Rear-Wheel Drive Audi R8 V10 RWS Pays A Visit To Jay Leno’s Garage

The Audi R8 V10 RWS could very well be the perfect mid-engine supercar. Unveiled last year and recently launched in the United States, the R8 V10 RWS combines the screaming 5.2-liter V10 engine that’s made the R8 famous with rear-wheel drive and a seven-speed S tronic transmission.

Impressively, Audi has managed to offer this desirable powertrain for a full $26,200 less than the standard model, as the R8 RWS starts at a very reasonable $139,950. And while it may be the entry-level R8, it is by no means an entry-level supercar.

To see if the RWS wears the R8 badge like it should, Jay Leno was handed the keys to a stunning white example with red stripes.

Like the normal R8, the RWS features a 5.2-liter naturally-aspirated V10 that pumps out 532 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque and shares more than a few bits with the Lamborghini Huracan’s powertrain. The elimination of the all-wheel drive system also means it is 50 kg (110 lbs) lighter and tips the scales at 1590 kg (3505 lbs).

The lack of a differential at the front also prompted the German manufacturer to tweak the supercar’s suspension. As a result, the front and rear dampers are roughly 10 per cent stiffer than standard, while the front anti-roll bar is also about 10 per cent stiffer.

Audi will only bring 320 examples of the R8 RWS to the U.S. market out of a total production run of just 999 units. While we’re sure they could sell many more than that, keeping production limited will ensure the vehicle remains desirable for years to come and potentially becomes a collector’s item.


  • Big Black Duck

    2008 R8 is still my pick

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