After running around the rumormill for several months, Audi has finally confirmed it will offer a 4.2-liter V8 powered version of the R8 Spyder, in addition to the V10 model. Thankfully, the R8 Spyder 4.2 is available with a six-speed manual in addition to the R-Tronic semi-automatic gearbox.
Like other R8s - with the exception of including the recently announced GT - the 4.2 Spyder is packing standard Quattro all-wheel drive and the top mechanism remains the same fully-powered fabric unit found in the V10 model. Those who opt for the lesser engine will have to make do with conventional dampers and 18-inch wheels, although the magnetic ride dampers and 19-inch rolling stock that are standard on the V10 are available at a "slight" increase in cost. The eight-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers remain standard issue with the optional carbon ceramic rotors and pads still available as an option in Europe. Since Audi has not issued any new images of the Spyder 4.2 yet, there are probably no visual differences aside from the wheels and badging.
The V8 Spyder goes on sale in Europe in the third quarter, but no announcement has been made about U.S. availability... yet.