The uniquely rear-driven Audi R8 Rear Wheel Series struck a chord with supercar traditionalists during its limited production run in 2018, and now the concept is to be permanently reinstated in the range with a new look and a new name. The Audi R8 V10 RWD features a 540PS version of the much loved naturally aspirated V10, and uses the latest generation R8 as its basis from a design and technology perspective. It combines all that model’s well documented attributes with rear-drive handling characteristics delivered by a mechanical rear differential and an intelligent stabilisation control system that allows controlled drifting for drivers who occasionally have a circuit to hand.
Those who see a chequered flag on a rather more regular basis are also now catered for by the near-production-level Audi R8 LMS GT4, the customer sport racing car for the international GT4 category which also features rear-wheel drive and is being released at the same time with a new design and optimised vehicle dynamics.
“We launched a limited series of the Audi R8 V10 RWS at the beginning of 2018,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8-LMS racing car, and the special dynamics sparked our customers’ enthusiasm right away. Now it will become part of the R8 family as a separate model, the R8 V10 RWD. And we are giving it the same sharp look as the new R8 quattro models. At the same time as we are releasing the series production model, we are also offering the R8 LMS GT4 racing car with a new look.”
The new design features perfectly highlight the dynamics of the Audi R8 V10 RWD, which is available as a Coupé and Spyder. The Singleframe is broader and flatter, and the slits below the bonnet are reminiscent of the brand’s icon, the Audi Sport quattro. The air inlets, the front splitter and in particular the air outlet grille at the rear have become broader. The diffuser, which is flanked by two oval tailpipes, has moved further upwards. In the engine compartment, the air filter is situated under a new cover, which is available in carbon fibre. The sideblades of the R8 V10 RWD hint at the model’s special status: The top blade is designed in glossy mythos black, while the bottom blade is painted in the colour of the vehicle. The front blade, the side sill inserts and the diffuser are painted in gloss black as standard. The new colour Kemora grey has also been added to the palette of exterior finishes. Inside, the driver and passenger sit in sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara – ahead of the passenger an inset RWD logo denotes this model’s special status.
The heart of the Audi R8 V10 RWD high-performance sports car beats behind the passenger cell. The naturally aspirated V10 delivers lightning-fast response and immense torque to the tune of an incomparable soundtrack. The 5.2 FSI delivers 540PS, and at 6,500 rpm achieves peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) that is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic and a mechanical locking differential.
The R8 V10 RWD Coupé (combined fuel consumption 21.8 mpg; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 293–294) catapults from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and powers on to a 198mph maximum speed.
The values for the Spyder (combined fuel consumption 21.5 mpg; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–299 are 3.8 seconds and 197mph.