Audi is extending the current R8 range with a new version, dedicated to those who really love performance. Audi Sport is acknowledging that performance car enthusiasts have personal preferences when it comes to the way their power is transmitted to the tarmac by bolstering the acclaimed R8 range with the limited edition R8 Rear Wheel Series.
Priced from £112,450, the new R8 Rear Wheel Series (RWS) has been available to order in the UK as a Coupe or Spyder since September, and first deliveries of UK examples, which are all built almost exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe Audi Sport facility, will commence in March.
The mid-mounted V10 engine, which is now one of the last naturally aspirated powerplants in the segment, produces 540PS and peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. Enough to reach the 0-62mph sprint in just 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds) and so the pace has a v-max of 198mph (Spyder: 197mph).
Combined fuel economy in the R8 Coupé V10 RWS amounts to 22.8mpg, corresponding to 283 grams of CO2 per kilometre. For the Spyder, these figures are 22.4mpg and 286 grams of CO2 per kilometre.
The Coupé weighs 1,590 kilograms (without driver), 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than the R8 Coupé with all-wheel drive which needs additional components like the propshaft, multi-plate clutch and centre differential.
The Spyder is 40 kilograms lighter than the R8 Spyder V10, weighing in at 1,680 kilograms (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 particularly entertaining driving.
The Audi R8 V10 RWS is fitted as standard with black-finished, 19-inch, cast aluminium wheels in a five-spoke V-design that are exclusive to the model, with 245/35 tyres up front and 295/35 at the rear. As an alternative, optional 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels in either matt titanium or gloss anthracite black are shod with 245/30 front tyres and 305/30 rears.
For the R8 Spyder RWS, a fully automated hood that retracts in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph can be finished in black, red or brown, contrasting with the seven paint finishes, or even one of the 50 hues in the Audi exclusive palette.