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More power for Audi R8 V10 performance RWD. Image by Audi.

More power for Audi R8 V10 performance RWD
Non-quattro version of Audi's mid-engined supercar gets a power boost and performance upgrades.
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What's all this about?

It's proof that the Audi R8 supercar isn't dead yet. While the German marque is diving head-first into the world of electrification with its e-tron EVs and TFSI e plug-in hybrids, 2021 also sees the firm showing some love for its long-running supercar.

As the initials intimate, the RWD only sends drive to the rear wheels, and it now comes with the performance package that was previously only available with the four-wheel-drive R8 quattro. There's also a 30hp power boost and 10Nm of extra torque for the naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10, which now makes 570hp and 550Nm.

That's pretty healthy. What else has Audi done?

There's a seven-speed S tronic auto fitted as standard, while a mechanical limited-slip differential helps get the power to the road. That helps the RWD coupe manage 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds, while the open-top Spyder is a tenth of a second behind, at 3.8 seconds.

Audi has adjusted the R8 RWD's suspension to suit the rear-wheel-drive layout, while the car's electronics are also tweaked to deliver the best performance. Activate Sport mode, and the car's electronic stability control system allows for controlled drifts, while the variable-ratio Dynamic steering set-up from the R8 quattro has now made its way to the RWD version.

There's 40:60 weight distribution, while lightweight 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels deliver reduced unsprung weight. The brakes feature 18-inch wave-shaped steel discs up front.

In terms of design, the R8 RWD has been given a mild update, with inspiration drawn from the R8 GT4 racing car. Up front there's a matt-black grille with large air intakes on either side and a splitter below. At the back, there's a matt-black finish for the mesh grille and oval tailpipes, while the Spyder is given extra black detailing at the rear. Audi offers 10 colours for the R8 RWD, including Ascari Blue, which was previously exclusive to the R8 quattro.

Inside, the racy theme continues with the R8's plush-yet-functional cockpit. There's Audi's ubiquitous 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard, while the steering wheel features metal shift paddles for manual control of the gearbox, plus four control 'satellites' on the steering that either start the car, select drive modes, tweak the exhaust or operate the Virtual Cockpit.

I assume all of this comes at a price?

While the R8 performance RWD is the entry point to the line-up, it doesn't come cheap. Prices start from £126,885, while the R8 quattro weighs in at £146,990. Audi is also offering edition versions of both cars (at £137,885 and £153,990, respectively), which come with 20-inch cast alloy wheels in bronze, Nappa leather, carbon ceramic brakes, carbon trim and a Bang & Olufsen stereo.

Go for the Spyder, and prices start from £135,575 for the performance RWD, with the quattro version coming in at £155,680 and edition variants costing £146,575 and £162,680.

Shane O' Donoghue - 7 Oct 2021

2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.

2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.2022 Audi R8 performance RWD. Image by Audi.    - Audi road tests
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