The cosmetic tweaks make it about $40,000 more expensive than the regular rear-wheel-drive supercar.
Audi unveiled the R8 RWD for the US market nearly two months ago, and now we get to find out the first batch of cars will be part of a Panther Edition. Limited to 30 examples, all of which will be coupes, the special version of the Quattro-less supercar comes painted in any color you want so long it’s black. It’s not a basic black shade like on Henry Ford’s Model T, but a fancy Audi Exclusive hue called Panther Black crystal effect paint.
There’s more to the R8 RWD Panther Edition than its dark body paint as Audi has spruced up its naturally aspirated machine with red accents for the otherwise matte black 20-inch milled wheels. The contrasting color continues on the inside for the stitching and Crimson Red Nappa leather upholstery. Even the fancy floor mats have a red edging, while everything else comes in black or carbon fiber.
Gallery: 2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition
Being a special variant, it’s no wonder the R8 RWD Panther Edition comes loaded with standard features. It gets everything from a sport exhaust to illuminated door sill inlays, not to mention the carbon fiber exterior package. Buyers are also rewarded with a 13-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and full LED headlights and taillights with dynamic turn signals.
All these goodies come at a price, though. At $183,300, the R8 RWD Panther Edition will set you back an extra $40,600 over a base R8 RWD. In other words, it’s priced between the $169,900 V10 and the $195,900 V10 Performance models, which have more power and all-wheel drive. The premium over an entry-level R8 would get you an S3 Sedan before options.
Like the regular R8 RWD, the Panther Edition uses a 5.2-liter FSI dialed down to 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The turbo-less Ingolstadt muscle is channeled to the rear axle to enable a 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a respectable top speed of 201 mph.