Sixteen years after tearing down roads and turning heads, it’s the end of an era for one of the most stunning and fast production cars on the planet: The Audi R8 Coupé V10.
However, the high performance flagship sports car isn’t going out without a bang, and the last of its kind will get even more power and driving enjoyment – a fitting swan song for the true rear-wheel drive mid-engine sports car from Audi.
The reason for that is the German automaker’s commitment to an all-electric production line by 2026. As such, vehicles such as the Audi R8 Coupé V10 will be put out to pasture. But Audi is giving its beloved sports car a proper send off.
According to Audi, its R8 V10 performance RWD (rear wheel drive) is derived from the LMS GT4 race car. It arrives with an upgraded performance of 570hp (30hp more than the previous generation) along with new technology highlights such as bucket seats, dynamic steering, CFRP stabilizer, and ceramic brakes.
Built To Run
In terms of performance credentials, the R8 V10 is assuredly impressive. The mid-engine sports car goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 329 km/h. At the heart of the new R8 is the familiar naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10 FSI engine offering 570 horses with 550Nm of torque.
Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. As with all R8s, its body is built out of aluminium and, to a large extent, carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the Audi Space Frame (ASF) design. As a result, the Coupé version of the R8 V10 performance RWD weighs just 1,590 kilograms.
Both the suspension and driving dynamics are specially adapted to the rear-wheel drive. With Sport mode activated in the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), the suspension setup and control systems make controlled drifts possible. The electromechanical power steering provides a feeling of direct contact with the road surface.
The vehicle’s dynamic steering system, available for the first time for the rear-wheel-drive R8, also offers even more precise response and feedback. It enhances driving dynamics by providing more direct steering response whilst also enhancing driving comfort when parking and manoeuvring.
Race Car Vibes
The R8 V10’s sporty, aggressive design is based on its GT4 siblings. These include the wide and flat Singleframe radiator grille in matte black with the R8 emblem surrounded by large air intakes, the front splitter, and the air outlet grille at the rear, as well as the oval tailpipes. The air slit under the front hood is reminiscent of the legendary Audi Sport quattro. Audi is offering its latest R8 ten colours including Ascari Blue Metallic, which was an R8 V10 performance quattro exclusive.
Stepping inside, drivers will find sleek lines also dominating the interior. The most striking element is the “monoposto” – the large, sharply contoured arch runs around the area in front of the driver’s seat, creating the atmosphere of a race car cockpit.
The “monoposto” surrounds the Audi virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch display built into a freestanding housing. The driver and passenger settle into newly available R8 bucket or sport seats. A plaque with the words RWD is emblazoned in front of the passenger seat.
With the world moving towards an electric future, the Audi R8 V10 finds itself in an unlikely position of not fitting into the German automaker’s plans for the future. That said, the performance machine is not going down without a fight. With upgraded performance and handling, the >Audi R8 Coupé V10 is certainly bowing out in style.
(Images: Audi Singapore)
This article was first published on Augustman Singapore.
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