THE first ever rear-wheel drive Audi R8 V10 models will grace UK streets later this month.
They come in the shape of the new R8 Rear Wheel Series and as a special edition the run will be limited to 999 examples.
Priced from £112,450 as a Coupe and £121,140 for the Spyder, the newcomers are 50kg lighter than the R8 Coupe V10 (Spyder 40kg).
Performance figures see the 0-62mph sprint dispatched in just 3.7 seconds (Spyder 3.8 secs) and the Audi’s top speed potential is 198mph.
The mid-mounted V10 engine, which is now one of the last naturally aspirated powerplants in the segment, produces 540PS and Combined fuel economy in the R8 Coupe V10 RWS amounts to 22.8mpg, corresponding to 283g/km of CO2. For the Spyder, the figures are 22.4mpg and 286g/km.
Audi says the new limited edition models are appreciably lighter – 110.2lbs to be precise – than the R8 Coupé with all-wheel drive, which needs additional components like the propshaft, multi-plate clutch and centre differential.
And while the chassis and handling have been specially adapted for rear-wheel drive, the power steering is free of torque steer.
The chassis set-up and control systems allow controlled drifts if the driver chooses Dynamic mode in the Audi drive select and sets the ESC to Sport.
As for stand-out style features, the new R8 variant has a matt black grille and air apertures at the front and rear of the car.
The upper sideblade of the coupe is finished in gloss black, with the lower blade in body colour and, similar to the R8 LMS GT 4, a red Audi Sport decal running over the bonnet, roof and over the rear spoiler is an option.
Inside, the driver and passenger sit in heated leather and Alcantara sports seats and the dashboard bears an emblem “1 of 999” indicating the limited number of units.
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.
Standard kit mirrors that of the R8 V10 quattro, featuring all-LED headlights and LED rear lights with dynamic indicators as well as the Audi Virtual Cockpit, the high-definition Audi Sound System, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch and a suite of Audi connect Infotainment services.
Audi Sport is also offering owners the opportunity for full personalisation, with a gloss carbon finish extending to the mirror housings, front spoiler lip and engine bay, while the Audi exclusive programme can also be added to the interior to ensure that no two R8s are the same.
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.