Audi Sport Says R8 V10 RWD Won’t Lead To More Rear-Wheel-Drive Cars

Suffice it to say, we’re big fans of Audi’s Quattro. Heck, we even named our site after it! However, that doesn’t mean we were disappointed when the company’s naturally aspirated supercar lost its all-wheel-drive system for a tail-happy R8 V10 RWS a few years ago. The model is back as a permanent fixture in the lineup with a different name – R8 V10 RWD – and looks like it’s coming to North America.

We enjoy both rear-wheel-drive R8s, not just because they’re cheaper than the Quattro equivalent, but also due to their increased agility after losing 65 kilograms (143 pounds) over the all-paw model in the case of the coupe. The AWD-equipped versions are still available, so there’s no harm in launching a two-wheel-drive derivative to mirror its sister model, the RWD Lamborghini Huracan.

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While we’d like to see more RS / R8 models with power going exclusively to the rear axle, it looks like that’s not going to happen. Audi Sport’s sales and marketing chief, Rolf Michl, told British magazine Autocar that Quattro remains at the core of Audi Sport: “We have used rear-wheel drive in the latest R8. But normally, Quattro is part of our heritage. It means safe, agile and competitive driving.” He went on to mention that even in the dawn of electrification, “Quattro is a major part of RS models.”

In other words, it would appear the R8 in the V10 RWD flavor will remain the only rear-wheel-drive car from Audi Sport for the time being, so don’t expect the next-gen RS4 to send its power to the back wheels. As you may recall, the super wagon has already been confirmed to get a plug-in hybrid setup for its next iteration, and now we can safely say it will remain Quattro.

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On a related note, Rolf Michl reiterated the R8 has a future in the company’s lineup, despite rumors claiming it would be phased out after the current generation runs its course. Whether it will be a hybrid or a pure electric model remains to be seen, but Autocar is leaning towards the latter scenario.

Adrian Padeanu

Long-time fan of the fabled Four Rings.