The first ever rear-wheel drive Audi, the R8 RWS V10, is making a lot of headlines, lately. This latest one comes from Autocar, as they’ve recently put the brand-new Audi R8 RWS V10 up against the iconic Porsche 911 GT3 to find out which is the better driver’s car on the road. I stress “on the road”, as they test both cars on real-world streets, not a race track. And that’s important because while the R8 RWS is a lighter, more focused R8, it’s still not a hardcore track car, like the 911 GT3 is. But does the GT3’s more focused driving dynamics make it more fun than the Audi even on the road? Autocar finds out.
Powering the Audi R8 RWS is still the same 5.2 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine as the standard R8. So it makes 540 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. But rather than power all four wheels, like the standard car, it only powers its rear wheels. So it ditches the front axles, driveshaft and center differential, making it 50 kg (110 lbs) lighter. That’s an impressive weight savings and goes a long way to making the R8 feel more nimble.
While the Porsche 911 GT3 gets a 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated flat-six engine that makes 500 hp and 339 lb-ft. That rear-mounted engine also powers only its rear wheels and is even lighter than the R8, thanks to a lightweight interior and a ton of weight savings. So it’s the more driver-focused car of the two and is made with the sole focus of demolishing race tracks.
But which one is more fun to drive on the road. Well, Autocar’s two editors are split, with one taking the R8 and one taking the 911. However, it seems to us that, if you’re going to daily the car, the R8 RWS is the better choice. Its free-breathing V10 is not only even more exhilarating than the 911’s engine but it’s a rare thing nowadays and it makes the most incredible noise. It also looks better, has the better cabin, a more comfortable suspension and better technology. Plus, it’s still damn good to drive and its newfound front-end lightness makes it the best-driving Audi R8 ever.
Sure the Porsche 911 GT3 is the sharper car, more focused and more raw but it’s not as comfortable as the R8 nor is it as easy to live with everyday. As a track toy and a weekend car, the 911 GT3 is the better car because it will give you more of that driving experience that car enthusiasts love. However, if you’re going to drive it everyday, the Audi R8 RWS is the choice. So even when ridding itself of all-wheel drive, the “Everyday Supercar” Audi R8 is still the best supercar for the everyday. Although, there is a Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Pack, which adds a manual gearbox and some more creature comforts, which might give the R8 RWS a serious run for its money as a daily supercar.