2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS review: Even better than the real thing

    For a corporation like Audi, the R8 RWS is a extremely massive deal. RWS means Rear Wheel Sequence; in layman’s phrases, a rear-wheel-drive R8. That is a drastic departure for a model that constructed its picture across the greatness of Quattro all-wheel drive. You realize, the identical model that truly used to name its efficiency division Quattro GmbH.

    Now, below the Audi Sport marquee, a automotive just like the R8 RWS can realistically exist with out contradiction. And thank goodness, as a result of the traditionally unflappable R8 responds superbly whenever you loosen up its collar. For a supercar that is usually so buttoned-up and exact in its motion, this newfound means to kick its tail out round a good hairpin flip is a critical breath of recent air.

    Did I point out it is a relative discount, too?

    Identical expertise, much less cash

    The 2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS begins at $138,700, not together with $1,250 for vacation spot and one other $1,300 for that pesky fuel guzzler tax. Which means it is $26,200 cheaper than the Quattro-equipped R8 V10 and a full $55,700 cheaper than the extra highly effective R8 V10 Plus. But at no level does the R8 RWS look or really feel like a reduction product.

    On strategy, it is the identical R8 we have recognized since 2015. The RWS will get a matte black grille, and solely comes with gloss black wheels. The facet blade is body-colored on its decrease half, however that itself is out there as an possibility on different R8 fashions. Solely the purple stripe design units this automotive aside from its dearer kin, and even that could be a $450 possibility you possibly can verify or uncheck at your discretion.

    Step contained in the RWS’ cockpit and, as soon as once more, it is the identical as every other R8. You are greeted by Audi’s glorious Digital Cockpit digital gauge cluster, with embedded navigation, in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A small air vent housing and trio of local weather management dials are all that is discovered on the middle stack. Transfer down and you will find the gear selector — nonetheless no handbook transmission, by the best way — and the redundant rotary knob that doubles as a handwriting pad, controlling the MMI infotainment discovered throughout the 12.Three-inch digital show.

    The RWS’ cabin is simply as comfy and tech-forward as every other Audi R8. The one distinction is the limited-edition numbered placard on the sprint.

    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    An Alcantara headliner, illuminated door sills, leather-wrapped every little thing, 18-way energy seats and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are all a part of a $7,800 Premium bundle. Carbon fiber trim comes at an additional $Three,400 value, which hardly feels essential, however contemplating the RWS’ value financial savings over an R8 Quattro, I suppose I can get behind splurging on a couple of bits of inside extra.

    Actually, the one inside change is discovered on the small placard on the sprint. The place the usual R8 options the Quattro emblem right here, the RWS’ reads “1 of 999” — the full variety of Rear Wheel Sequence vehicles Audi will construct. In any other case, the cockpit is as comfy and quiet as every other model of the R8, with that screaming 5.2-liter V10 nestled proper behind your ears.

    Simply as succesful, and a bit extra enjoyable

    I completely love this engine. Audi’s naturally aspirated V10 sings one among my favourite supercar songs, and actually stomps that wah-wah pedal as you close to the eight,500-rpm redline. As a substitute of the extra highly effective R8 V10 Plus spec, the RWS makes use of the 5.2-liter engine’s base tune, although there’s hardly something “base” about 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The R8 RWS is ever so barely slower than its Quattro sibling below laborious acceleration, although Audi nonetheless estimates a damn-quick Zero-62-mph time of three.7 seconds.

    There is a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 sitting amidships, and it is one of many best engines you should purchase in the present day.

    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    With two fewer pushed wheels, the R8 RWS is a bit lighter than its Quattro-equipped sibling. Some 110 kilos have been misplaced, most from the entrance finish, necessitating a steering and suspension recalibration.

    Apparently, whereas the steering weight itself is lighter, there’s extra suggestions. The Audi-typical dead-on-center feeling is there, with issues weighting up properly as you modify course. With the Drive Choose dial set to Dynamic, there’s nice motion to the steering whereas negotiating an extended collection of twisty uphill roads. However flip it again to Auto or Consolation, and the R8 turns into as simple to maneuver as an A4 whenever you’re on the lookout for a free house within the grocery retailer car parking zone.

    However, the fastened sport suspension is definitely stiffer. Not drastically — actually simply so the automotive can deal with having 100 % of its energy despatched rearward. However the RWS retains the R8’s unbelievable poise: taut and agile when pushed laborious, however as docile and compliant as every other Audi whereas cruising on the freeway.

    It might have rear-wheel drive, however that does not out of the blue flip the R8 right into a tail-out hooligan.

    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    Now, do not assume rear-wheel drive out of the blue turns the R8 right into a drift machine. That is nonetheless a tactile weapon of sports activities automotive motoring, a shining beacon of mid-engine stability and hardly a lunatic when pushed to its limits. The one distinction is the playful little bit of oversteer that accompanies hammer-down acceleration out of a good flip. Fast pedal and steering work will counteract any undesirable unpleasantness, besides, it isn’t very simple to interrupt the R8 unfastened.

    What now we have right here is an R8 that is totally different than its Quattro sibling whereas retaining a number of similarities. Pushed round city or on correctly good roads, you’d possible by no means know the RWS was lacking front-axle energy — that’s, except you goose it popping out of a car parking zone and the rump steps out. Do not drive it like an fool, and the RWS will reward you with the form of world-beating supercar expertise we have come to anticipate from the Audi R8.

    My sort of discount

    Although I truly sort of dig the $450 RWS-specific purple stripes, I will skip them on my construct. As a substitute, I will spend slightly extra and get the $1,075 Ara Blue Crystal paint. Audi solely allows you to spec the stripes on one among its monochromatic colours. And if you would like a fancy-shmancy unique gloss or matte paint, Audi will fortunately do it for you — for $Three,900 or $6,800, respectively.

    The RWS-specific purple stripe is a $450 possibility, and although it is now how I might spec my private R8, I fairly prefer it.

    Steven Ewing/Roadshow

    From there, I will spend $1,500 on the 20-inch black wheels seen on this take a look at automotive, as a result of they do not smash the trip high quality and look approach higher than the usual 19s. I will add the aforementioned $7,800 Premium pack, which places me out the door at $150,325, together with vacation spot and fuel guzzler charges.

    The automotive examined right here, which provides the carbon fiber inside, is available in at $154,400. Even all loaded up, this R8 RWS continues to be $10,500 cheaper than a base R8 Quattro.

    And that, my buddies, is what makes the R8 RWS so fascinating. It presents a supercar expertise as good as every other R8, with simply sufficient totally different to make it really feel a bit extra particular. Like each different R8, it is the form of automotive you actually might stay with daily (assuming you need not carry a couple of different passenger). However the truth that the RWS provides a bit extra engagement — to not point out its inherent exclusivity — makes it a no brainer choose for me.

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