From special series to standard range: The Audi R8 V10 with rear-wheel drive (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.1–12.9 (18.0–18.2 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 293–299 (471.5–481.2 g/mi)) is advancing to a permanent model. In this context, its exterior is being redesigned to make it even more striking: It will be fitted with the same new features as the R8 V10 quattro models**. The V10 mid-engine, which delivers 397 kW (540 PS) here, and the rear-wheel drive offer a puristic kind of driving pleasure. The near-production-level Audi R8 LMS GT4 racing car, which also features rear-wheel drive, is being released at the same time, with a new design and noticeable optimizations in terms of vehicle dynamics. The customer sport racing car for the international GT4 category will offer private drivers even more precise adjustment options in the future.
“We launched a limited series of the Audi R8 V10 RWS** at the beginning of 2018,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8-LMS racing car, and the special dynamics sparked our customers’ enthusiasm right away. Now it will become part of the R8 family as a separate model, the R8 V10 RWD**. And we are giving it the same sharp look with which we designed the new R8 quattro models. At the same time as we are releasing the series production model, we are also offering the R8 LMS GT4 racing car with a new look.”
The design of the R8 V10 RWD
The new design features perfectly highlight the dynamics of the Audi R8 V10 RWD**, which is available as a Coupé and Spyder. The Singleframe is broader and flatter, and the slits below the hood are reminiscent of the brand’s icon, the Audi Sport quattro.
The air inlets, the front splitter and in particular the air outlet grille at the rear have become broader. The diffuser, which is flanked by two oval tailpipes, has moved further upward. In the engine compartment, the air filter is situated under a new cover, which is available in a choice of plastic or carbon fiber.
The sideblades of the R8 V10 RWD** hint at the model’s special status: The top blade is designed in glossy mythos black, while the bottom blade is painted in the color of the vehicle. The front blade, the side sill inserts and the diffuser are painted in gloss black as standard. The carbon styling package and, for the Spyder, an extended black styling package are available as an alternative. Kemora gray has been added to the color chart. As an option, the Audi rings and logo are painted in high-gloss black. Inside, the driver and passenger sit in sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara. A shiny badge with the “RWD” logo is fitted across from the front passenger.
The heart of the Audi R8 V10 RWD** high-performance sports car beats behind the passenger cell. The naturally aspirated V10 inspires pure fascination, with an incomparable sound, lightning-fast response and immense torque. The 5.2 FSI delivers 397 kW (540 PS) and at 6,500 rpm, it achieves a maximum torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) that is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic and a mechanical locking differential.
The R8 V10 RWD Coupé (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9 (18.2 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km:293–294 (471.5–473.1 g/mi)) catapults itself and the driver from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds, and its propulsion ends at 320 km/h (198.8 mph). The values for the Spyder (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.1 (18.0 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–299 (479.6–481.2 g/mi) are 3.8 seconds and 318 km/h (197.6 mph).
The rear-wheel drive of the R8 V10 RWD** provides a very special kind of driving pleasure. If sport mode is activated in connection with the Electronic Stabilization Control ESC, the suspension setup and control system even allow controlled drifting. The power steering ensures intense contact with the road. The Audi R8 V10 RWD** rolls standard on black 19-inch forged wheels with 245/35 tires up front and 295/35 tires at the rear. 20-inch wheels and sport tires are also available; they improve the dynamics, grip and deceleration under high loads and requirements even further.
The axle load distribution is 40:60. The Coupé (empty and without the driver) weighs just 1,595 kilograms (3,516 lb) – the omission of the propeller shaft, the quattro multi-plate clutches and front axle differential make the R8 V10 RWD** around 65 kilograms (143 lb) lighter than the R8 quattro model. Weighing 1,695 kilograms (3,737 lb), the R8 Spyder V10 RDW** is 55 kg (121 lb) lighter than the R8 Spyder V10 quattro**. Like all R8 models, it features an Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made of aluminum and large parts of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).
The R8 V10 RWD** is produced, largely by hand, at the “Böllinger Höfe” production facility at the Audi location in Neckarsulm. The high-performance sports car with rear-wheel drive will be introduced on the European markets at the beginning of 2020; the base price for the Coupé in Germany will be EUR 144,000. The Spyder will start at EUR 157,000.
The GT4 race car, which is directly derived from the production model with about 60 percent carry-over parts and, like the road-going version, is being produced at Böllinger Höfe at the Neckarsulm location is exclusively intended for privateer drivers. Since 2018, the previous model has clinched as many as 17 titles worldwide in racing, and now the freshly refined version has arrived. With visual cues taken directly from the production model, the new race car impresses with driving dynamics having been enhanced once again. The 5.2-liter V10 engine, delivering up to 364 kW (495 hp) as specified by the regulations, powers the race car via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Two innovations make it easier for drivers to battle for points and trophies even in challenging conditions. For the first time, the ABS braking and TC traction control systems can be precisely adjusted. The program characteristics allow for eight different settings, respectively, which the driver can individually select, depending on weather, track conditions and tire grip, etc. in racing. For this purpose, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is equipped with the steering wheel of the GT2 racing version. The two rotary switches for ABS and TC are centrally located in the steering wheel, directly within the drivers’ view. This allows them to immediately respond to new challenges and to configure their personal setup of both systems while keeping their eyes focused on the race track. As most GT4 racing series prescribe driver changes, individual preferences can be easily and accurately selected before and after the pit stop. With these enhanced setup options, the drivers of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 are now even more competitive. Currently, there are 27 fielding opportunities in America, Asia, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Most of them exist in full-season championships, but also in stand-alone events such as the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Dubai. The Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup in Europe and the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup with rounds in Asia and Australia offer entrants the opportunity to compete against each other in identical cars. In the remainder of the events, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is pitted against the competition of up to eleven models from other manufacturers. Fields of 40 entrants and more are not uncommon in GT4 racing.