Audi has brought back the rear-wheel-drive R8, this time making it a permanent fixture in its sports car line-up.
The previous generation’s rear-driven R8, dubbed RWS, was a limited run model, but this new version, badged RWD, will be available to all buyers alongside the usual all-wheel-drive variants.
Sporting the same mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 engine, the R8 RWD makes 532bhp and 540Nm of torque, feeding power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission.
Available in both Coupe and convertible Spyder body shapes, the R8 RWD gets a few styling tweaks to make it stand out from AWD versions, such as a wider, flatter front grille, bigger intakes and air outlets, and a higher rear diffuser.
The 0-60mph sprint takes 3.5 seconds in the coupe and 3.6 in the convertible, with top speeds of 198 and 197mph respectively. The coupe is fractionally eco-friendlier, though both models register fuel economy just below 22mpg and CO2 emissions weighing under 300g/km.
Oliver Hoffmann, Audi Sport managing director, said: “We launched a limited series of the Audi R8 V10 RWS at the beginning of 2018.
“Its rear-wheel-drive is 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.”
Audi also launched its entry-level racing car, also based on the supercar. The R8 LMS GT4 is said to feature about 60% of the road car’s parts, with specific engine tuning for GT4 competition, weight saving measures and extra performance parts fitted.