New Audi R8 models for road and track


November 6, 2019 By Mike
Last updated on November 6, 2019

Updated rear-drive R8 model returns to the range as a permanent fixture alongside further enhanced R8 GT4 customer racing car

  • Sports car with rear-wheel drive becomes a permanent range fixture – expected to open for UK ordering in January 2020 with deliveries from March
  • Series production Coupé and Spyder RWD models and Coupé-based GT4 racing car feature new exterior design in line with the revised R8 quattro versions
  • 2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine with 540 PS, 0-62mph in 3.7 seconds

The uniquely rear-driven Audi R8 Rear Wheel Series struck a chord with supercar traditionalists during its limited production run in 2018, and now the concept is to be permanently reinstated in the range with a new look and a new name. The Audi R8 V10 RWD features a 540PS version of the much loved naturally aspirated V10, and uses the latest generation R8 as its basis from a design and technology perspective. It combines all that model’s well documented attributes with rear-drive handling characteristics delivered by a mechanical rear differential and an intelligent stabilisation control system that allows controlled drifting for drivers who occasionally have a circuit to hand.

Those who see a chequered flag on a rather more regular basis are also now catered for by the near-production-level Audi R8 LMS GT4, the customer sport racing car for the international GT4 category which also features rear-wheel drive and is being released at the same time with a new design and optimised vehicle dynamics.

“We launched a limited series of the Audi R8 V10 RWS at the beginning of 2018,” says Oliver Hoffmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8-LMS racing car, and the special dynamics sparked our customers’ enthusiasm right away. Now it will become part of the R8 family as a separate model, the R8 V10 RWD. And we are giving it the same sharp look as the new R8 quattro models. At the same time as we are releasing the series production model, we are also offering the R8 LMS GT4 racing car with a new look.”

The series production car: Audi R8 V10 RWD

The design of the R8 V10 RWD
The new design features perfectly highlight the dynamics of the Audi R8 V10 RWD, which is available as a Coupé and Spyder. The Singleframe is broader and flatter, and the slits below the bonnet are reminiscent of the brand’s icon, the Audi Sport quattro.

The air inlets, the front splitter and in particular the air outlet grille at the rear have become broader. The diffuser, which is flanked by two oval tailpipes, has moved further upwards. In the engine compartment, the air filter is situated under a new cover, which is available in carbon fibre.

The sideblades of the R8 V10 RWD hint at the model’s special status: The top blade is designed in glossy mythos black, while the bottom blade is painted in the colour of the vehicle. The front blade, the side sill inserts and the diffuser are painted in gloss black as standard. The new colour Kemora grey has also been added to the palette of exterior finishes. Inside, the driver and passenger sit in sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara – ahead of the passenger an inset RWD logo denotes this model’s special status.

The heart of the high-performance sports car: the 5.2 FSI
The heart of the Audi R8 V10 RWD high-performance sports car beats behind the passenger cell. The naturally aspirated V10 delivers lightning-fast response and immense torque to the tune of an incomparable soundtrack. The 5.2 FSI delivers 540PS, and at 6,500 rpm achieves peak torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) that is transferred to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic and a mechanical locking differential.

The R8 V10 RWD Coupé (combined fuel consumption 21.8 mpg; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 293–294) catapults from 0 to 62mph in 3.7 seconds, and powers on to a 198mph maximum speed.

The values for the Spyder (combined fuel consumption 21.5 mpg; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–299 are 3.8 seconds and 197mph.

Extreme vehicle dynamics for purists
The rear-wheel drive of the R8 V10 RWD provides a very special kind of driving pleasure. If sport mode is activated in connection with the Electronic Stabilisation Control ESC, the suspension setup and control system even allow controlled drifting. The power steering provides the driver with plenty of feedback on the contours of the road. The Audi R8 V10 RWD rides as standard on black 19-inch forged wheels with 245/35 tyres up front and 295/35 tyres at the rear. Upgrades to 20-inch wheels are also available.

The axle load distribution is 40:60. The Coupé (empty and minus driver) weighs just 1,595 kilograms, thanks in part to the omission of the propeller shaft, the quattro multi-plate clutches and front axle differential, which helps to make the R8 V10 RWD around 65 kilograms lighter than the R8 V10 quattro model. Weighing 1,695 kilograms, the R8 Spyder V10 RWD is 55 kg lighter than the R8 Spyder V10 quattro. Like all R8 models, it features an Audi Space Frame (ASF) body made of aluminium but also incorporating significant carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) content.

The R8 V10 RWD is produced, largely by hand, at the “Böllinger Höfe” production facility at the Audi location in Neckarsulm.

The race car: Audi R8 LMS GT4
The GT4 race car, which is directly derived from the production model with about 60 percent carry-over parts and, like the road-going version, is being produced at Böllinger Höfe, is exclusively intended for privateer drivers. Since 2018, the original model has accumulated as many as 17 titles worldwide in racing. The latest generation version takes visual cues directly from the production model, and impresses with driving dynamics that having been further enhanced. The 5.2-litre V10 engine, delivering up to 495PS as specified by the regulations, powers the racing car via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Two innovations make it easier for drivers to battle for points and trophies even in challenging conditions. For the first time, the ABS braking and TC traction control systems can be precisely adjusted. The program characteristics allow for eight different settings, respectively, which the driver can individually select, depending on weather, track conditions and tyre grip, etc. in racing. For this purpose, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is equipped with the steering wheel of the GT2 racing version. The two rotary switches for ABS and TC are centrally located in the steering wheel, directly within the drivers’ view. This allows them to immediately respond to new challenges and to configure their personal setup of both systems while keeping their eyes focused on the race track. As most GT4 racing series prescribe driver changes, individual preferences can be easily and accurately selected before and after the pit stop. With these enhanced setup options, the drivers of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 are now even more competitive.

Currently, there are 27 fielding opportunities in America, Asia, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Most of them exist in full-season championships, but also in stand-alone events such as the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Dubai. The Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup in Europe and the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup with rounds in Asia and Australia offer entrants the opportunity to compete against each other in identical cars. In the remainder of the events, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is pitted against the competition of up to eleven models from other manufacturers. Fields of 40 entrants and more are not