The Audi R8 RWS is back! Well, not quite. The new rear-wheel drive version of the facelifted second-gen R8 has the much more straightforward name of ‘V10 RWD’, and it isn’t production limited. As a reminder, only 999 examples of the RWS were made available.
There is a small catch, though. Go for the RWD over a regular R8 V10, and you are going to have to accept a drop in power. While the entry-level R8 received a bump to 562bhp with its facelift, the RWD is no more powerful than the pre-update car. But still, 533bhp is - we’d argue - plenty. It’s enough to get the R8 RWD from 0-62 in 3.7 seconds, on to a top speed of 198mph.
As with the RWS, it’ll be hard to tell apart from its all-wheel drive brother. But look carefully, and there are some giveaways. The upper sideblade is gloss black, while the lower one is finished in body colour. The front splitter, side skirt inserts and rear diffuser are all painted in gloss black too.
Inside, there’s a more obvious clue, in the form of a big ‘RWD’ logo slapped on the dashboard in front of the passenger. Speaking of which, the R8 RWD gets two special Alcantara-clad sports seats.
Given that the RWD is missing a centre diff and some prop shafts, it is slightly lighter relative to the standard model. You’re looking at a weight drop of 65kg for the coupe, and 55kg for the Spyder. Each is still on the porky side though - the dry weights for the coupe and Spyder are 1595 and 1695kg respectively.
UK orders should open January 2020, with the first customer cars delivered in March. There’s no word on prices yet, but if it’s to follow in the footsteps of the RWS, it’ll become the cheapest version of the R8, sitting just under the £128,200 V10 model.
The RWD isn’t the only new R8 revealed by Audi today - it was unveiled alongside an updated version of the R8 GT4 customer racing car (above). This had us wondering - will any particularly well-heeled gentlemen racing drivers out there buy both?