What is it?
In the words of Audi, until recently this was the ‘unthinkable’ car.
In fact, after decades and many marketing millions poured into the promotion of ever-dependable quattro four-wheel drive technology, this machine’s mere existence is a form of anarchy within the halls of Ingolstadt.
But not for us or, we suspect, you – because the R8 RWS is now the least expensive but potentially most rewarding version of the marque’s mid-engined supercar. ‘Focused’ and ‘pure’ are the marketing buzzwords here and those are certainly nice to hear from a brand that has for so long grounded itself in luxury and security.
You’ll know of the more hardcore R8 iterations that have sporadically bubbled up in the past – notably the bewinged GT and LMX versions of the first-generation car – but none has promised quite the driver appeal of this RWS model.
The letters stand for ‘rear wheel series’, with the hitherto quattro-driven R8 shorn here of its front driveshafts for a limited production run of 999 cars. This, then, is the first rear-driven series-production model Audi has ever offered.