Top European football leagues may only be kicking off the new season next month, but football mania seems to have already hit fever pitch here in Singapore. Most notably, it began with a ‘cameo’ by Barcelona legend Lionel Messi, who was set to feature in a friendly match against the Singapore national team last month. But he was pulled out of the line-up and returned to Changi Airport only a few hours after arriving here, leaving disappointed fans with quick glimpses at best.

Then came his footballing antithesis Cristiano Ronaldo, who made a quick stop in Singapore last week to pay a visit to billionaire Peter Lim and his daughter, Kim Lim. The hordes of fans that thronged Thomson Medical Center were so enthusiastic, CR7 was practically smuggled out of the building after.

Appearances by famous footballers certainly did not stop there. Yesterday evening, in a more nuanced procession bereft of overzealous (and borderline stalker-ish) fans, star players from five-time UEFA Champions League winner FC Bayern Munich graced the fields of Keppel Bay Vista to unveil Audi’s latest edition of their iconic supercar, the R8 Spyder.

As part of the Audi Summer Tour 2017, the trio of Robert Lewandowski, Franck Ribéry and Sven Ulreich were distinguished guests at the highly anticipated launch, representing the parallels between the Bundesliga champions and German auto giants Audi: top-tier performance. VIPs, media personnel and young fans alike were treated to an exclusive meet-and-greet and autograph session, along with a football challenge to see if any one of the players (or the attendants) was able to put the ball into the ‘floating goal post’ set up by the bay –all from 50 yards away. Managing Director of Audi Singapore, Jeff Mannering, half-jested that successful attempts will be rewarded with a weekend drive of the all-new R8 Spyder.

In case you are wondering, no one scored.

Speaking of the Audi R8 Spyder, all eyes were still firmly plastered on the sleek, sporty and glimmering high performance roadster. The second generation R8 Spyder is cut more athletic and chiseled, reflecting the extreme thrills of open-top driving when one puts foot to the pedal. When viewed from any angle, it is hard to imagine that its performance would be anything but beastly, and this is no thanks to the 5.2-liter V10 mid-engine that can blast the car to 100km/h in just 3.6 seconds. The driver’s seat retains the cockpit feel with the R8 sport leather steering wheel, functioning as the control center with four large satellite buttons, rotary wheel and the Start/Stop button. That works in conjunction with large 12.3-inch digital Audi virtual cockpit 3D display to really get you sunk in to the racetrack experience.

Of course, with the ‘Spyder’ suffix in the name, you’d know that convertibles always bring something extra to the table. Operated via an electro-hydraulic drive, the lightweight soft top is capable of retracting the top in just 20 seconds at speeds up to 50km/h.

The new Audi R8 Spyder V10 is available for sale in Singapore now, and you may taste all of its intoxicating, wind-in-the-hair fun if you have S$882,000 to spare.