2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD

Audi has replaced the R8 RWD with a ‘Performance RWD’ model that takes place of the erstwhile entry-level Quattro V-10 model

Audi has made some changes to the R8’s lineup. For starters, the entry-level all-wheel-drive ‘Quattro’ model has been sent into oblivion, which the R8 RWD is replaced with the R8 V-10 Performance RWD. It makes roughly 30 horses more than the standard RWD model that it replaces, and the new power output is the same as the outgoing entry-level Quattro model. Can it help pump up the sales?

  • 2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Seven-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    562
  • Torque @ RPM:
    406
  • Displacement:
    5.2 L
  • Top Speed:
    204 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What’s Special About The Rejigged Audi R8 RWD?

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 1023409
Audi is also offering Variable Dynamic Steering setup, 18-inch high-performance steel braking system, and 19-inch high-performance ceramic braking system as optional equipment

The automaker has simplified the R8’s lineup and there are only two models on offer now – the Performance RWD and the Performance Quattro. The R8 Performance RWD is available in the coupe form as well as the Spyder.

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Drivetrain
- image 1023407

The Audi R8 continues to be powered by the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine.

The RWD Performance model puts out 562 horses now; 29 horses more than the standard RWD and the same as the outgoing entry-level V-10 Quattro R8. The torque figure is now 406 pound-feet; an increase of seven pound-feet of torque.

Power is routed to the rear wheels exclusively via a seven-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 1023410
It is powered by the same 5.2-liter V-10 engine that puts out 562 HP and 406 lb/ft of torque. This is an increase of 29 HP and seven lb/ft of torque over the erstwhile RWD model

Courtesy of this, the top speed is now rated at 204 mph on the coupe and 203 mph on the Spyder; an increase of six mph on the coupe over the outgoing model. It now takes 3.7 seconds to sprint from 0-62 mph in the coupe form, and 3.8 seconds in the Spyder.

How Is It On The Outside And Inside?

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 1023385
It is mated to an RWD system, a seven-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox, and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Top speed is rated 204 mph for the coupe and 203 mph for the Spyder. 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds for the coupe and 3.8 seconds for the Spyder

On the outside, it is inspired by the GT models. This can be seen on the flat matte-finished single-frame grille up front, large air intakes, front splitter, large air intakes, and the oval tailpipes. There is a slit under the hood that is an ode to the Audi Sport Quattro. Out of the ten exterior shades on offer, the Ascari Blue Metallic is a new addition to the RWD lineup. It was earlier offered only the Quattro models.

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Exterior
- image 1023399

The body is composed of Audi Space Frame (ASF) design, with large parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). Thanks to this, the coupe weighs 3,505 pounds (1590 kilos) whereas the Spyder weighs 3,737 pounds.

The car comes with extra-light 19 and 20-inch aluminum cast wheels. If you’re looking for something that sticks to the tar better, then you’d be better off with optional 245/30 section tires at the front and 305/30 section tires at the back.

Audi is also offering a Variable Dynamic Steering setup for the first time of the RWD R8. An 18-inch high-performance steel braking system with a wave design and a 19-inch high-performance ceramic braking system are also available. The automaker has also made tweaks to the suspension setup to improve its handling dynamics.

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Interior
- image 1023382
The cabin is upholstered in black Alcantara leather with Mercato Blue contrast stitching. A 12.3-inch screen is enclosed in an arch called the ‘Monoposto’. Bucket seats and carbon inlays are also offered

The cabin is upholstered in black Alcantara leather with Mercato Blue contrast stitching. Audi is also offered buckets seats here along with carbon inlays. There are some racecar cockpit inspirations as well, which include that large arch spanning the area in front of the driver’s seat, which is called ‘Monoposto’ in Audi’s speak. It encloses a 12.3-inch screen.

How Much Does The Audi R8 Cost?

2021 Audi R8 V-10 Performance RWD Exterior
- image 1023392
In Germany, the R8 Performance RWD costs €149,000 for the coupe and €162,000 for the Spyder. Swipe up to read about it in detail

Audi noted that the starting price of the R8 Coupe is €149,000 (approximately $172,100), and the Spyder starts at €162,000 (approximately $187,200). It will available to order from October 21, 2021.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
About the author

Even more power, even more fun: the true meaning of “performance” at the Audi Sport GmbH. The new R8 V10 performance RWD is available as a Coupé or Spyder with 30 PS extra, a sporty complement to the R8 V10 performance quattro. This rear-wheel drive sports car, with its mid-mounted engine boasting 419 kW (570 PS)

and new technological highlights such as bucket seats, dynamic steering, CFK stabilizers and ceramic disc brakes, is the embodiment of fun driving.

The Audi R8 V10 performance RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) is the sporty new cutting edge of serial rear-wheel drive sports cars from Audi. “The Audi R8 V10 RWD really struck a chord with customers right from the start with its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8 LMS racecar and its unfiltered dynamics. Now it has 30 PS and 10 newton meters more, taking the driving experience to a whole new level,” says Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. The base versions of both models, the R8 V10 quattro
and the R8 V10 RWD

as a Coupé and Spyder, will be replaced by the new performance models. This puts the R8 model range more firmly in the top position.
Top speed of 329 km/h

This mid-mounted engine sports car leaves others in the dust, accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Spyder) with a top speed of 329 km/h (327 km/h for the Spyder). The crown jewel of the new R8 is the renowned naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 FSI motor with unparalleled sound, lightning-fast reaction and incredible liveliness. In the R8 V10 performance RWD, the aggregate has an output of 419 kW (570 PS)

and brings up to 550 newton meters of torque, which it distributes to its rear wheels with its seven-gear S tronic. That’s 10 newton meters more torque than the Audi R8 V10 RWD. A mechanical limited slip differential distributes the torque ideally based on the driving situation, ensuring prime traction even when the roads are wet. As with all R8s, the body is built of aluminum using the Audi Space Frame (ASF) design, with large parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP). The Coupé version of the R8 V10 performance RWD thus weighs a mere 1590 kilograms, with the Spyder version weighing in at 1695 kilograms.
Controlled drifts are possible

The suspension and driving dynamics are specifically balanced for the rear-wheel drive. When Sport Mode is activated in the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the suspension setup and control systems will allow controlled drifts. The electromechanical power steering provides close contact with the road. Dynamic steering, available for the first time for the rear-wheel drive R8, provides even more precise reaction and feedback. This makes driving more dynamic through more direct steering, for example on curvy country roads or when turning. It also increases comfort by making steering easier, such as when parking or maneuvering. The RWD sport suspension is adapted specifically for rear-wheel drive, has double wishbones and a passive differential lock. The axle distribution is 40:60. Extra-light 19 and 20-inch aluminum cast wheels ensure precise handling and lane control in quick turns. Cup wheels in 245/30 R20 up front and 305/30 R20 at the back, are available optionally and provide extra grip and dynamics. An 18-inch high-performance steel braking system with a wave design and an optional 19-inch high-performance ceramic braking system provide the necessary deceleration.
Recognizable design features of the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro

The overly sporty design is inspired by its GT4 siblings. Elements of this include the broad, flat Singleframe radiator grill in matte black with an R8 emblem flanked by large air intakes, the front splitter and rear air outlet grid as well as the oval tailpipes. The slit under the front hood is reminiscent of the legendary Audi Sport quattro. The new R8 is available in ten color options. One of them is Ascari Blue Metallic, a color that was previously only available for the R8 V10 performance quattro

. The “R8 performance” design package boasts an interior with black Alcantara leather, contrast stitching in Mercato Blue and decorative carbon inlays.
Racecar feelings inside

The tight lines of the design set the tone inside the car as well. Its most eye-catching element is the “Monoposto” – the large, heavily contoured arch that spans the area in front of the driver’s seat and is strongly reminiscent of a racecar cockpit. The “Monoposto” encloses the Audi virtual cockpit with a 12.3-inch screen, which is integrated into a freestanding casing. The R8 leather steering wheel with Multifunction plus offers two or, in the performance version, four control satellites, each for using Audi drive select, to start the engine, to activate Performance Mode and the engine sound as well as to control the Audi virtual cockpit. Drivers and passengers can enjoy the ride in their newly available R8 bucket or sports seats, upholstered in leather and Alcantara. A badge with the RWD emblem shimmers in front of the passenger seat.
Production largely by hand

The R8 V10 performance RWD is built – largely by hand – in the “Böllinger Höfe” plant at the Audi location in Neckarsulm, Germany. This is also the production site of the LMS GT4 racecar, which is derived from the series model and uses roughly 60 percent carryover parts. Approximately 40,000 square meters of production space are used, with up to 1,000 highly qualified employees working in sports car assembly. The rear-wheel drive Audi R8 V10 performance RWD

can be ordered from October 21.

In Germany, the base price for the Coupé is €149,000. The Spyder starts at €162,000.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release

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