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2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Rear-drive Audi R8 RWS now a reality

By Cameron Kirby, 12 Sep 2017 Events

2017 Frankfurt Motor Show: Rear-drive Audi R8 RWS now a reality

Audi R8 RWS ditches all-paw traction for rear-drive fun, but in limited numbers

A RUMOURED rear-drive Audi R8 is now a reality, with the German manufacturer revealing the RWS-badged supercar.

The Audi R8 RWS has the same 397kW/540Nm mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10, but ditches the front wheel driveshafts to send all its power exclusively to the rear.

Just 999 units will be made on the same German line as the all-wheel-drive R8, with both coupe and spyder variants available.

Audi is hoping to emulate the driving style of its rear-drive R8 GT3 racecar with the limited-edition RWS.

"The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists," CEO of Audi Sport chief executive Stephan Winkelmann said.

"A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer.

“With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.”

Audi is touting the RWS as a “purist” driving vehicle compared with its all-paw siblings, where the “chassis and handling tuning specially adapted for rear-wheel drive provide for incredibly fun driving”.

The lack of power to the front axle does slightly hamper acceleration times, but not by much. The RWS will sprint to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds as a coupe compared with 3.5sec for the all-wheel-drive version, and 3.8 as a spyder, down 0.2sec.

It does ditch some weight though, tipping the scales at 1509 kilograms, 50kg less than the standard R8. The rear-drive spyder weighs 1680kg, 40kg down on its equivalent.

For the trainspotters out there, the RWS will have subtle styling differences to the standard R8, with a matte black grill and air apertures, and a gloss black upper sideblade.

Audi says the RWS will come to Australia in “very limited numbers” with the first examples arriving on our shores from March next year.