If you've been lusting after the 2018 Audi R8 V10, but need the thrill of rear-wheel drive, there's good news from Neckarsulm, Germany. Audi Sport has just announced the R8 RWS, which stands for Rear Wheel Series.
The special supercar will be limited to just 999 units for both coupe and Spyder variants. Audi's new rear-driver will be built exclusively by hand at the Bllinger Hfe R8 factory, alongside its all-wheel-drive siblings. A naturally aspirated 5.2-liter mid-mounted V-10 engine provides 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. The V-10 is mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi claims that the coupe can sprint from 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, while the Spyder can get you there in 3.8 seconds. Top speed for is 198.8 mph for the coupe and 197.6 mph for the drop-top.
"The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists," said Stephan Winkelmann, Audi Sport GmbH CEO, in a statement. "A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer. With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets."
Audi says the specially tuned chassis setup allows controlled drifts with an axle load distribution of 40.6:59.4 for the coupe and 40.4:59.6 for the Spyder. In order to drift, the driver needs to put the R8 in "dynamic" mode and set the stability control to "sport." Audi claims that the electronic stability control kicks in reliably at the limit and the electromechanical power steering is completely free of torque steer.
The R8 RWS coupe weighs in at 3,505 pounds, 110.2 pounds less than its all-wheel-drive sibling, while the RWS Spyder is 88 pounds lighter and weighs in at 3,704 pounds. Both body styles of the new R8 variant get plenty of matte black design elements starting with the grille and the air apertures at the front and rear of the car.
The upper side blade of the coupe is finished in gloss black, while the lower blade is painted to match the body color. It resembles the R8 LMS GT4 and is available with an optional red stripe running over the hood, roof, and rear end.
Inside, the standard sport seats are covered in leather and Alcantara, but a pair of racing bucket seats are offered as an option. On the dashboard, there is a "1 of 999" badge to let your passenger know how rare your new German supercar is.
The 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS will be available for order in Germany and Europe this fall. It will reach the U.S. market in early 2018. U.S. pricing is still unknown, but in Europe, the coupe starts at about $168,500 and the Spyder is priced from $184,150.