The sky’s the limit in Audi’s new V10-powered R8 Spyder

Audi has revealed the new 2017 R8 Spyder at the New York Auto Show.

The Spyder is all but identical to the second-generation R8 coupe from the rocker panels up to the belt line. Above that, it features a multi-layer cloth soft top that opens or closes at the push of a button in 20 seconds, even at speeds of up to 31 mph. Available in black, brown, or red, the top flows into a pair of fins that give the Spyder a distinctive appearance.

The R8 Spyder is fitted with a virtual cockpit, which is Audi lingo for the digital and fully configurable instrument cluster that was inaugurated a few years ago by the third-generation TT. The 12.3-inch screen can be configured to show a variety of information about the car and its surroundings, including acceleration and lateral forces, as well as navigation directions and connectivity options. The virtual cockpit makes the traditional dash-mounted screen obsolete, giving the R8 a clean, crisp-looking center console that’s oriented towards the driver.

Audi hasn’t made any major mechanical modifications. Like the coupe, the R8 Spyder is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine that delivers 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission transfers the ten-cylinder’s grunt to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system. The Spyder hits 62 mph from a stop in 3.6 seconds, 124 mph from a stop in 11.8 seconds, and it goes on to a top speed of close to 200 mph.

Weight checks in at 3,553 pounds, a figure that makes the ragtop nearly 500 pounds heavier than its fixed-roof counterpart. Audi’s cylinder-on-demand technology turns the V10 into a straight-five under partial load, which boosts fuel economy to 20 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

The 2017 Audi R8 Spyder will be built alongside the coupe on the outskirts of Neckarsulm, Germany. Pricing information and availability haven’t been announced yet.

Outdoors

Yamaha’s Wabash ebike takes on gravel, single track, and more

The Wabash gravel ebike from Yamaha gives riders a versatile and powerful option for riding trails, pavement, mud, sand, dirt, and more, with plenty of range and power for all-day adventures.
Cars

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.
Computing

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: The Tesla Model Y takes on the Tesla Model 3

Tesla expanded its lineup with a fourth car named Model Y. It's an electric crossover positioned as a more spacious alternative to the Model 3. The two cars share about 75 percent of their components, but they're aimed at different buyers.
Cars

Can electric cars be S3XY? Tesla says yes with the new Model Y crossover

Tesla introduced a crossover named Model Y at its design studio in Los Angeles. It's a more spacious alternative to the Model 3 it shares 75 percent of its parts with, and is a smaller sibling to the Model X.
Cars

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?
Cars

Mustang-like and electrified. What did Ford just show a preview of?

Ford posted an enigmatic picture of a blue Mustang emblem on a black background right as Tesla prepared to introduce the Model Y. Is the Blue Oval teasing a hybrid Mustang, or is it previewing a Mustang-inspired, battery-powered crossover?
Cars

Amazon and Kia team up to simplify EV home-charging station installs

Kia Motors announced a new program with Amazon for electric vehicles. Customers planning to purchase a new Kia EV or PHEV can check out recommended Level 2 240-volt home charging stations and arrange installation in their homes.
Cars

Unrestrained by heritage, Polestar sets its sights on becoming a digital brand

With no heritage to worry about, Polestar is free to move full-speed ahead towards its goal of becoming a digital brand. All of the company's upcoming models will be electric, and they will inaugurate an Android-powered infotainment system.
Cars

Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.