AWD is for losers - real men send power to the rear wheels only

If you’re a fan of the Audi R8, then you know that unless you do some serious modification, you’re stuck with that Quattro AWD system. Not that it’s a bad system or anything, as Audi’s is actually one of the best, but a sports car is just so much more fun to drive when all its power is channeled to the two wheels in the rear. And, Audi knows this, which is why it’s putting out a limited run of the R8 called the R8 V10 RWS. It will be produced in just 999 examples and will be hand built at Audi’s Bollinger Hofe factory. Stephan Winkelmann, the CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, said, “The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists. 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.”

Along with the distribution of power to the rear wheels, it also gets a few other extras that include the front grille and vents in the front and rear being finishing in matt black. The coupe gets gloss black side blades while the lower-body blade is now body colored. A red film is available for the hood, roof, and rear end, just like on the R8 LMS GT 4 while the seats inside come wrapped in leather and Alcantara. Bucket seats are available but must be optioned at the time of ordering. More importantly, however, is what Audi did with the chassis to take full advantage of the car’s RWD nature. Basically, without AWD, the car is lighter thanks to the lack of a center differential and the propshaft. As such, the Coupe form has dropped 110.2 pounds while the Spyder sees a drop of 88.2 pounds. The chassis was modified and tuned specifically to make it easier to perform controlled drifts – that’s right: drifts. The load distribution of the Coupe comes in at 40.6 percent up front and 59.4 percent in the back, while the Spyder gets 40.4 and 59.6 – both offering just enough to kick that rear end out on demand. The car is backed by Audi’s dynamic handling system, which will use the ESC system and electromechanical power steering to help keep things under control when you get to the limit of your drift. You’ll be able to order your own soon, so keep reading to learn a little more.

For Once, I Don’t Care About No Power Gains

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Exterior
- image 730585

Normally when a special-edition or limited-production model comes about, I have to criticize the automakers for leaving the drivetrain the same and trying to get money for some minor aesthetic modifications inside and out. This time, however, that isn’t the case at all, and Audi has pleased even me with this limited-run model. It is, of course, powered by the 5.2-liter, FSI, V-10 found in the standard R8. It produces 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque as low as 6,500 rpm. But, your performance won’t be quite the same, as it takes 3.7 seconds to hit 62 mph (0.2 seconds slower than the AWD R8) or 3.8 seconds with the drop-top model. Top speed is said to be beyond 198.8 mph (320 kph) or 197.6 for the drop-top. Fuel economy sits at 19 mpg combined in the coupe.

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Interior
- image 730629
Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Interior
- image 730624
Your performance won’t be quite the same, as it takes 3.7 seconds to hit 62 mph (0.2 seconds slower than the AWD R8) or 3.8 seconds with the drop-top model

The R8 V10 RWS is available in Germany, with the order books opening in fall 2017 with first deliveries slated for early 2018 – not bad for a car that’s going to be hand-built, huh? Pricing for the Coupe comes in at €140,000 while the Spyder will command a minimum of €153,000. Those prices compute to $167,345 and 182,844, respectively. But, that doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t look like this limited-run model will even make it to the U.S. as of now, so you might as well write it off as another awesome car we Americans are deprived of. On the plus side, Audi could take things to a whole new level and offer up a RWD version of the R8 V10 Plus, which would consist of the same enhancements but would up power output to 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Now that would be something to see.

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 730600
Pricing for the Coupe comes in at €140,000 while the Spyder will command a minimum of €153,000.

So, are you stoked for the RWD Audi R8 or are you stuck on this side of the pond with no hope of ever seeing one without a 10-hour flight plus layovers? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.

References

Audi R8

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 High Resolution Exterior
- image 420832

Read our full review on the Audi R8.

Audi R8 Spyder

2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 670362

Read our full review on the [Audi R8 Spyder.->art170860

Press release

The Audi Sport GmbH is extending its R8 model series to include a new derivative with rear-wheel drive. The Audi R8 V10 RWS (Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.6 – 12.4, combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 286 – 283**) comes in a limited series of 999 units with both Coupé and Spyder variants. It will be rear-driven (Rear Wheel Series) and be built exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe R8 factory.

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 730562

“The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. “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.”

Matt black design elements, optional films
The puristic character of the new R8 variant is underscored by the matt black grille of the Singleframe and the matt black air apertures at the front and rear of the car. The upper sideblade (of the Coupé) is finished in gloss black, the lower blade in the body color. Similar to the R8 LMS GT 4, the Coupé is available with an optional red film running over the hood, roof and rear end. Inside, the driver and passenger sit in sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara. Bucket seats are available as an option. The dashboard bears an emblem “1 of 999,” indicating the limited number of units.

5.2 FSI engine – one of the last naturally aspirated engines in its segment
The mid-mounted V10 engine of the Audi R8 V10 RWS produces 397 kW (540 hp). It delivers its peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. The 5.2 FSI engine accelerates the Coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds) and beyond to a top speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph) (Spyder: 318 km/h [197.6 mph]). With the top closed, average fuel consumption of the R8 V10 RWS is 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers (19.0 US mpg), corresponding to 283 grams CO2 per kilometer (455.4 g/mi). With the top open, these figures are 12.6 liters (18.7 US mpg) and 286 grams CO2 per kilometer (460.3 g/mi).

Specially tuned chassis setup allows controlled drifts
The Coupé weights 1,5090 kilograms (3,505.3 lb) (without driver). 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than the R8 Coupé with all-wheel drive which needs additional components like propshaft, multi-plate clutch and center differential. The Spyder is 40 kilograms (88.2 lb) lighter than the R8 Spyder V10, weighing in at 1,680 kilograms (3,703.8 lb) (without driver). The axle load distribution of 40.6:59.4 (Coupé) and 40.4:59.6 (Spyder) together with chassis and handling tuning specially adapted for rear-wheel drive provide for incredibly fun driving.

Audi Makes a Move to Please Purists with the Audi R8 V-10 RWS: RWD Performance at its Finest High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 730563

The chassis setup and control systems allow controlled drifts if the driver chooses “dynamic” mode in the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system and sets the Stabilization Control ESC to “Sport”. The ESC intervenes reliably at the limit. The electromechanical power steering is completely free of torque steer and enables precise handling. The Audi R8 V10 RWS rolls standard on black-finished, 19-inch, cast aluminum wheels in a five-spoke V-design, with 245/35 tires up front and 295/35 at the rear.

The Audi R8 V10 RWS will be available for order in Germany and other european countries from autumn 2017, and from the beginning of 2018 the first units will hit the streets.The Coupé starts at 140,000 euros, the Spyder at 153,000 euros.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: