AUDI has added a new “entry-level” variant to its R8 supercar line-up: the R8 V10 Performance RWD.
The introduction of the new model means that all R8s will now be sold in Performance specification, as the standard rear-wheel-drive R8 V10 RWD and the all-wheel-drive R8 V10 quattro having been dropped from the range.
That leaves just two R8 models — the Performance RWD with its coupé and convertible Spyder variants, and the more expensive 612bhp Performance quattro, also available in coupé and cabriolet forms.
Visually, the newest R8 gets many of the same styling elements as the rest of its Performance-badged siblings. The front grille is finished in matte black, the front splitter is larger and oversized oval tailpipes adorn the rear.
Buyers in the UK will have a choice of ten colours and twin-spoke 19in wheels come as standard — 20in wheels are available as an option.
The R8’s interior features Nappa leather sports seats as standard as well as Audi’s 12.3in Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display.
Although this latest R8 still features the 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine, power is up by 30bhp compared with outgoing models, now developing 562bhp.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential to deliver a 0-62mph sprint time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 204mph in the coupé.
Performance figures for the Spyder are only very marginally slower at 3.8 seconds and 203mph, respectively.
Audi quotes a 21.9mpg fuel economy figure for both the coupé and Spyder versions of the Performance RWD, which is roughly the same as their quattro equivalents despite the lack of front driveshafts.
For the first time in the Audi R8 RWD, it will be offered with Audi’s Dynamic Steering feature, a variable ratio system that alters how responsive the steering is to inputs depending on driving conditions.
Audi says that activating the Sport ESC (Electronic Stabilisation Control) mode will permit the car’s suspension and traction control systems to deliver a small amount of slippage before reining things in, which means that, according to the company, controlled drifts are possible.
The new R8 will also be available with an optional “Edition” package. Edition-spec cars will feature 20in bronze wheels, a carbon-fibre styling pack, red brake calipers, diamond-patterned Nappa leather seats and an upgraded Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Pricing for the Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD will start from £126,885 for the coupé and £135,575 for the Spyder. Edition-spec cars will be priced from £137,885. The price represents a £10,000 increase over the outgoing standard RWD model, though its place in the line-up is now the same as that of the old V10 quattro.
Orders for the new model will open on October 21.
- After reading how new Audi R8 V10 Performance RWD added to company’s supercar line-up – with 562bhp, you might be interested to know that the new Audi RS 3 gets 394bhp, drift mode LEDs that spell its name
- Watch Ken Block’s first job with Audi is to drive the 700bhp RS 002 secret rally prototype
- Or check out the elegant Audi Grandsphere concept car that previews self-driving future, with 711bhp