Rejoice, oh purists, the Audi R8 with rear-wheel-drive is making a comeback with a power boost and a new Performance badge for some rear-wheel-drive.
Available in Coupé and Spyder body configurations, the new base model Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD houses a mid-mounted 5.2-litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine with 419 kW and 550 Nm channelled entirely to the rear axle via a 7-speed S tronic transmission.
For comparison, the R8 V10 Quattro features the same engine but with more power at 449 kW and 560 Nm.
Both the coupé and spyder models accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and 3.8 seconds respectively. The coupé will top out at 329 km/h while the spyder’s top speed is capped at 327 km/h.
For some weight-saving measures, Audi has used carbon fibre-reinforced plastic for larger parts of the new R8 RWD. Available for the first time in the R8 is the Dynamic steering system for enhanced direct steering input as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential.
It rides on extra-light 19” and 20” aluminium cast wheels as standard while 245/30/R20 for the front axle and 305/30R20 for the rear can be had as options. The braking prowess comes courtesy of an 18” high-performance steel braking system but 19” ceramics can be fitted at an added charge.
The new Audi R8 RWD retains its Quattro counterpart’s design cues such as a broad, flat Singleframe radiator grille finished in matte black, large air intakes, front splitter, rear air outlet plus oval tailpipes. Apart from the 10 colour options that it is available in, Audi has added the Ascari Blue Metallic that was only available for the Quattro model.
As part of the ‘R8 Performance’ design package, the interior is equipped with black Alcantara leather, contrast stitching in Mercato Blue and decorative carbon inlays.
The R8 V10 performance RWD is built at the Böllinger Höfe plant in Germany where the LMS GT4 racecar is built.
In Germany, the base price for the Coupé is €149,000 and €162,000 that translates to roughly R2,575,865 and R2,800,605 at the current exchange rate.