The rear-wheel-drive (RWD) Audi R8 was considered a niche model when it was launched, leading Audi South Africa to make the decision to only bring the all-wheel-drive “quattro” models into the country.
This was evident when the new R8 V10 performance RWD launched in early October, and Audi said it would not be available locally.
“The RWD R8 was just not part of Audi SA’s product strategy and planning a few years back, it was positioned as a niche R8 model,” Audi South Africa told TopAuto.
“As a result there are no further plans to bring any of the models under the RWD banner to SA.”
RWD R8 specs
The Audi R8 V10 performance RWD recently went on sale in Germany at a starting price of €149,000 (R2.57 million).
It is fitted with a 5.2-litre, V10, naturally-aspirated petrol engine generating 419kW and 550Nm – which is 30kW and 10Nm less than the quattro derivatives – with power put down via a seven-speed S-Tronic transmission.
The set-up assures a 3.7-second 0-100km/h sprint for the RWD R8 Coupe, whereas the RWD R8 Spyder finishes the run in 3.8 seconds.
This is 0.5 seconds slower than the quattro derivatives for both body styles.
Top speed for the RWD Coupe is then rated at 329km/h, with the Spyder’s coming in at 327km/h.
Thanks to a blend of lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) used on most parts of the R8, the vehicles also boast segment-leading kerb weights of 1,590kg for the Coupe and 1,695kg for the Spyder.
Controlled drifts in Sport mode are also possible in the new R8, thanks to the suspension and driving dynamics being tuned for the rear-wheel-drive car.
The fitment of new bucket seats, a reworked steering set-up, “CFK” stabilisers, and ceramic disk brakes take “the experience to a whole new level” when compared to the outgoing RWD derivatives, said Audi.