Parkers overall rating: 5 out of 5 5.0

The Audi R8 GT Spyder's performance is mind-blowing. It has a 552bhp 5.2-litre V10 that’ll get you from zero to 62mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 197mph. The Audi is most at home on a track or on a German autobahn but if you floor the throttle you will be shoved into the back of your seat by the sudden thrust of power accelerating you up to the national limits.

It is intense but you will get a sense of satisfaction and never get bored of having 552bhp to play with. With a peak output of 540Nm of torque you’ll zip by slower traffic – it’s difficult not to – and it certainly turns heads in the way that Ferrari or a Lamborghini grabs attention. In that respect it is affordable to a much wider audience and is more usable on a day-to-day basis than the supercars mentioned above.

Whether you have the hood up or down the V10 produces a quality soundtrack and the burble when downshifting is especially good. The seven-speed R tronic sequential gearbox can be used as an automatic mode (especially useful when in and around town or in heavy traffic) or in manual mode where you use the steering-mounted paddles to shift up and down through the gears.

The R tronic is a brilliant gearbox that can be enjoyed to the full on twisty B roads or on a wide open racetrack.

Torsional stiffness on convertible models is usually poor in comparison to equivalent hardtops but Audi has worked hard to give the R8 GT Spyder the same handling characteristics as its fixed-roof version. The great news is that Audi has achieved this. The R8 GT Spyder has been built by hand using an Audi Space Frame (ASF) which accounts for 214kg of the 1,640kg of the car’s total weight enabling the car to handle as well as the hardtop.

Front-end grip is phenomenal while the feedback from steering is really good. It is well weighted and the rack is very quick. When driving at speed you feel at one with the car and feel happy to throw it into corners because you can feel exactly what the front wheels are up to. The R8 GT Spyder is not just for poseurs, it really does handle fantastically well when you drive it enthusiastically.

To get the most out of this car you need to drive it on a track.