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  • A rear-wheel-drive version of the Audi R8 supercar is now a permanent part of the lineup.
  • Audi initially launched this configuration as the RWS special edition. Only 999 units of that model were built.
  • The company won’t confirm the R8 RWD for the U.S. market yet, but we think it will be sold here eventually.

In 2017, Audi launched the R8 RWS, a rear-wheel-drive version of the company’s flagship supercar. Other than that model, the R8 had only been sold in production form as an all-wheel-drive vehicle. The RWS was a limited production model—just 999 were built, and only 320 of them came to the U.S. Apparently it was such a hit that Audi is now making the rear-wheel-drive R8 a standard part of the car’s lineup.

Like the RWS, the 2020 Audi R8 RWD is basically identical to the normal car, except there’s no driveshaft or differential sending power to the front wheels. As such, the RWD model is 143 pounds lighter than the Quattro version, coming in at a claimed 3516 pounds. Behind the driver sits the same naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 engine, making 532 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque. It sends power to a mechanical limited-slip differential out back through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Audi quotes a 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph.

Audi R8 RWD coupe and spyder


For the first time, Audi will also offer the R8 Spyder in rear-wheel-drive guise. It’s 121 pounds lighter than the all-wheel-drive droptop, and gets all the same looks and that spectacular powertrain. It can get to 62 mph in a claimed 3.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 197 mph.

An Audi spokesperson told C/D the R8 RWD has yet to be confirmed for America, but considering U.S.-cycle mpg ratings for the car are listed in the press release and the RWS was sold here, we’re confident it’ll make its way stateside. When it’ll get here and how much it’ll cost has yet to be determined.

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