For some of us old-schoolers the real sports car is a soft-top and designed that way from drawing board up.
So when Audi chopped the roof off the superb R8 it seemed the German firm may have made a fatal error for the driving enthusiast that many manufacturers have made before.
Happily, while the Spyder R8s are a little heavier because of the extra chassis strengthening, the difference in chassis control is virtually unnoticeable possibly because the original coupe’s strength was so stiff in the first place!
The Sypders now come in two versions from the 4.2-litre V8 to the 5.2-litre V10.
Both V8 and V10 sound great but audio is a very personal preference and mine is for the V8 sound, which I feel is much raunchier albeit with 100bhp and 80lb ft less than the 5.2-litre V10 but the V8 still has 424bhp, 10bhp more than at launch back in 2008.
In fact it’s the V10 that benefits most from the top-down orchestra because the smoother operator is too quiet in the Sypder’s coupe brother and now you get to enjoy that 520bhp engine at full chat on the way to 60mph in just over 4 seconds, although you’ll hear wind rush near its top speed of 194mph!
Shoe-horning the V10 lump from the Lamborghini Gallardo into the diminutive hand crafted R8 chassis could have spawned an uncontrollable beast of a car.
Yet nothing could be further from the truth because, while the sensationally fast speed figures leap from the printed page, on the road the R8 delivers performance with all the aggression of the neighbour's overweight Labrador.
So docile, in fact, you'd be happy sending Granma down to pick up her Giro in the R8 comfortable in the knowledge she's in one of the safest cars on the road today.
While this may be enough to scare-off most self-respecting sportscar fans, there’s also good news to report.
Stab the sport button, activate the magnetically adjusted suspension and turn off all the safety gadgets (ESP, traction, etc.) and the R8 bears a full set of racing teeth.
Suddenly, the full force of either of the engine options will try to tear lumps out of the tarmac squealing the massive low-profile 19-inch wheels so that even the superb quattro four- wheel drive system gives up the ghost on tight corners.
Spinning easily into the 8,500rpm redline, the engine howl is delightful in the ears although the V8 enjoys a deeper bark with its bite.
The car even squirms into bends on the brakes like a proper racing tool but, while sliding through bends, the whole plot is so well balanced and taut there seems little danger of ever losing it completely.
This is probably as well as, with the R8 variants’ base price tags straddling the £100k mark, this is one car you really won't want to be pulling out of the hedgerows.
Handling has been kept so neutral because the extra length of the V10 engine over the smaller car's V8 has been offset by shoving it further back towards the centre of the car so that the weight distribution remains a near perfect 44/56 split between front and rear.
Incidentally, the V10 motor, mounted directly behind the driver's cockpit, is almost identical to the power plant of the R8 LMS which will
race the GT3 series and even comes with dry sump oil lubrication to cope with the huge G- force potential in cornering.
An exposed alloy gate manual six-speed gearbox is slick and fast although, on the bigger engine, takes a little more care than with the lower powered V8 version.
There is also a race-derived R-tronic auto gearbox but this I found a very annoying as you have to come off the gas to achieve smooth up changes.
Apparently, Audi thought the additional weight, and expense, of a dual-clutch system was not merited so I would take their lead and always opt for the manual.
In terms of luxury, the interior has plenty of room for two people and the fitments are all very classy.
The cockpit environment is also spectacularly refined and quiet so you will have to keep an eagle eye on your motorway speeds, which will feel like half the real pace you are doing.
A top quality, though outrageously powerful, Bang&Olufsen 12-speaker 465 watt hi-fi adds still more luxury and the R8 is the world's first car to sport 100 per cent LED exterior lights to save on energy drain.
This is a stunning supercar that, with all the gizmos operating, remains a usable piece of everyday transport. Priced from £95,545 for the ‘baby’ V8 to £112,500 for the big beast, it’ll take a bit of saving up but not the most expensive super car by a long way.
You can follow all Paul's automotive and transport news on Twitter @PaulMyles_
Engine: 5.2 FSI quattro
Top Speed: 194mph