The rear-wheel drive 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS is finally here, with less weight too

Article by Christian A., on September 12, 2017

Finally, Audi Sport takes the cover off the R8 V10 RWS at the dawn of 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The long awaited rear-wheel drive R8 is here, and as the newest addition to the supercar's range, the automaker decided to only produce 999 units of the Coupe and the Spyder trims.

For the R8 V10 RWS, Audi had to get rid of the Quattro system to give way to the RWD layout, though the naturally aspirated V10 remains intact. Now, without the Quattro, the R8 loses as much as 50 kilograms (110 pounds) for the fixed roof model, while the droptop only loses 40 kilos (88 pounds). The 5.2 FSI V10 engine is mounted on the middle, where it produces the same 540 horsepower (397 kilowatts) and 540 Newton-metres (398 pound-feet) of torque as the all-wheel drive version of the R8. This is why the RWD version lacks the rear wing of the more powerful Plus model. The R8 is better known for an extreme track day more than just cruising around Beverly Hills.

In terms of performance, the Coupe version can accelerate from a standstill to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in only 3.7 seconds - that makes it two tenths of a second faster than the R8 with the Quattro system. The Spyder, on the other hand, can finish the task in 3.8 seconds, considering that it is slightly heavier. It is still 0.2 seconds faster than its AWD sibling. The R8 Coupe version can still go off to a maximum of 198.8 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour), while the Spyder does it in 197.6 miles per hour (318 kph), same as its Quattro counterpart.

Audi Sport did not just stop after turning the R8 into a rear-wheel drive machine. They also tweaked the vehicle’s chassis and control systems, so that the driver can have more fun behind the wheel, doing controlled drifts. Now, there are more reasons for you to go for the RWS model more than it just its rear-wheel drive setup. Another thing that customers must consider is the decrease in price. The RWS Coupe now starts at €140,000, and the Spyder is at €153,000 in Germany. The coupe is now €26,000 cheaper than the its equivalent Quattro model.

So far, this is the first-ever production and street legal RWD R8 the company has built. Though at some point, there was the R8 LMS but it is considered to be a race car. Customers can begin placing their orders for the R8 V10 RWS in Europe this fall, but we do not know yet if Audi will bring this model to the US.

Press Release

Puristic driving dynamics: the new Audi R8 V10 RWS

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.

“The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. “A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer. With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.”

Matt black design elements, optional films
The puristic character of the new R8 variant is underscored by the matt black grille of the Singleframe and the matt black air apertures at the front and rear of the car. The upper sideblade (of the Coupé) is finished in gloss black, the lower blade in the body color. Similar to the R8 LMS GT 4, the Coupé is available with an optional red film running over the hood, roof and rear end. Inside, the driver and passenger sit in sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara. Bucket seats are available as an option. The dashboard bears an emblem “1 of 999,” indicating the limited number of units.

5.2 FSI engine – one of the last naturally aspirated engines in its segment
The mid-mounted V10 engine of the Audi R8 V10 RWS produces 397 kW (540 hp). It delivers its peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. The 5.2 FSI engine accelerates the Coupé from 0 to 100 km/h (0 – 62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds) and beyond to a top speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph) (Spyder: 318 km/h [197.6 mph]). With the top closed, average fuel consumption of the R8 V10 RWS is 12.4 liters per 100 kilometers (19.0 US mpg), corresponding to 283 grams CO2 per kilometer (455.4 g/mi). With the top open, these figures are 12.6 liters (18.7 US mpg) and 286 grams CO2 per kilometer (460.3 g/mi).

Specially tuned chassis setup allows controlled drifts
The Coupé weights 1,5090 kilograms (3,505.3 lb) (without driver). 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than the R8 Coupé with all-wheel drive which needs additional components like propshaft, multi-plate clutch and center differential. The Spyder is 40 kilograms (88.2 lb) lighter than the R8 Spyder V10, weighing in at 1,680 kilograms (3,703.8 lb) (without driver). The axle load distribution of 40.6:59.4 (Coupé) and 40.4:59.6 (Spyder) together with chassis and handling tuning specially adapted for rear-wheel drive provide for incredibly fun driving.

The chassis setup and control systems allow controlled drifts if the driver chooses “dynamic” mode in the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system and sets the Stabilization Control ESC to “Sport”. The ESC intervenes reliably at the limit. The electromechanical power steering is completely free of torque steer and enables precise handling. The Audi R8 V10 RWS rolls standard on black-finished, 19-inch, cast aluminum wheels in a five-spoke V-design, with 245/35 tires up front and 295/35 at the rear.

The Audi R8 V10 RWS will be available for order in Germany and other european countries from autumn 2017, and from the beginning of 2018 the first units will hit the streets.The Coupé starts at 140,000 euros, the Spyder at 153,000 euros.

Source: Audi

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