Rear-Wheel-Drive Audi R8 Is Now a Normal Part of the Car's Lineup

The drifty R8 is back, and this time, it's not a limited-run special edition.

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Audi

In 2017, Audi launched the R8 RWS. It was a rear-wheel-drive version of the company's flagship supercar which, up until then, 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. Well, it was such a hit, that Audi is now making the rear-wheel-drive R8 a standard part of the car's lineup, the automaker announced today.

Like the RWS, the 2020 Audi R8 RWD is basically identical to the normal car, except there's no driveshaft, differential, or axles sending power to the front wheels. Because those parts aren't needed, the RWD model is 143 pounds lighter than the Quattro version, coming in at a total of 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 the car's familiar seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Audi quotes a 0-62 mph time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 198 mph.

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 version, and gets all the same looks and that spectacular powertrain. It can get to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, and hit a top speed of 197 mph.

An Audi Spokesperson told Road & Track 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.

If it provides the same bang for your buck as the RWS, we can definitely see the new rear-drive R8 being a hit.

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