After taking two Audi R8 coupes to Qatar for a unique photo shoot inside the opulent Al Hazm Mall in Doha, our friend Auditography had another brilliant idea - to take the convertible versions to the beautiful Alps for another family portrait. As it was the case with the previous R8 get-together, one of the cars was the recently launched rear-wheel-drive RWS, but this time around in Spyder guise. It was joined on location by another Spyder, yet significantly different.
The car in question was ABT's creation: a 2011 R8 GT S Spyder. Valued at a cool $350,000, the custom build makes the not-a-Quattro $140,000 RWS (Rear Wheel Series) seem like quite the bargain. With its stacked dual exhaust tips, carbon fiber accents, a wide rear wing, and a bold front grille, the aftermarket R8 is no doubt the flashiest of the two.
The look-at-me styling of the old one is complemented by an engine upgrade, with ABT massaging the naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 to deliver 611 hp whereas the tail-happy R8 of which only 999 will be made (including the coupe) has to make do with 540 hp. Flat out, both will do just a smidge under 200 mph (322 kph) after hitting 62 mph (100 kph) in approximately 3.7 seconds.
If we were to pick solely based on the soundtrack delivered by the V10, we'd have to go with ABT's version of Audi's supercar as it sounds a bit naughtier. Another reason why we would take the R8 GT S is for that beautiful gated shifter of the six-speed manual discontinued that was when the first-gen R8 was phased out in 2015.
Speaking of "R8" and "phased out," Audi's supercar might be on its deathbed as suggested by the company's R&D boss, Peter Mertens, in a recent interview. Meanwhile, a possible final update is being prepared for the naturally aspirated machine, one that will bring big oval exhaust tips, so we might be looking at a new R8 GT special edition.