Back in 2010, we sampled the previous generation Audi R8 V10 Spyder and we were left a bit short-changed by the vehicle.
Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain. The R8 V10 in manual was simply sensational. The orchestra of the wailing V10 was conducted by a six-speed manual and a clutch pedal, making it one of the most thoroughly engaging cars to drive, under any conditions.
So when the Spyder variant of that era crawled into our driveway for a review, we were hoping for more of that magic, but now with an alfresco element in the mix to make it an even more endearing car to drive. That engine, of course, remained a peach, but in place of the gated, metal gear lever now resided an electronically actuated manual gear lever — dubbed R-tronic in Audi parlance.
It was a clunky, one-dimensional transmission that was sublime when pressing on, but atrocious when driving through traffic. In the latter instance, it lunged with an elastic effect when changing cogs at slow speeds, something we first experienced in BMW’s SMG (sequential manual gearbox), that could easily make one carsick by the rocking motion of the thing if you are predisposed to such. Thankfully, that was dispensed with by a dual-clutch S-tronic gearbox when that model was updated in 2013.