2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS, 2017 Frankfurt Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
The best Audi R8 is now the best bargain in the R8 lineup. I'm talking about the upcoming 2018 Audi R8 RWS, which ditches the brand's Quattro all-wheel-drive system in favor of a rear-drive-only setup. Anyone who wants one will "only" need to shell out $139,950. That's a lot of money, but it's $26,200 cheaper than the standard Quattro-equipped version.
Audi is breaking away from the norm with this one. The four-ringed brand is usually associated with its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. The German automaker might offer a model or two without it, but those are typically more affordable models. With the R8, Audi has only offered its top-shelf drive system for its top-shelf machine. That's no longer the case.
And purists should be thrilled about it.
A rear-driving Audi R8 will be a stylish thrill ride. With it, Audi can provide the full Lamborghini Huracán experience but in its own wrapper.
It's smart to offer the limited-run car for less than the price of the standard version. All too often we see automakers overcharge for a more sporting machine even if that car has less content or capability.
Despite a loss of two driven wheels, the R8 RWS is only 0.2 second slower to 62 mph than the regular R8 V10. That blast happens in just 3.7 seconds. The better news? With rear-drive, you can take a corner sideways with a mad smile on your face.
That is, of course, if you act now. Audi is only bringing 320 examples to the United States. Audi has announced no official timetable for the R8 RWS's arrival, but the company has stated simply that it will be here later this year.
If you're like me, you want "later this year" to be today.