While we’re patiently waiting for Audi USA to introduce the rear-wheel-drive R8, the company is making a rather unexpected change to the supercar’s lineup. It has decided to axe the base R8 V10 Quattro and only keep the hotter Performance version going forward. The lesser model’s swan song is a new limited-run special edition shown here in Mugello Blue.
It has the same 5.2 FSI V10 engine with 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque as the regular standard R8, which enables a 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 201 mph. Due to the slightly higher weight, you’ll lose some of the performance if you go for the Spyder model as the droptop needs an extra tenth of a second for the sprint and has a top speed lower by 1 mph.
Ok, but what makes it a special edition? Well, the 25 Coupes and 5 Spyders planned for production are fitted with a carbon fiber front sway bar borrowed from the more potent R8 Performance to shave off 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms). Also inherited from the higher-spec variant is the sport exhaust system for an even better soundtrack delivered by the naturally aspirated mill.
The cars are also equipped with the Audi Magnetic Ride and the Audi Dynamic Steering system to adjust damper firmness and provide variable steering ratio based on speed and the selected drive mode. On top of these hardware upgrades are the visual tweaks, including aluminum door mirror caps and a more extensive use of carbon fiber for the side blades, lower trim, and engine bay.
Regardless of the one you go for, they all come with 20-inch milled wheels with a silver finish for the very first time on an R8 sold in the United States. Inside, Audi Exclusive floor mats contribute to the special edition effect, as do the additional carbon fiber trim pieces with a high-gloss surround. Order the Coupe and Audi USA will also throw in a diamond-stitched Alcantara headliner.
The special edition is scheduled to go on sale in the United States this summer from $186,000 for the Coupe and $195,900 for the Spyder. Mind you, production will be split into 15 Mugello Blue coupes with a pastel silver interior, five Avus Silver coupes with a black interior with red stitching, and five Sonoma Green coupes with a black interior and gray stitching. The five Spyders will all come in Mugello Blue with a pastel silver interior.