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Price: Engine:


5.2-litre petrol producing 552bhp and 398lb.ft of torque

Transmission: Seven-speed automated manual driving all four wheels

Performance: Top speed 197mph, 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds Economy: Emissions:

19.9mpg combined 332g/km

false sense of serenity. With the sun shining and the roof down you could bowl around in the GT Spyder feeling like a million dollars and working on your tan at the same time.

And that would be fine apart from it being a total waste of some first class engineering. What you really need to do is fully exercise that mighty powerplant and push the chassis as hard as you dare. But doing so isn’t quite as easy as you might think. Despite being seemingly prepared for 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 197mph, the first full throttle blast through the gears delivers a sensational punch, accompanied by a terrific V10 wail - and possibly some expletives. It feels even faster than the figures suggest with every gearchange snapping through thanks to the very fast R tronic gearbox. You’ll not find a faster or more sensorial supercar for less than twice the price.

And while you might expect a car with this much power and performance to be thoroughly intimidating, the balance that the Quattro four-wheel drive system provides means the complete opposite is true. Those wonderful bucket seats clamp you in place and the tactile steering wheel feeds back plenty of info about what the car is up to. Start to press on and for a long time the GT Spyder just grips and grips. Beyond that there is some gentle understeer to inform you that you are near the car’s limits, but it is not the kind of wash-out understeer you might get with a normal four-wheel drive car - you can still be quick and still keep it on the black stuff. And of course if you have the ESP in Sport mode or switched off altogether you can power through with the tail flicking out, again helped by the balance of the four-wheel drive.

The opportunities to drive a car like this so hard may be few and far between, but when you do you’ll love it. And when you can’t you can savour the noise, the quality and the pure delight you get from just being behind the wheel. This is a sadly rare machine - just 43 will be coming to the UK - and every single one of those 43 lucky blighters will have themselves a stunning and utterly thrilling supercar.

Life Begins 43

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