2019 R8 V10 RWS Now available in the UK, the limited edition R8 V10 RWS introduces the first exclusively rear-driven Audi into the model range…
The UK will shortly see first deliveries of the new R8 Rear Wheel Series (RWS), priced from £112,450 OTR for the Coupé and £121,140 for the Spyder. T Built almost exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe Audi Sport facility and limited to just 999 examples worldwide, the R8 RWS is the first Audi production-model available with only rear wheel-drive.
It is powered by the same mid-mounted engine as the R8 quattro 4S, the 5.2-litre V10 – one of the last naturally-aspirated powerplants in the segment – producing 540 PS at 7800 rpm and peak torque of 540 Nm (398 lb.ft.) at 6500 rpm.
Although lighter, with just two-wheel drive the R8 Coupé V10 RWS is fractionally slower, with acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds), compared with 3.5 seconds for the R8 Coupé V10 quattro and 3.6 seconds for the R8 Spyder V10 quattro 4S-gen. All 540 PS versions have a top speed of 198 mph (Spyder: 197 mph).
Combined fuel economy is given as 22.8 mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 283 g/km for the RWS Coupé, and 22.4mpg and 286 g/km for the RWS Spyder, compared with 22.4 mpg / 287 g/km for the R8 Coupé V10 quattro and 22.1 mpg / 290 g/km for the R8 Spyder V10 quattro.
Devoid of the all-wheel drive system of the conventional R8 models, which need additional components like the propshaft, multi-plate clutch and centre differential, the RWS Coupé weighs just 1590 kg (without driver), some 50 kilograms (110 lb) less than the R8 Coupé V10, while the Spyder weighs in at 1680 kg – some 40 kg lighter than the R8 Spyder V10.
Although fractionally slower of the mark, with an axle load distribution of 40.6:59.4 for the Coupé and 40.4:59.6 for the Spyder, combined with chassis and handling tuning specially adapted for rear-wheel drive, the R8 RWS is claimed to provide ‘particularly entertaining driving’.
With the electromechanical power steering completely free of torque steer and enabling precise handling, the mechanical rear diff lock, chassis set-up and control systems allow controlled drifts if the driver chooses ‘dynamic’ mode in the standard Audi drive select and sets the Stabilisation Control ESC to ‘Sport’, while the ESC intervenes reliably at the limit to keep handling in check.
The RWS can be readily distinguished by the matt black Single frame grille and matt black air apertures at the front and rear, while the upper side blade of the Coupé is finished in gloss black, with the lower blade in body colour. Similar to that of the R8 LMS GT 4, a red Audi Sport decal running over the bonnet, roof and over the rear spoiler can be specified as a £375 option.
Inside, the heated sport seats are trimmed in leather and Alcantara while bucket seats upholstered in rotor grey or black perforated Fine Nappa leather are also available as an option. The dashboard bears an emblem ‘1 of 999’ indicating the limited number of units.
The R8 V10 RWS is equipped with black-finished five-spoke V-design cast aluminium wheels that are exclusive to the model, size 8.5 x 19-inch, fitted with 245/35 R19 ZR tyres up front and 11.0J x 19-inch rims with 295/35 R19 ZR tyres at the rear. Alternatively, 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels in either matt titanium or gloss anthracite black, with 245/30 front tyres and 305/30 rears are available as an option.
The specification of the RWS mirrors that of the R8 V10 quattro, with all-LED headlights and LED rear lights with dynamic indicators as well as the Audi Virtual Cockpit, the high-definition Audi Sound System, MMI Navigation Plus with MMI Touch and a suite of Audi connect Infotainment services. Advanced key, cruise control and the front and rear parking system plus complete the standard equipment package.
A particularly popular option is likely to be the fitment of a sports exhaust (£1800), designed to ‘further enhance the enthralling, visceral sound of the high-revving V10…’ Perhaps surprisingly, though, the R8 RWS isn’t available with the options of Carbon ceramic brakes, Dynamic steering or Dynamic ride.
Further enhancements can be made to the infotainment and assistance systems by specifying options such as Audi Laser Light to extend the headlight range, a specially developed Bang & Olufsen sound system or the Audi Phone Box and Smartphone Interface.
Audi Sport also offers owners the opportunity for full personalisation, with a gloss carbon finish extending to the mirror housings, front spoiler lip and engine bay, while the Audi exclusive programme can also be comprehensively applied to the interior features to achieve a highly individual colour scheme.
For the R8 Spyder RWS, the fully automated hood, which retracts in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph), can be finished in black, red or brown, contrasting with the seven paint finishes, or even one of the 50 hues in the Audi exclusive palette. Introducing the new model at the Frankfurt Show last year, Stephan Winkelmann, then CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, said ‘The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists. A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer. With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets.’
‘WITH ITS MID-MOUNTED V10 ENGINE AND REAR-WHEEL DRIVE THE R8 RWS BRINGS THE DRIVING CONCEPT OF OUR R8 LMS RACING CAR TO THE STREETS…’
Specifications 2019 Audi R8 V10 RWS
Engine Mid-mounted naturally-aspirated 5.2-litre (5204 cc) V10 with DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable valve timing, dual injection (direct and manifold) and dry sump lubrication.
Compression ratio 12.5:1
Max Power output 540 PS at 7800 rpm / DIN nett
Max Torque 540 Nm (398 lb.ft) at 6500 rpm / DIN nett
Drivetrain Rear-wheel drive, mechanical differential lock, anti-slip regulation (ASR), 7-speed S tronic auto transmission.
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds)
Top speed: 198 mph (Spyder: 197 mph).
Fuel economy / emissions
Urban / extra urban / combined: 14.9 / 32.8 / 22.8 mpg (14.7 / 32.5 / 22.4 mpg Spyder)
CO2 emissions: 283 g/km for the Coupé, and 286 g/km for the Spyder.
Fuel / octane rating: Super Plus 98 RON
Fuel tank capacity: 83 litres
Brakes 8-piston fixed calipers at front, 4-piston fixed callipers at rear, ventilated, drilled and floating wave discs at front and rear. Electromechanical parking / emergency brake.
Suspension / Steering
Double wishbone suspension at both front and rear, uprated passive dampers. Electro-mechanical steering with a ratio of 15.7:1.
Wheels Black-finished five-spoke V-design cast aluminium rims, 8.5 x 19with 245/35 R19 ZR tyres up front and 11.0J x 19with 295/35 R19 ZR tyres at the rear.
Optional 20-inch forged aluminium alloy wheels in either matt titanium or gloss anthracite black, with 245/30 front tyres and 305/30 rear.
Unladen weight (without driver) 1590 kg (Coupé), 1680 kg (Spyder).
Gross weight: 1890 kg (Coupe and Spyder)
Axle load distribution: 40.6:59.4 (Coupé) 40.4:59.6 (Spyder)
Height 1599mm (1244mm Spyder)
Track: 1638mm (front) 1599mm (rear)
Turning circle: 11.2 metres
Luggage capacity: 112 litres
Drag coefficient (Cd / frontal area) 0.36 / 2.01 (both Coupé and Spyder)
Prices 2018 / 2019 UK + tax
R8 RWS Coupé £112,450 OTR
R8 RWS Spyder £121,140 OTR
(R8 Coupé V10 quattro £126,130 / R8 Spyder V10 quattro £134,820)
‘LIMITED TO JUST 999 EXAMPLES WORLDWIDE, THE 2019 AUDI R8 RWS IS THE FIRST AUDI PRODUCTION MODEL AVAILABLE WITH ONLY REAR-WHEEL DRIVE…’
‘THE RWS CAN BE READILY DISTINGUISHED BY THE MATT BLACK SINGLEFRAME GRILLE AND MATT BLACK AIR APERTURES AT THE FRONT AND REAR, WHILE THE UPPER SIDEBLADE OF THE COUPÉ IS FINISHED IN GLOSS BLACK, WITH THE LOWER BLADE IN BODY COLOUR….’