Not so long ago, Audi released a limited-edition rear-wheel-drive R8 supercar to gauge reaction. Now, Audi has made this a permanent production model, sitting alongside the quattro derivatives.
There's something odd about quattro purveyors Audi announcing a rear-wheel-drive version of the R8 supercar. We've grown fond of the R8's quattro setup which provides phenomenal grip but allows playful driving antics. Now there's a rear-wheel drive model, which shares the same screaming 5.2-litre V10.
Packing 397 kW and 540 Nm, with power going to the rear wheels, the Audi R8 V10 RWD is capable of 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and it'll run to a top speed of 320 kph. There's also a Spyder version which boasts 3.8 seconds and 318 kph for acceleration and top speed respectively. The vehicle comes with a 7-speed S Tronic gearbox as well as a mechanical locking differential. Activate sport mode and the Audi R8 V10 RWD will allow "controlled drifting", according to Audi. Due to the deletion of the front driveshaft, quattro multi-plate clutches and front differential, this version of the R8 is 65 kg lighter than the equivalent quattro model.
"We launched a limited series of the Audi R8 V10 RWS at the beginning of 2018," says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. "Its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8-LMS racing car, and the special dynamics sparked our customers' enthusiasm right away. Now it will become part of the R8 family as a separate model, the R8 V10 RWD. And we are giving it the same sharp look with which we designed the new R8 quattro models. At the same time as we are releasing the series production model, we are also offering the R8 LMS GT4 racing car with a new look."
The Audi R8 V10 RWD will go on sale in Europe in early 2020 with a starting price of EUR 144 000. At this stage, we're still waiting for the facelifted Audi R8 to debut in SA.