’s also a smattering of carbon fiber on portions of the door panels, steering wheel rim, shift knob and other components. Again, tastefully subdued and therefore most un-Mansory-ish.
So the exterior and interior styling revisions err toward the conservative side (at least by Mansory standards), and so do the powertrain revisions. The 5.2L V10 is fitted with just a sport air filter and exhaust system. That’s it; no blowers, no ECU reflash, no stroker crank. Still, Mansory says those simple tweaks yield an additional 27hp and 15 lb.-ft over stock, meaning total output is 552hp and 406 lb.-ft of torque.
Mansory hasn’t yet said what these upgrades will cost, but we encourage all you R8 Spyder owners out there to save up for them and have them installed on your car. Maybe that will encourage the company to come out with more restyling packages that won’t make most small children (and some large ones) cry. Just sayin’…