Audi tried the RWD supercar market in 2018 when it launched the R8 RWS, which stood for Rear-Wheel Series.
Even though the carmaker was mostly known for its quattro systems, which sent the power in all corners of a car, it knew that supercars’ drivers were very comfortable with rear-wheel drive vehicles, so it did it. The experiment was successful, and the carmaker continued that by adding the R8 RWD in 2019 and the Performance version in 2021.
From the outside, the car looked very similar to the rest of the R8 range. While the front bumper and general shape of the car were the same, there were a few details different, such as the mate-black singleframe grille, body-colored side air intakes from the rear quarter panels, or the carbon-fiber door-mirror caps. Last but not least, the RWD Performance version received a specific set of light-alloy wheels to lower the unsprung masses.
Inside, a large, sharply contoured arch ran around the driver’s area, creating a “monoposto,” racing atmosphere. In front of the driver, a 12.3-inch display was filled the floating-design instrument cluster. Unlike the rest of the R8 range, the Performance version offered a steering wheel with four control satellites to control the Audi drive select, the start-button, to activate the performance mode, and control the Audi virtual cockpit screen respectively.
Since it was a performance-oriented supercar, it received a new powerplant enhanced by 30 hp when compared to the rest of the range from the same 5.7-liter V10. It was paired as standard with a seven-speed automatic (dual-clutch) gearbox that sent the power to the rear wheels via a mechanical locking differential.