It feels like the A8 has been around for a bit, but the second generation is just getting started
What doesn’t feel old is the fact that Audi is basically offering a reskinned Lamborghini Huracán. In fact, Audi is just getting started with the second-gen R8, as the different versions offered deliver a range of driving experiences and price points.
The new RWS version is our favorite R8 yet because it’s a limited-run, rear-wheel-drive version that just made a guest appearance in Jay Leno’s famous garage.
Right away, you can tell that Leno was impressed as he spied the 9,000 rpm redline of the car’s 5.2-liter V10. He remarked that there was a time when 7,000 rpm seemed to be the upper end for a high-strung engine.
Leno and a representative from Audi walked around the car before heading out for a drive. One of the more interesting aspects is the fact that the Audi can be quiet enough for a conversation at a normal volume. A stab of the throttle pedal is all you need to bring the noise, of course.
The Audi R8 RWS is a rare example of a German automaker letting its hair down and enjoying the party. It’s also quite surprising, as Audi is a company that normally stands on its commitment to all-wheel-drive excellence.
The automaker is building just 999 examples of the R8 RWS. Funny enough, but not surprising, the RWS is the slowest member of the second-gen R8 family in the 0-60 mph category.
It will run from a stop up to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds where the V10 Plus version with all-wheel drive does it in 3.2 seconds. In reality, the V10 Plus is likely even quicker as a number of outlets have posted faster times.
Regardless, this is the R8 for us. The ability to have far more fun lies with the engine only sending power out back, though we miss the gated manual of the previous R8.
This Audi R8 RWS is clearly a car for those who truly love driving and enjoying their sports car. It’s a brilliant flash of light that we don’t expect to see much more of down the road, as the R8 further evolves. So let’s enjoy it while it’s here.