Audi R8 RWS moves all the fun* on the rear axle

*540 hp worth of drifting fun, to be more precise

After this weekend’s teaser video, we kind of knew what to expect from Audi at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show but now we're excited to give the official news: there’s a rear-wheel-drive Audi R8 you can buy! 

The R8 RWS (standing for Rear Wheel Series, expecting there will be more than one) gets rid of the quattro all-wheel-drive system that toned down the R8 when it came to killing you. With it 50 kilograms (110 pounds) worth of metal were shed from the car’s weight; the droptop is 40 kilos (88 lbs) lighter. 

Between the seats and the rear axle you’ll find the same 5.2-liter V10 FSI unit ready with 540 hp and 540 Nm (398 lb-ft) — the same figures as the AWD R8, you’ll notice. Naturally, the lack of quattro alters the 0-62 mph sprint a bit: the R8 RWS goes from naught-to-sixty-two miles per hour in 3.7 seconds (two-tenths more than the AWD model). The R8 RWS Spyder hits the same mark in 3.8 seconds (also 0.2 seconds later than the all-wheel-drive version). But we’re sure it makes up for this every time you turn in a sharp corner. 

Speaking of the lethal factor, the R8 RWS doesn’t have to be dangerous if you don’t want it to be — Audi Sport enhanced it with a traction control smart enough to help you shred the rear tires in controlled drifts without making you do all the job. 

Moreover, with a €140,000 price tag (€153,000 for the sans roof Spyder version) the R8 RWS is some €26,000 more accessible than the standard, all-wheel-drive, version. Only 999 units will be made, with orders starting this fall.  

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