It’s a battle of convertible supercars as an Audi R8 Spyder races a McLaren 570S Spider.
If we’re being totally honest, convertibles are generally more about the show than the go. Cutting the roof off of a car does horrible things to balance, aerodynamics, and rigidity that no true speed demon can ever even home to consider a convertible car “fast.”
And yet we still keep seeing supercars made without roofs. One supposes if you’ve got the cash for a car as expensive as a supercar, then you can have it any way you want, which includes without something as sensible as a roof.
But we live in an era where technology can solve almost any problem, including one of our own making. Both Audi and McLaren have convertible versions of their supercars that sacrifice very little performance for the ability to put their roofs down whenever they want.
On the right is the Audi R8 Spyder. Under the hood, the Spyder has the same 5.2-L V10 engine as you’ll find in the regular R8, with 533 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque delivered to all wheels all the time via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. A droptop does add a few pounds to the R8--370 lbs, to be precise.
Adding a sumo wrestler’s worth of fabric and metal definitely takes away from the Audi’s acceleration time, going from zero to sixty in 3.6 seconds instead of the hardtop’s 3.5
On the left, we have the McLaren 570S. McLaren is a far less compromising company when it comes to performance, so the addition of a droptop only adds 100 lbs got the 570S Spider. This allows the McLaren convertible to rocket to sixty miles per hour from zero in almost the same time as the regular 570S in just 3.2 seconds.
The McLaren has both a power and weight advantage. Its 3.8-L twin-turbo V8 produces 562 hp, and the whole car weighs 3,303 lbs compared the R8’s 3,792 lbs.
On the other hand, the R8 does have AWD, which will help it get off the line quicker than the 570S.
And it did, but only barely. The McLaren quickly closes the gap and walks away from the R8, finishing the quarter-mile drag race with several car lengths to spare.