Since its release, the second-generation Audi R8 has benefited from the Lamborghini Huracán’s major components. The supercar siblings have the same 5.2-liter V10 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Lamborghini recently announced the arrival of the new Huracán Evo RWD, and subsequently, Audi has introduced the 2021 R8 RWD. According to Audi, the new rear-wheel-drive model is lighter, cheaper, and less powerful than the all-wheel-drive Performance model. Exterior touches such as revised front and rear bumpers hint at the model’s rear-wheel-drive layout.
The Audi R8 RWD’s V10 still produces 532 hp
Although the 2021 Audi R8 RWD Spyder and coupe are less potent than the Performance version, they’re still plenty potent. With 532 hp available from the naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine, the R8 RWD can still reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Flat out, the R8 RWD will reach 201 mph. While the horsepower figure drops by about 70 hp, the torque figure is only reduced by 15 ft-lb.
Keeping the torque figure so close to that of the more powerful version means that in real-world scenarios, the RWD should feel plenty fast. Despite the significant loss in hp, the RWD is only .4 seconds slower to 60 mph. Besides, at this level of a supercar, the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and its instantaneous shifts play a significant roll in the overall feeling of speed.
The RWD model should be lighter than the Quattro
Although the 2021 Audi R8 RWD is less potent than the Quattro version, it should also be significantly lighter. While Audi did not give an exact weight savings figure, the RWD doesn’t use heavy components to power the front wheels. Major powertrain parts such as the prop shaft, front axles, and front differential add to the R8 RWD’s weight savings.
Opting for the R8 Spyder won’t add much of that weight back. Instead of using a folding metal roof to keep a coupe-like aesthetic, the Audi uses a soft-top. The folding roof and its mechanism were designed to be as light as possible, weighing 97 extra pounds if you want the convertible version.
The R8 RWD gets gloss black accents and a cheaper price
To differentiate the Audi R8 RWD from other models in the range, the German carmaker decided to give the model a touch of gloss black paint. All RWD models will come with their front blade, the side sill inserts, and the rear diffuser painted in gloss black as standard. These touches, while subtle, should help to give the RWD a distinctive look, separating it slightly from the AWD version.
The biggest differentiator, however, is the RWD’s price tag. Starting at $142,700, the R8 RWD coupe costs $54,000 less than the Performance AWD model. The Spyder gets a slight price bump up to $154,900, given the added complexities of the roof. While the Audi R8 already lived in the more affordable end of the supercar market, these new models should make it even more competitive. Both the 2021 Audi R8 RWD coupe and Spyder will arrive in dealerships toward the end of 2020.