After last weekend’s teaser video filled with smoky donuts to hint at the imminent arrival of a rear-wheel-drive R8, Audi Sport has introduced today on the dawn of the Frankfurt Motor Show the new R8 V10 RWS. Heralding the Rear Wheel Series, the new addition to the supercar’s range is temporary as only 999 units will be made in both Coupe and Spyder flavors.

While the naturally aspirated V10 stays, the Quattro system had to make way for a pure RWD layout enabling a significant weight loss of 50 kilograms (110 pounds) in the case of the fixed roof whereas the droptop has lost 40 kg (88 lbs). Mounted in the middle, the familiar 5.2 FSI engine produces the same 540 horsepower (397 kilowatts) and 540 Newton-meters (398 pound-feet) of torque as in the regular AWD-equipped R8, hence why the new tail-happy model lacks the rear wing of the beefier Plus model.


Audi R8 V10 RWS
Audi R8 V10 RWS

Go for the Coupe and the sprint to 62 mph (100 kph) will take 3.7 seconds or two tenths of a second more than in the case of the Quattro-fitted R8. Due to being slightly heavier, the Spyder completes the task in 3.8 seconds – also 0.2s more than its AWD brother. As for top speed, the R8 V10 RWS in the Coupe guise will max out at more than 198.8 mph (320 kph), so this number hasn’t changed. It’s the same story with the Spyder as it can do in excess of 197.6 mph (318 kph) like its Quattro pal.

Audi Sport did more than just turn the R8 into a rear-wheel-drive machine as it also fiddled with the chassis and control systems to allow the driver have fun doing controlled drifts. That’s one of the main reasons to go for the newly announced RWS model, right? Well, that and the lower starting price of €140,000 (Spyder is €153,000) in Germany, which is down by a significant €26,000 compared to the equivalent Quattro model.

Audi will open the order books in Europe later this fall. No word just yet about U.S. availability.

Source: Audi

Gallery: Audi R8 V10 RWS

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Puristic driving dynamics: the new Audi R8 V10 RWS

  • First Audi production model with rear wheel-drive as a limited edition
  • 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) lighter than R8 Coupé V10
  • Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director Audi Sport GmbH: “R8 V10 RWS successfully brings driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets”

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.