For decades, Audi has been synonymous with the total traction of quattro all-wheel drive. No longer.
Audi Sport has unveiled a rear-wheel drive version of its R8 supercar at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Dubbed the R8 V10 RWS, it is “made for purists” according to Audi Sport’s recently departed CEO Stephan Winkelmann.
It is “A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment,” says Winkelmann, and “successfully bring the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.”
Powering the R8 RWS is the same naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 as the all-wheel drive R8, here in 397kW/540Nm tune, rather than the 449kW/560Nm of the R8 V10 Plus. Losing the front drive system sheds 50kg in the coupe and 40kg in the Spyder, bringing weight to 1590kg and 1680kg respectively.
Acceleration is dulled slightly compared to all-wheel drive models, the R8 RWS managing 0-100km/h in a still-brisk 3.7sec (Spyder 3.8sec) on its way to a top speed of 320km/h (Spyder 318km/h). Audi claims the chassis tuning is specially adapted for “incredibly fun driving”, a valid claim if it’s Lamborghini Huracan LP580-2 is anything to go by.
Just 999 R8 RWSs will be built, each individually numbered, identifiable by a matt black grille and air vents front and rear, while the upper sideblade is finished in gloss black with the lower one in body colour. The red stripe running across the car in these photos is optional.
A “very limited number” of R8 RWSs will come to Australia, with delivers expected in March 2018. Pricing is still to be confirmed, but based on the European pricing expect a figure in the region of $400,000.