Audi is adding a rear-wheel drive variant to its R8 line-up for the very first time.
The German brand did in fact reveal a rear-driven R8 at the beginning of 2018, but that was only as a limited-edition model.
The new R8 V10 RWD, on the other hand, which will come in both Coupé and Spyder guises, is set to become a permanent fixture in the R8 range.
It also incorporates a number of design changes in comparison to last year’s limited series model, which was called the “R8 V10 RWS”.
Most noticeably, the new V10 RWD gets a broader and flatter ‘Singleframe’ grille. Likewise, the air inlets, the front splitter and in particular the air outlet grille at the rear, have become broader too. The diffuser, which is flanked by two oval tailpipes, has also been moved further upward.
In the engine compartment, which houses a 5.2 FSI V10 delivering 532 bhp and 398 lb-ft of torque, the air filter is situated under a new cover that is available in a choice of either plastic or carbon-fibre.
Rolling as standard on black 19-inch forged wheels, the Coupé weighs 1,595 kg – the omission of the propeller shaft, the quattro multi-plate clutches and front axle differential make the V10 RWD around 65 kg lighter than the standard R8 quattro model; the Spyder version, meanwhile, weighing 1,695 kg, is 55 kg lighter than the R8 Spyder V10 quattro.
To be produced, largely by hand, at the company’s “Böllinger Höfe” production facility in Neckarsulm, the V10 RWD is scheduled to be introduced in Europe at the beginning of next year.
Additionally in 2020, Audi Sport will be introducing a “near-production-level” R8 LMS GT4 racing car (see video below) that also features rear-wheel drive, as well as a new exterior design and noticeable optimisations in terms of vehicle dynamics.