Audi has revealed a new lightweight variant of its R8 V10 supercar, with the traditional quattro all-wheel-drive system turfed in favour of a new rear-wheel-drive setup that takes its inspiration from Audi Sport’s R8 LMS race car.
The new R8 V10 RWS (denoting rear-wheel standard drive) was unveiled in Germany on the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show and is set to be introduced as a limited edition variant with just 999 examples of both coupe and open-top Spyder body styles planned. Australian customers will have the opportunity to put their hand up for one of the RWS series, with order books opening later this year ahead of a 2018 introduction.
“The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists - a limited edition model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment. With a V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the street,” Audi Sport CEO, Stephan Winkelmann said.
The R8 V10 RWS will retain the same 397kW/540Nm naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre V10 petrol as its all wheel drive R8 counterpart.
Thanks to the removal of the front propeller shaft and front axle driveshafts the R8 V10 RWS sheds 50kg compared to the all-paw version, resulting in a 1590kg kerb weight and improving the power to weight rations to 4.0kg per kW next to the quattro model’s 1640kg weight and 4.1kg per kW stats.
Although the new variant is lighter the lack of mechanical grip sees the RWS coupe fall behind the R8 V10 quattro in outright acceleration, taking 3.7 seconds to bolt from 0-100 km/h putting it 0.1 seconds behind the all wheel drive coupe. Top speed is unchanged however, with the potential to hit a claimed 320km/h.
The in convertible Sypder guise the R8 V10 RWS gains an extra 90kg compared to the coupe, slowing 0-100km/h acceleration to 3.8sec with top speed slightly slower at 318km/h.
To better suit the handling characteristics of the rear-driven chassis Audi Sport has tweaked the setup slightly to help counter the 41:59 front to rear weight balance of the RWS model. Also included are standard 19-inch cast aluminium wheels shod with 245/35 tyres at the front and 295/35 tyres at the rear.
To help set the R8 V10 RWS apart from the R8 V10 quattro, the styling has been massaged slightly with a new matt black grille insert and front air vents up front, gloss black for the upper side blade and body colour for the lower section, and an available stripe package that adds red stripes to the bonnet, roof and rear in the coupe.
Inside, the rear-wheel drive model comes with standard sport seats in leather and Alcantara. It also receives an emblem denoting its build number.
In Germany, the R8 V10 RWS is priced at €140,000 for the coupe (€26,000 less than the standard R8 V10) and €153,300 for the Spyder. Australian pricing is yet to be announced.
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