It’s hard to imagine a world without the Audi R8. Ask the next person you see to describe a supercar and they’ll likely conjure something resembling Audi’s halo car. Also, if it’s good enough for fictional bzillionaire Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark, then Audi has certainly been doing something right.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that the mid-engined two-seater supercar has been around since 2005 (we thought it was much shorter). A completely redeveloped second generation model emerged some ten years later, and before we say ‘good riddance’ to 2016 – the year that took Bowie and Prince – we’ll get the convertible ‘rag-top’ Spyder version.

If you’re just going to read one sentence from this article, make it this: the R8 Spyder is virtually identical to the normal R8, except you can put the roof down on this one, which is exactly what you want. The new R8 is stunning, this just makes it even more cool because you can get some wind in your hair.

The lightweight, fully-automated cloth hood can be fully retracted and stored away in 20 seconds, as long as you’re driving slower than 32mph.

Convertibles are typically heavier than their fixed roof counterparts, especially with electronically-operated roofs, which inevitably add weighty mechanics and the R8 Spyder is no different. However, kerb weight climbs to 1612 kg, a mere 17 kg more than the standard model. This slimline weight gain is down to the newly-developed multi-material Audi Space Frame, which uses aluminium and carbon fibre to minimise any weight burden.

With the V8 engine dropped for the second gen model, the R8 is a strictly V10 affair now and that remains the case with the Spyder.

This 532bhp unit can race to 62mph in 3.6 seconds, just a tenth of a second slower than its fixed roof sibling, with a 197mph top speed.

While all this sounds fine and dandy, the price hike between the regular R8 and the Spyder would make even the wealthiest comic book superhero gulp. Prices start at £129,990 on the road – a whole £10,470 more than the standard R8 – but if that doesn’t put off, you can have one from late 2016.

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