Audi is making the new R8 V10 Performance RWD (rear-wheel-drive) the new entry point to its R8 sports car line-up when it goes on sale later this month.
A replacement for the R8 V10 Quattro and V10 RWD models, prices will kick off at £126,885 for the coupé and £135,575 for the convertible.
Inheriting the same naturally aspirated 5.2-litre V10 that is also found in the Lamborghini Huracan, power for the R8 V10 Performance RWD is raised by 30bhp to 562bhp, and torque by 71lb ft to its new figure of 406lb ft.
This extra shove is sent to the rear axle via a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox with help from a mechanical limited-slip differential to ensure “prime traction” even on damp or wet roads.
The removal of a front driven axle reduces both cars’ kerbweight, with the 1,590kg convertible able to crack 62mph from a standing start in just 3.7 seconds before going on to a 204mph top speed.
The heavier coupé (1,696kg) takes a tenth of a second longer to reach 62mph and has a 203mph top speed, although both return 21.9mpg on the combined cycle.
Sitting on lightweight 19- or 20-inch aluminium cast wheels, owners can upgrade the standard steel braking system for a ceramic set-up that increases the disc diameter by one inch to 19-inches.
The R8 V10 Performance RWD ushers in some new hardware in the shape of ‘Dynamic Steering’ – a system that promises “even more precise reaction and feedback”, particularly on meandering roads.
As well as promising a more rewarding driving experience, the system is also claimed to making low-speed manoeuvres such as parking much easier.
In terms of styling, the R8 V10 Performance RWD has much in common with other Performance-badged R8 models. Therefore, the front grille and ground hugging splitter are finished in matt black, and the rear sports the now familiar oval tailpipes.
Inside, sports seats upholstered in nappa leather come as standard in addition to a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle and wireless charging for smartphones.
Colour-wise, Northern Ireland customers have ten to choose from as well as an ‘Edition’ trim. Priced from £137,885, and available on RWD and four-wheel-drive Quattro models, it consists of 20-inch bronze finished alloys, nappa leather with diamond contrast stitching, and a Bang and Olufsen stereo.
For £9,000, Audi also offers a carbon fibre styling pack.