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The new Audi R8 RWS is a rear-drive drift machine

Audi will offer a limited number of R8 V10s with the option of rear-wheel drive. Good

We’ve been praying for this one for years. Finally, someone has listened. Audi has announced a new variant of the R8 at the Frankfurt Motor Show called the RWS (Rear Wheel Series) and if you’re into skids (and let’s face it who isn’t), it’s a doozy. Yep, you guessed it, it ditches four-wheel drive for rear-drive only and sheds some kilos in the process.

Audi claims it’s designed to channel the spirit of its R8 LMS race car to the road, though we suspect it’s just CEO of Audi Sport GmbH, Stephan Winkelmann’s way of injecting some excitement into his range and making some noise at Audi’s home motor show. Either way, we’re not complaining.

Only 999 examples will be built (in both Coupe and Spyder guise, depending on customer demand), though all are based on the standard R8, not the Plus. That means 5.2-litres of V10 goodness producing 533bhp, enough for 0-62mph in 3.7secs for the Coupe, 3.8 for the Spyder and top speeds of 199mph and 198mph respectively.

If you can keep it pointing in the right direction there should be some useful handling gains, too. No front drive shafts and centre differential mean a 50kg saving for the Coupe, 40kg for the Spyder, while the ESC has been reprogrammed to allow controllable drifts in Sport mode, when the Drive Select is set to Dynamic.

Feeling brave? You can order it with red graphics inspired by the R8 LMS GT 4 on the outside and bucket seats on the inside. Prices start at €140,000 for the Coupe, €153,000 for the Spyder, although the price in British pounds is still to be released.

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