New rear-wheel drive Audi R8 in the pipeline

Quattro to exit stage left for more sideways action

04 October 2018 - 13:31 By BD Motor News
Audi R8
Audi R8
Image: Audi

There could be another limited-edition rear-wheel drive version of the R8 when the Audi sports car gets a mid-life update next year. In 2017 the brand that prides itself on its quattro all-wheel drive cars built 999 examples of the rear-wheel drive R8 RWS, as a more "purist" car for enthusiast drivers who prefer a bit more sideways action.

They were powered by the same 5.2-litre V10 as used in the quattro, with outputs of 397kW and 540Nm. Performance figures were quoted at 0-100km/h in 3.7 and 3.8-seconds for the Coupe and Spyder respectively, around 0.2 seconds slower than the grippier quattro derivatives.

The updated R8 will feature a restyled front and rear design with a wider grille, new intakes, and large oval exhausts.

This will be the last chance that sports car purists have to buy a petrol-powered R8, as the next-generation car, expected to go on sale in 2022, will be moved along by an electric motor.

The electric R8 is likely to take inspiration from the all new PB18 e-tron concept launched earlier in 2018. It will be fast, with expectations of a near 290km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h sprint in about two seconds, but the charismatic wail of the V10 will be gone.