Generally when an automaker creates a hardcore version of an existing supercar, it's very easy for anyone on the road to tell because the vehicle sports elements like huge fenders, a big wing, and a gargantuan diffuser. However, Audi bucks this style for the new R8 RWS, which stands for Rear Wheel Series. Unless you know what to look for, the rear-wheel-drive special edition could drive by without any notice. In this video, Audi R8 Product Manager Anthony Garbis helps us identify the RWS' unique parts.
The most obvious tweaks are the gloss black components for the trim. The shiny pieces include the front grille, fascia insert, mirror caps, upper section of the side blades, the grille for the outlet underneath the taillights, and exhaust outlets. The 19-inch wheels are also black and feature five sets of dual spokes that flare outward at the rim. The brake calipers are red and feature R8 branding. It's also possible the coupe wears the optional, asymmetrical red stripe that runs over the driver's side of hood, takes a diagonal jaunt across the roof, and then comes down the passenger side of the rear deck.
Gallery: 2018 Audi R8 RWS: First Drive
The R8 RWS will be a rare sight on the road because Audi will only build 999 of them in total, and 320 will arrive in the United States.
Dumping the all-wheel-drive Quattro system, lets the R8 drop 110 pounds (50 kilograms) over the standard version. A naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 continues to motivate the supercar, and it produces the same 540 horsepower (397 kilowatts) and 398 pound-feet (540 Newton-meters). A seven-speed, dual-clutch is the only available gearbox. The model requires 3.7 seconds to reach 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour), which is actually two tenths slower than the AWD version. The coupe's top speed remains at 198.8 mph (320 kph).
Audi also revises the RWS with tweaks like a stiffer front anti-roll bar, modified dampers, and revised steering. Driving reports suggest the special R8 is very nice to drive.