For a corporation like Audi, the R8 RWS is a very huge deal. RWS means Rear Wheel Sequence; in layman’s phrases, a rear-wheel-drive R8. That is a drastic departure for a model that constructed its picture across the greatness of Quattro all-wheel drive. You recognize, the identical model that truly used to name its efficiency division Quattro GmbH.

Now, beneath the Audi Sport marquee, a automotive just like the R8 RWS can realistically exist with out contradiction. And thank goodness, as a result of the traditionally unflappable R8 responds fantastically while you loosen up its collar. For a supercar that is usually so buttoned-up and exact in its motion, this newfound skill to kick its tail out round a good hairpin flip is a critical breath of contemporary air.

Did I point out it is a relative discount, too?

Similar expertise, much less cash

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS begins at $138,700, not together with $1,250 for vacation spot and one other $1,300 for that pesky gasoline guzzler tax. Meaning it is $26,200 cheaper than the Quattro-equipped R8 V10 and a full $55,700 cheaper than the extra highly effective R8 V10 Plus. But at no level does the R8 RWS look or really feel like a reduction product.

On strategy, it is the identical R8 we have identified since 2015. The RWS will get a matte black grille, and solely comes with gloss black wheels. The facet blade is body-colored on its decrease half, however that itself is out there as an choice on different R8 fashions. Solely the crimson stripe design units this automotive aside from its costlier kin, and even that may be a $450 choice you’ll be able to examine or uncheck at your discretion.

Step contained in the RWS’ cockpit and, as soon as once more, it is the identical as another R8. You are greeted by Audi’s wonderful Digital Cockpit digital gauge cluster, with embedded navigation, in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A small air vent housing and trio of local weather management dials are all that is discovered on the middle stack. Transfer down and you will find the gear selector — nonetheless no handbook transmission, by the way in which — and the redundant rotary knob that doubles as a handwriting pad, controlling the MMI infotainment discovered inside the 12.Three-inch digital show.

The RWS’ cabin is simply as snug and tech-forward as another Audi R8. The one distinction is the limited-edition numbered placard on the sprint.

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An Alcantara headliner, illuminated door sills, leather-wrapped all the pieces, 18-way energy seats and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are all a part of a $7,800 Premium package deal. Carbon fiber trim comes at an additional $Three,400 price, which hardly feels mandatory, however contemplating the RWS’ price financial savings over an R8 Quattro, I suppose I can get behind splurging on just a few bits of inside extra.

The truth is, the one inside change is discovered on the small placard on the sprint. The place the usual R8 options the Quattro emblem right here, the RWS’ reads “1 of 999” — the full variety of Rear Wheel Sequence automobiles Audi will construct. In any other case, the cockpit is as snug and quiet as another model of the R8, with that screaming 5.2-liter V10 nestled proper behind your ears.

Simply as succesful, and a bit extra enjoyable

I completely love this engine. Audi’s naturally aspirated V10 sings one among my favourite supercar songs, and actually stomps that wah-wah pedal as you close to the eight,500-rpm redline. As a substitute of the extra highly effective R8 V10 Plus spec, the RWS makes use of the 5.2-liter engine’s base tune, although there’s hardly something “base” about 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The R8 RWS is ever so barely slower than its Quattro sibling beneath exhausting acceleration, although Audi nonetheless estimates a damn-quick Zero-62-mph time of three.7 seconds.

There is a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 sitting amidships, and it is one of many most interesting engines you should buy as we speak.

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With two fewer pushed wheels, the R8 RWS is a bit lighter than its Quattro-equipped sibling. Some 110 kilos have been misplaced, most from the entrance finish, necessitating a steering and suspension recalibration.

Apparently, whereas the steering weight itself is lighter, there’s extra suggestions. The Audi-typical dead-on-center feeling is there, with issues weighting up properly as you alter path. With the Drive Choose dial set to Dynamic, there’s nice motion to the steering whereas negotiating a protracted collection of twisty uphill roads. However flip it again to Auto or Consolation, and the R8 turns into as straightforward to maneuver as an A4 while you’re searching for a free area within the grocery retailer car parking zone.

Then again, the fastened sport suspension is definitely stiffer. Not drastically — actually simply so the automotive can deal with having 100 % of its energy despatched rearward. However the RWS retains the R8’s unbelievable poise: taut and agile when pushed exhausting, however as docile and compliant as another Audi whereas cruising on the freeway.

It might have rear-wheel drive, however that does not immediately flip the R8 right into a tail-out hooligan.

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Now, do not suppose rear-wheel drive immediately turns the R8 right into a drift machine. That is nonetheless a tactile weapon of sports activities automotive motoring, a shining beacon of mid-engine steadiness and hardly a lunatic when pushed to its limits. The one distinction is the playful little bit of oversteer that accompanies hammer-down acceleration out of a good flip. Fast pedal and steering work will counteract any undesirable unpleasantness, besides, it is not very straightforward to interrupt the R8 free.

What now we have right here is an R8 that is totally different than its Quattro sibling whereas retaining a number of similarities. Pushed round city or on correctly good roads, you’d probably by no means know the RWS was lacking front-axle energy — that’s, except you goose it popping out of a car parking zone and the rump steps out. Do not drive it like an fool, and the RWS will reward you with the kind of world-beating supercar expertise we have come to count on from the Audi R8.

My sort of discount

Although I really sort of dig the $450 RWS-specific crimson stripes, I will skip them on my construct. As a substitute, I will spend a little bit extra and get the $1,075 Ara Blue Crystal paint. Audi solely allows you to spec the stripes on one among its monochromatic colours. And in order for you a fancy-shmancy unique gloss or matte paint, Audi will fortunately do it for you — for $Three,900 or $6,800, respectively.

The RWS-specific crimson stripe is a $450 choice, and although it is now how I might spec my private R8, I fairly prefer it.

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From there, I will spend $1,500 on the 20-inch black wheels seen on this take a look at automotive, as a result of they do not destroy the trip high quality and look means higher than the usual 19s. I will add the aforementioned $7,800 Premium pack, which places me out the door at $150,325, together with vacation spot and gasoline guzzler charges.

The automotive examined right here, which provides the carbon fiber inside, is available in at $154,400. Even all loaded up, this R8 RWS continues to be $10,500 cheaper than a base R8 Quattro.

And that, my associates, is what makes the R8 RWS so fascinating. It provides a supercar expertise as sensible as another R8, with simply sufficient totally different to make it really feel a bit extra particular. Like each different R8, it is the kind of automotive you actually might dwell with each day (assuming you needn’t carry multiple different passenger). However the truth that the RWS provides a bit extra engagement — to not point out its inherent exclusivity — makes it a no brainer choose for me.

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