Audi R8 goes rear-wheel drive

German mid-engined supercar ditches the front drive shaft in a similar way its Italian Lamborghini Huracan relative did.

Is there a trend forming?

Probably, if we’re talking about the Volkswagen Group and its numerous brand members. What you see here in official pictures is the Audi R8 RWS which is making its world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show this week.

Standing for rear-wheel standard drive, the RWS is the third model in lineup with the other two including the V10 and V10 Plus, both will Quattro all-wheel-drive. Note the distinctive stripes on the exterior of the RWS.

Stephan Winkelmann, head of the newly established Audi Sport and former head honcho of Lamborghini, stressed that the R8 RWS has been designed for purists and reflects that of the R8 LMS racer.

The Lamborghini Huracan, the relative of the R8 sharing the same basic structure and V10 engine, has already gone rear-wheel-drive in the guise of the LP580-2.

Does it get a manual gearbox?

Oh no. The RWS maintains the same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic (just like in the LP580-2) but comes with a driving mode called Dynamic to allow the driver to undertake controlled drifts.

The 540hp of power in the RWS is the same as in the regular V10 (the V10 Plus has 610hp). But despite being 50kg lighter overall, the RWS is still 0.2sec slower, at 3.7sec, from 0-100kph.

And against the LP580-2, which has 580hp from the same 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10, the RWS is 0.3sec slower when performing that acceleration time.

But the Lambo is dearer in price…

First deliveries of the RWS for markets outside Germany are slated for early 2018 and only 999 units (which also includes the open-top Spyder model) will be made globally.

The RWS in coupe form should cost around two million baht less than the regular four-wheel-drive V10, which currently retails at 18.999 million baht. And yes, the LP580-2 is more expensive than the RWS which asks for 22.5 million baht.

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