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Audi R8 RWS 2018 pricing and spec confirmed

Audi's new R8 RWS, or 'Rear Wheel Series', is the German carmaker's first-ever rear-driven production supercar.

Audi's rear-wheel drive R8 RWS (Rear Wheel Series) will land in Australian showrooms in April wearing a $299,500 before on-roads price tag for the coupe and $321,000 for the convertible, making it $67,500 cheaper than its quattro counterparts.

Like its siblings, the R8 RWS is powered by a high-revving, mid-mounted, Lamborghini-sourced 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 that develops 397kW at 8250rpm and 540Nm at 6500rpm.

Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the drift-friendly R8 coupe can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds before hitting its electronically limited top speed of 320km/h. Exact performance figures for the convertible were not revealed.

Audi claims the road car shares 50 per cent of components with its track-only R8 LMS that competes in the GT3 racing class. Audi claims the road car shares 50 per cent of components with its track-only R8 LMS that competes in the GT3 racing class.

The move to rear-wheel drive has liberated 50kg from the supercar's overall weight, while Audi claims the road car shares 50 per cent of components with its track-only R8 LMS that competes in the GT3 racing class.

Part of a 999-unit global production run, Audi's first-ever RWD supercar will also sit alongside the $403,000 V10 Plus coupe that lifts outputs to 449kW/560Nm.

The R8 RWS can be distinguished from its siblings by its standard 'Ibis White' paintwork and optional red Audi Sport GT stripe, as well as gloss-black exhaust pipes, body colour-matched lower side blades and 19-inch, five-spoke 'V design' wheels.

Inside, the new entry-level R8 still sports a fully featured cockpit with 12.3-inch all-digital 'Virtual Cockpit' instrumentation. Inside, the new entry-level R8 still sports a fully featured cockpit with 12.3-inch all-digital 'Virtual Cockpit' instrumentation.

Larger 20-inch wheels can be optioned alongside red-painted brake callipers. As standard, the R8 RWS comes with gloss-black brake callipers with eight-piston units on the front and four-pot grabbers on the rear.

Audi's single-frame front honeycomb grille is finished in matte black, and LED headlights, daytime running lights and tail-lights are standard.

The R8 RWS can be distinguished from its siblings by its standard 'Ibis White' paintwork and optional red Audi Sport GT stripe. The R8 RWS can be distinguished from its siblings by its standard 'Ibis White' paintwork and optional red Audi Sport GT stripe.

Inside, the new entry-level R8 still sports a fully featured cockpit with 12.3-inch all-digital 'Virtual Cockpit' instrumentation, digital radio, satellite navigation, heated and electronically controlled sports seats, Alcantara and leather cabin, reversing camera, and front and rear parking sensors.

Audi Australia managing director Paul Sansom said the company's venture away from quattro performance technology demonstrates its open-mindedness to new ideas.

The drift-friendly R8 coupe can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds before hitting its electronically limited top speed of 320km/h. The drift-friendly R8 coupe can accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds before hitting its electronically limited top speed of 320km/h.

"The Audi R8 RWS is such an exciting car for us because it's the very first rear-wheel drive production car ever built by Audi," he said.

(We're not 100 per cent sure on this claim as certain pre-war Audi-branded models were driven from the rear.)

Is the price right for Audi's new R8 RWS? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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