Is the Audi R8 about to go rear-wheel drive?

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The company has shared a video of a new variant of the R8, likely to be the R8 Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) variant. Audi revealed the vehicle today on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show. "With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing auto to the streets". The vehicle still uses the 5.2-liter V10 making 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. It is strictly limited to 999 units in both Coupe and Spyder varients. Without the pieces for the quattro system (propshaft, multi-plate clutch, and center differential), the coupe weighs 110 pounds less than its AWD sibling and the Spyder weighs 88 pounds less.

And exclusive is the name of the game: although Audi will offer the R8 RWS in coupe and convertible Spyder forms, just 999 cars will be built in total. The combination of Dynamic mode and Sport ESC now allows the driver to produce controlled drifts.

Onlookers will have visual cues to tell that they have spotted a rear-drive R8. The upper sideblade of the Coupé is also finished in gloss black while the lower blade is finished in body color. The vehicle comes with black-finished 19-inch aluminum wheels in a five-spoke V-design, with 245/35 section tires up front and 295/35 out back. Optionally, a red film running from front to rear is available to emulate the R8 LMS GT 4. Audi will offer a bucket seat option as well.

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Short for Rear Wheel Series, the R8 RWS comes with the same 533bhp 5.2-litre mid-mounted naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) V10 engine fitted to the standard R8.

There will only be 999 R8 RWS Coupes and Spyders built, with deliveries starting to the USA in 2018. Pricing hasn't been announced for the US market yet, but expect it to be a significant undercut to our quattro version here as well.

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