The most extreme version of Audi’s R8 has gained (or lost, depending on your perspective) further appeal with a new soft-top Spyder variant of the R8 GT. Using the same 552 bhp V10 FSI powerplant as its hard-top sibling, the GT Spyder will be delivered to just 66 lucky customers in the UK out of a worldwide production of 333 units.

Thanks to Audi ultra lightweight technology, the flagship version of the high-performance open-top sports car has trimmed a full 85 kg from the already low weight of the R8 V10 Spyder, and as a result weighs in at just 1,640kg, all of which helps it to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 3.8 seconds and to reach a top speed of 197mph.

Visual modifications accentuate the styling of the R8 GT Spyder. These include additional contrasting titanium grey trim elements, a front splitter with a dual lip, flics at the sides of the front bumper, red GT badges, round exhaust tailpipes, an enlarged diffuser and dark LED tail lights in a clear-glass design. An optional windscreen frame in matte CFRP is also available.

Audi engineers also trimmed weight from the technical components in the transmission, wheels and brakes. In the interior, the bucket seats alone, with their chassis of glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP), saved 31.5 kg.

Audi R8 GT Spyder

In classic Audi fashion, the R8 GT Spyder features a lightweight fabric soft top that is said to be extremely quiet even when motorway cruising at high speeds. Its electro-hydraulic drive raises or lowers it in 19 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph. The powered retractable glass rear window is nestled in the bulkhead, separate from the soft top. The bulkhead also incorporates a rollover protection system comprising two pre-tensioned plates.

If you’re interested in getting hold of one for yourself, you can formally register your interest in a right-hand-drive version at your local Audi Centre or by visiting the web site from today. Order confirmation will begin later this summer ahead of first customer deliveries in early 2012. UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, however with a price of €207800 in Germany, you can expect it to be at least £165,000.