Audi Sport is baying for AMG blood with its first full-series production RWD R8.
A rear-wheel-drive Audi R8 doesn't exactly seem like new news. After all, the R8 RWS (Rear Wheel Series) was launched at the beginning of 2018. But that was a limited production model, and only 999 units were produced worldwide in both Coupe and Spyder guise, of which only 320 units made their way to the United States.
Those that weren't able to get their hands on $139,950 rear-wheel-drive machine are in luck, though, as Audi has now unveiled the full series-production equivalent, simply dubbed the Audi R8 V10 RWD.
At the heart of the R8 V10 RWD is the same 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine we've come to know and love. In this iteration, it develops 533 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque - exactly the same as the R8 RWS produced - sending outputs to the rear rubber through Audi's seven-speed S tronic gearbox and a mechanical locking differential.
0-62 mph takes 3.7 seconds in Coupe guise and 3.8 seconds for the Spyder variant, while the Coupe will reach a top speed of 198.8 mph and the Spyder a V-max figure of 197.6 mph. Without front driveshafts, the R8 V10 RWD sheds 143 lbs compared to the standard R8 V10 quattro in Coupe form, while the Spyder loses 121 lbs compared to its all-wheel-drive sibling.
While the RWS was based on the pre-facelift R8, the V10 RWD is based on the facelifted version. Available as both a Coupe and a Spyder, the R8 V10 RWD gets some visual differentiation from its quattro-enabled counterparts. The Singleframe grille is broader and flatter, and beneath the hood, you'll see signature slits reminiscent of the original Audi Sport Quattro.
Around back, the rear diffuser and massive twin oval tailpipes have moved higher up, while the sideblades of the new model, much like the R8 RWS, are body-colored over the side intakes and are finished in Mythos Black behind the B-pillar. More black elements can be added through the extended black styling package. Additionally, a new exterior color has been made available, Kemora Gray. Model-specific 19-inch alloys fill the arches, with optional 20-inch items also available.
Inside, Audi has given the R8 V10 RWD some extra differentiation from regular R8 models. The standard sports seats are clad in leather and Alcantara, and the dash ahead of the passenger is adorned with a shiny "RWD" badge.
At the time of writing, US pricing has not yet been announced, but like the limited R8 RWS, we expect the V10 RWD to undercut the more powerful AWD models by around $25,000.