For the first time in its history Audi is about to release a rear-wheel drive sports car, and we might need to sit down because it’s a rear-driven R8. Oh yes, boys and girls, it’s the R8 we’ve all been waiting for. Almost, anyway (it’s not manual).
The R8 RWS, which stands for Rear Wheel Series, is a lighter, more exciting and trickier version of the famous V10 supercar, whipping 50kg out from underneath the coupe by ditching the drive to the front axle. There’s also a Spider that’s 40kg lighter than the four-wheel drive car.
We know what you’re thinking, and yes; it will drift, even if you have fingers of butter and fists of ham. About 60 per cent of the weight sits over the rear axle and, when you flick to Dynamic driving mode and Sport ESC mode, you can prod the rear end sideways and enjoy what Audi calls, in wonderfully German phrasing, “particularly entertaining driving…”
In the engine bay there’s the 5.2-litre V10 we know and adore. It fires 533bhp at the 295/35 rear tyres and is good for sprints of 3,7 seconds and 3.8 seconds to 62mph, for the coupe and Spider respectively. Top speed is 198mph for the hard-top, and 197mph for the Spider.
Just 999 will be made, and we get the feeling that Audi will probably sell that allocation by the time you wake up tomorrow morning. This is, basically, a more affordable and slightly detuned Lamborghini Huracan 580-2, after all. With ex-Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann at Audi’s helm, should we be surprised?
The price ladder starts at £110,000, but the options list will be as long as the Old Testament and as expensive as Trump’s wall. At least the special ‘# of 999’ interior plaque comes for free. The RWS car will be built on the standard R8 production line.