THE first ever series-production rear wheel drive Audi ever built is headed for Australia, with the 2018 Audi R8 RWS (rear wheel series) set to bring thrilling driving dynamics, and a $299,500 starting price, with the limited edition model set to arrive in April.
Limited to just 999 vehicles worldwide, and following the recent success of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 in claiming the brand’s third Bathurst 12 Hour victory last weekend, the Audi R8 RWS is sure to get snapped up very quickly.
“The Audi R8 RWS is such an exciting car for us because it’s the very first rear-wheel-drive production car ever built by Audi. As a brand famous for quattro, or all-wheel-drive, this was a huge but exciting move for our brand in once again demonstrating our Vorsprung, or progressiveness, to consumers,” Audi Australia Managing Director Paul Sansom said.
“There’s no doubt that we are showing off our Audi Sport credentials in the very best way – offering driving thrills of the highest level, at an incredibly sharp price point, even if that means a brief departure from our famous quattro technology.”
The R8 road car shares 50 percent of components with the R8 LMS, which is rear-wheel drive due to GT3 racing regulations, and is powered by the same iconic, high-revving, 5.2-litre V10 FSI engine, producing 397kW and 540Nm.
Mated to a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, the R8 RWS accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in just 3.7 seconds (Coupe), on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 320km/h (Coupe).
Built using the Audi Space Frame with lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium construction, the R8 RWS makes full use of its low centre of gravity, mid-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive characteristics for a driving experience aimed squarely at purists.
Individually numbered from 1 to 999, the R8 RWS is offered with 19-inch wheels in high-gloss black, five-spoke V design, with eight-piston fixed-caliper brakes and wave discs on the front wheels and four-piston fixed-caliper brakes with wave discs on the rear.
Calipers come in gloss-black and wear the R8 logo, but both larger 20-inch wheels and red brake calipers can be ordered as an option.
With Ibis White paint work as standard and an optional bespoke RWS Audi Sport GT stripe design, the R8 RWS has its own distinctive look.
It features a dual-branch Audi Sport exhaust system with gloss-black tailpipe trims and a lower side blade each in matching body colour, while the upper side blade is finished in contrasting Mythos black.
The Audi Single-frame grille is finished in matt black honeycomb with the Audi Sport badge, while LED headlights and LED daytime running lights are standard, with rear LED lights and dynamic rear indicators.
The R8 RWS boasts a full complement of luxury, connectivity and infotainment appointments in its superbly finished cabin, including MMI navigation, Audi virtual cockpit, DAB+ digital radio, and smart phone integration.
Inside, you will also find two USB ports with charging function, heated R8 sport seats with electrically-control height and backrest adjustment, black Alcantara/leather upholstery and automatic climate controlled air-conditioning.
Door sills feature aluminium inlays and the R8 emblem, while a multi-function, R8 sport flat-bottom leather steering wheel with shift paddles provides the wherewithal to steer the R8 RWS.
The 2018 Audi R8 RWS also comes with parking system plus; including front and rear parking sensors with a rear view camera. The Spyder is priced at $321,000 and all prices quoted are plus on-roads.