Audi unveils the 2020 rear-wheel drive R8 as a permanent member of the line-up
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A couple of years ago, Audi pulled the covers off a limited-run rear-wheel drive version of their R8 supercar, and it was called the R8 RWS (Rear Wheel Series), of which only 999 were built.
Those rear-wheel drive R8s must have sold like hotcakes, as Audi has decided to bring the car back, and has added it to the standard line-up as well as giving it a much more logical name.
Not ones to stick with old designs, Audi has hit the R8 RWD with an array of exterior updates that set it apart from the regular version. These include an updated front splitter, air inlets, and a larger rear air outlet.
It's possible to differentiate this rear-wheel drive version from the standard version thanks to the iconic sideblades, where only the top ones are painted black, while the lower ones match the rest of the car.
Just like the RWS, the 2020 R8 RWD shares everything with the standard all-wheel drive car apart from the driveshaft, differential, and axles up front. This makes it 64kg lighter than the Quattro model.
Power comes from the familiar 5.2-litre V10 engine that was also in the RWS model. This pumps out 397kW 540Nm of torque which is sent to the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission and a mechanical locking diff. This makes for a 0-100km/h time of 3.7 seconds.
For the first time ever, the R8 Spyder will be offered in a rear-wheel drive configuration, but is 100kg heavier and 0.1 seconds slower to 100km/h than the coupe.
As you would expect, the 2020 R8 RWD is priced a little cheaper than the Quattro model in other markets around the world, but New Zealand pricing and availability hasn't been confirmed yet.