This is one of those times when a carmaker decides to limit a model only to realize later that they probably shouldn’t have done that. In 2017, Audi revealed a rear-wheel-drive R8 V10 RWS as a limited edition model. It is now a separate model because according to Oliver Hoffmann, MD of Audi Sport, “It’s a rear-wheel-drive derived from the R8-LMS racing car, and the special dynamics sparked our customers’ enthusiasm right away.”
Along with the R8 V10 RWD Coupé and Spyder models, Audi also revealed the 2020 R8 LMS GT4 race car. As for the aforementioned road cars, the design has been sharpened up with the new signature slits just above the main grille. If you remember, that design feature made its debut with the 2019 A1 Sportback. Those Y shapes at the front make you wonder if someone from the Lamborghini design team joined the Audi’s, but then you realize they’re a family after all.
At the rear, there’s a new diffuser insert and oval tailpipes. As standard, the R8 V10 RWD models get 19-inch forged wheels in black, shod with 245/35 tires up front and 295/35 tires at the rear. 20-inch wheels and sport tires are also available.
Buyers can go for the carbon styling package and, for the Spyder, an extended black styling package. Kemora gray has been added to the color chart. As an option, the Audi rings and logo can be painted in high-gloss black.
The construction features an Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made of aluminum and large parts of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). Audi says that the RWD Coupé (empty and without the driver) weighs 1,595 kg (3,516 lbs), which is around 65 kg (143 lbs) lighter than the quattro model, thanks to the omission of the propeller shaft, the quattro multi-plate clutches and front axle differential. Weighing 1,695 kg (3,737 lbs), the RWD Spyder is 55 kg (121 lbs) lighter than the R8 V10 Spyder quattro. The axle load distribution is 40:60.
The interior looks pretty much similar to the R8 V10 RWS. The driver and passenger get sport seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara. The dashboard on the passenger side gets a shiny new RWD badge.
The Spyder’s example here looks a lot more interesting with red contrast stitching and body-colored touches on the air vents. Also, notice the quilted upholstery on the seats.
As for the business end, both models are powered by a 5.2-litre (5,204 cc) naturally aspirated V10 motor that puts out 397 kW (540 PS) and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed S tronic transmission and a mechanical locking differential.
The R8 V10 RWD Coupé is claimed to catapult from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph). The Spyder takes 0.1 seconds more and its top speed is 318 km/h (197.6 mph).
When Sport mode is activated with Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the suspension setup and control systems allow controlled drifting, Audi said.
Market launch for European markets will begin early 2020. The base price for the Coupé in Germany will be €144,000 while the Spyder will start at €157,000.