09 April 2010

R8 goes RWD

German tuning house turns Audi’s four-wheel-drive supercar into supercharged drift-monster. Rear tyres scream in anguish

Audi MTM R8 GT3-2

Remember, last year, when Lamborghini turned the Gallardo rear-wheel drive and called it the Balboni?

Now German tuning firm MTM has done the same to the Audi R8. Well, not the calling-it-the-Balboni bit. That’d be silly. But MTM has indeed created a RWD R8, and it sounds gloriously loopy.

Not only have the Teutonic spannermeisters ripped out the R8’s front driveshaft – saving a helpful few kilos – it has also treated the R8’s 4.2-litre V8 to a supercharger, boosting power to 552bhp and torque to 428lb ft. If you can get that power down on the road, instead of atomising the R8’s rear tyres, you’ll hit 62mph in just under four seconds and top out at 196mph.

From time to time, we have been guilty of moaning about the dubious products foisted upon us by European tuning houses. But here we must slap MTM heartily on the back. This is the sort of ubertuning of which we approve most heartily: innovative, unique and deeply, deeply dangerous.

Now where’s the V10 version, guys?

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