Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6
  • Very comfortable for a car this fast
  • Cabin well insulated with roof up
  • Not much wind intrusion when down

The cabin of the R8 Spyder is very smart, well made and user-friendly. If you’re familiar with the interior design of more lowly Audi models, then you’ll recognise a lot of the switches and features that you find in the R8. Because the basic design is getting on a bit (Audi terms), it misses out on the latest cockpit technology as used in the A8, A7,Q8 and A6, but it’s still a modern, high quaity place to spend time, with no lower-rent plastics anywhere to be found.

The Virtual Cockpit, which is standard-fit on the Spyder, faces the driver and displays driving and navigation information in various configurations, and it doubles as a display for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s this coupled with the MMI multimedia system that make the R8 Spyder feel like a very user-friendly car. In fact, it reminds us how good MMI is, and how the newer twin screen system in the newer models isn't necessarily better.

The seats are easily adjustable to find a good driving positon, although the bucket seats found in the Performance version have a fixed backrest, which might not be at the best angle for all drivers. As for the overall driving position, there's little to criticise it for, especially for its visibility, which is excellent for a mid-engined supercar.

Audi R8 interior

  • Very comfortable for a supecar
  • Cabin well insulated with roof up
  • Not much wind intrusion when down

The Audi R8 Spyder is meant to be an everyday performance car, so while it might look like a hard-edged, focused bruiser it can actually be quite comfortable. Its ride is firm compared to less sporting cars, but in the context of what it is, it puts in a very polished performance on all but the most rutted roads.

We’d strongly recommend the optional Magnetic Ride suspension and sport exhaust system if this is a concern, because these two extras emphasise the split personality of the R8. On magnetic dampers, it is impressively comfortable – more composed than most typical hot hatches – and is perfectly capable of being used day-in, day-out. And yet, with the sports exhaust, it can be transformed into a super-loud supercar at the touch of a button.

What's the Audi R8 V10 Spyder like with the roof up? 

We found cabin refinement with the roof up was very good indeed, the R8 isolating wind and road noise very well considering its fabric roof and huge wheels. The seats are very low, however, and the doors open extremely wide, so getting in and out in a crowded car park might not be as easy, and hardly dignified if you're less than agile.

A neat little feature is the rear window, which is glass and can slide downwards into the bulkhead behind the seats independently of the roof’s operation. It's heated for frosty mornings, too. It could be argued than this retractable window is there purely so you can enjoy the noise its epic V10 engine makes while keeping the roof up.

How long does the R8's roof take to open? 

Lower the roof, which takes 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, and occupants up to and above six feet tall can travel without troubling their hairstyle. A wind deflector is standard fit and helps here too. The hood-folding mechanism is a work of art in its own right – lowering or raising the hood is a definite piece of street theatre, so if you're at all self-conscious, don't do it when it's busy.

Unfortunately, unlike the 2017 A5 Cabriolet, you have to hold your finger on the roof button for it to operate. The A5’s is one-touch, which we’d like to see here. First-world problems and all that…

Audi R8 comfort