I’m crazy. I must be the last unicorn among car fanatics. Gas seems to be running through my veins. Not E10, but the premium type. Is it even considered cool these days to be interested in cars? Do I still seem like a cool guy if I appear in a sports car for the first date? Is it still okay to feel a rush from accelerating a car with a combustion engine? Or are we gasoline junkies with a tendency to drive with our feet down to the floor already shooed in the smoker’s lounge? Like excessive meat eaters in all-inclusive hotels, mobbed by hipsters? Question upon question, even though the market is drowned by so many new cars with classical powertrains that we have lost sight in the thicket of the compact lifestyle SUV forest. Although unique, but still the same. Does anything with wheels even stand out to us?
A test drive with the Audi R8 RWS
Attractive, humorous and sexy. What may sound like characteristics of the next profile to swipe right on Tinder, actually describes the new Audi R8 RWS in the eyes of blogger Jan Weizenecker. On a lengthy test drive, Jan found out how compatible he and the first Audi rear drive really are.
A relationship test with the Audi R8 RWS
I have never been more eager to know what we really expect from our cars. We seem chronically unhappy. There’s no couples therapy for our beloved beaters, at most a vacation together. But will it bring us closer to our mobile equilibrium? We complain about too much technology in the car. A glacial epoch has taken over behind the wheel. It’s way too heavy and feels far away from the road and therefore, dishonest. Feelings we only know from our ex. If the car was our better half, we would have already broken up and told our friends that the chemistry just wasn’t there anymore. A break up message per WhatsApp. It’s time for a vintage car. A sugar daddy may not be able to compete with young competition’s agility. It may not be able to do it anytime, anywhere and all night long, but at least it’ll feel real and knows what it’s doing.
Do we even know what we want? Or are we already part of ‘Generation Car-Why’? Everyone wants to connect their cell phones – preferably with themselves – and if this isn’t possible, then at least with their car. That’s part of the good sound. And security wizards anyway. Nobody wants to die in their car, that’s not what the last few years of sweating in the gym and giving up on meat where for. A seat heater? Yes, please, and a heated steering wheel too. That’s the best in the cold, hard winter. In general, it should be big with sport genes. Much saddens me. I am longing for warmth, commitment and variety. AND THEN … Audi builds this car.
A car that reminds me of why I’m doing this job. My new love is called: Audi R8 V10 RWS. Let me get you both acquainted. The R8 is the sports car from Audi. The sportiest model in the Audi sports family formerly known as “quattro”. The 397 kW strong (540 hp) strong drive with ten pots listens to the name V10. RWS meaning “rear wheel series” – so, a rear-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive? Yes, rear-wheel drive. Critical observers of the automotive circus may say at this point: THIS NEVER happened before in Ingolstadt. Correct: The first time from behind – and therefore limited to 999 cars in the R8 RWS.
The small series that was manufactured by hand in the R8 factory “Böllinger Höfe” at Neckarsulm nearly went under in the media frenzy of the IAA 2017. “The Audi R8 V10 RWS is made for purists,” managing director of Audi Sport Michael-Julius Renz explains. True enthusiasts need no further elaboration. The new car is whooping 50 kilos lighter. 33 kilos alone are saved by omitting anything that drives the power to the front wheels (explain prop shaft, multi-plate clutch and front axle). The remaining pounds can be explained by the abandonment of the adaptive dampers and the dynamic and all-wheel steering. The athlete weighs 1,590 kilos after the low carbon diet. It rolls on standard 19-inch wheels. 20-inch slippers and ceramic brakes are just as unavailable as additional driving modes. Additionally, the RWS comes without an electronically controlled rear axle clock. There is a classical mechanical differential for this. Sometimes less can actually be more.
An Audi made for purists
And everyone should see this love of purism for engineers in driving dynamics. Which is why the RWS stands out from the ‘normal’ R8. The clearest identifier is the single frame. It is painted matt black, as are the air vents on the front bumper and the rear. Even the upper side blade on the rear windows of the coupé shimmer in the dark. These fit to the standard black 19-inch model.
Anyone who has the need to differentiate themselves further can order a special Audi Sport foiling across the car. A partner tattoo, so to speak. The cockpit is identical to that of all Audi R8, except for the “1 of 999” label. The love for the R8 RWS is limited, it is something very special. It doesn’t just pop up on your screen on Tinder, not even Elite Partner can keep up.
The protagonist in a sports car is of course, the drive. The heart: The 5.2 liter V10 sucker, that was forcibly married to the R8 RWS, delivers 397 kW (540 HP) and provides just as much torque. It is always able to provide powerful propulsion. Its revving power fits even better to the RWS concept, accelerating from 0 to 100 within 3.7 seconds (0.2 more than the all-wheel drive). It reaches its maximum speed at 320 kilometers – just like the “big one”. The RWS is also powered by the crisp 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is called “S Tronic” at Audi. If every Jack has his Jill, I’ve found at least ten.
The first rear drive from Ingolstadt
If you have the honor of driving the first rear drive of the Audi history, it will make up for the missed time through its authenticity and liveliness. It will still seem balanced. The remarkable balance can be explained through the good weight distribution. There’s a tendency to understeer while over performing the accelerator. But it can be captured with targeted thrusts of the latter gently again.
For one, this is due to the adapted suspension. The Audi engineers have hardened the passive dampers, reinforced the front axle stabilizers and adjusted the rear axle. Of course, the characteristic line of the steering had to be adapted to the new concept. It seems very direct but still not out of round or exaggerated. Whoever may think at this point that Audi has created an uncontrollable drift monster is wrong. If you drive the RWS below its limit, it’s so sticky that you may imagine to be in the four-wheel drive variant. That’s probably the biggest compliment one could give to the car. Because reliability and trust are fundamental pillars – in every respect.
But seriousness alone is boring. Stealing horses together would be a dream. Let’s do something crazy. If you don’t put too much value on tires and donate an airport area and sufficient rubber to Audi for the second most beautiful thing in the world, it’s definitely show time.
Now I can sense how compatible I am with the R8 V10 RWS. Of course, I still have to get used to the new style of driving. Sliding down the road won’t be possible without a short foreplay. But it won’t be soon before we’re in and out. Of the curves, of course. Once you get the hang of it, big steering angles are no problem.
Pure driving dynamics: The Audi R8 V10 RWS
In reality, this car doesn’t want to slide. The mid-engine concept wasn’t meant for drifting. It therefore turns faster than expected. Afterwards, the hard blow of the commuter has to be caught abruptly. Potential buyers are told that the dance may be challenging, but incredibly fun. Once you get the hang of it, drifting in the first Audi rear drive model is the second most beautiful thing in the world.
The Audi R8 provides pure driving dynamics, shows a well-adjusted balance, is reliable, confident, sovereign and with its soft suspension and the Virtual Cockpit, a partner for every day. Whether I miss the hyperactive 4-wheeler? At most when skiing, because he can finally accompany on the snow-covered mountain hut with a lot of traction.
Otherwise, with my nieces, because the new one is lighter, genuine, lively and humorous. And it’s relatively cheap in comparison to my great love. The coupé comes for 140,000 euros, while the Roadster costs 153,000 euros. The RWS costs a whooping 26.000 less.
If you’re interested in the R8 RWS, you better buck up, because the new model is highly demanded on Tinder. Those who are attractive don’t stay alone for long. There is an imbalance between supply and demand in the R8 RWS. For a reason incomprehensible to me – it was limited to 999 editions. It’s dating inbox is – metaphorically speaking – overflowing.
Audi R8 V10 RWS
The Audi Sport GmbH is extending its R8 model series to include a new derivative with rear-wheel drive. The Audi R8 V10 RWS ((Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.6–12.4 [18.7–19.0 US mpg], combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 286–283 [460.3–455.4 g/mi]) comes in a limited series of 999 units with both Coupé and Spyder variants. It will be rear-driven (Rear Wheel Series) and be built exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe R8 factory.Read more
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