Audi R8 V10 performance RWD: The sheer joy of driving meets enhanced and powerful performance

No other Audi is closer to motor racing: The Audi R8 V10 is the dynamic spearhead and the fastest volume-production model of the Audi Sport brand.

The revised version of the high-performance sports car as a Coupé and Spyder is even sharper and more powerful. Its naturally aspirated V10 engines now have an output of 419 kW (570 metric horsepower)1/2 respectively; this is complemented by modifications to the suspension and an even more striking exterior design. Sales in Europe will begin in early 2019.

Audi R8 V10
Static photo; Color: Daytona gray metallic, Tango red, Ascari Blue metallic

Even more power, even more fun: the true meaning of “performance” at the Audi Sport GmbH. The new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD is available as a Coupé or Spyder with 30 PS extra, a sporty complement to the Audi R8 V10 performance quattro. This rear-wheel drive sports car, with its mid-mounted engine boasting 419 kW (570 PS)1/2 and new technological highlights such as bucket seats, dynamic steering, CFK stabilizers and ceramic disc brakes, is the embodiment of fun driving.

The Audi R8 V10 performance RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) is the sporty new cutting edge of serial rear-wheel drive sports cars from Audi. “The Audi R8 V10 RWD really struck a chord with customers right from the start with its rear-wheel drive derived from the R8 LMS racecar and its unfiltered dynamics. Now it has 30 PS and 10 newton meters more, taking the driving experience to a whole new level,” says Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH.

The base versions of both models, the Audi R8 V10 quattro3/4 and the Audi R8 V10 RWD5/6 as a Coupé and Spyder, will be replaced by the new performance models. This puts the R8 model range more firmly in the top position.

The ENGINE: legendary ten-cylinder on the road and the racetrack

The Audi R8’s ten-cylinder engine has long since achieved cult status and is one of the last naturally aspirated engines in its segment. Countless racing victories and strong performance in day-to-day use speak for themselves. The 5.2 FSI brings the car’s racing genes to life and has been given a further 30 PS boost in the Audi R8 V10 performance RWD1/2 and now generates an additional 10 Nm of torque at 550 Nm.

The high-performance engine made its debut on the race track in GT3 racing in the Audi R8 LMS in 2009. The R8 LMS ultra followed in 2012. Finally, the second-generation R8 LMS came on the market in 2015 and received a comprehensive upgrade in the fall of 2018. The R8 LMS GT4 has expanded Audi Sport’s customer racing lineup since the beginning of 2018. In both GT categories, the 5.2 FSI only differs slightly from the standard engine.

It forgoes dual injection, the intake system features an air restrictor, and the control unit’s maps and bearing shells have been modified. With a service interval of 10,000 kilometers and a mileage of 20,000 kilometers until the first inspection, the 5.2 FSI sets standards in racing.

Engine compartment

Power and torque have increased further in the Audi R8 V10 performance RWD1/2.

In the R8 V10 performance RWD1/2, the engine delivers 419 kW (570 PS) and a maximum of 550 Newton meters of torque. This results in explosive driving performance:

The mid-engine sports car accelerates from a standstill to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Spyder) and reaches a top speed of 329 km/h (327 km/h for the Spyder).

Audi R8 V10 performance RWD5.2 FSI
Displacement in cm35,204
Max. power in kW (PS) at /min419 (570) at 8,000
Max. torque inNm at /min550 at 6,400
Top speed in km/h329 (327 km/h for the Spyder)
Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in s3.7 (3.8 seconds for the Spyder)
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km13.0 – 12.9 (Coupé), 13.4 – 13.0 (Spyder)
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km299 – 294 (Coupé), 306 – 297 (Spyder)
Transmission Seven-speed S tronic

The V10, whose cylinder banks face each other at 90-degree angles, is the embodiment of naturally aspirated engine perfection. The crankshaft, which rotates in its lightweight aluminum cylinder housing, is designed as a common pin shaft -the connecting rods of the opposing pistons engage a common crankpin, resulting in alternating firing distances of 54 and 90 degrees. The firing order of 1-6-5-10-2-7-3-8-4-9 produces the R8’s signature sound. At higher loads and engine speeds, flaps in the exhaust system open for even more powerful intensity.

Traditional high-performance technologies shape the character of the 5.2 FSI. The oil supply features a dry sump design. Replacing the conventional oil sump bolted under the engine with a separate oil tank – an upright aluminum container behind the unit – allows the V10 engine to be installed in a low position, giving the car a very low center of gravity.

The four camshafts can be adjusted by 42 degrees of crank angle. The compression ratio of 12.7:1 is impressively high, and the valve timing is designed for a high cylinder charge at upper engine speeds. A dual system is responsible for the fuel supply. In the lower partial-load range, fuel is supplied solely via intake manifold injection (MPI). In the mid-load range, intake manifold and direct injection (FSI) share the amount of gasoline to be injected equally; at full load, the FSI system takes over about 85 percent.

Cylinder on demand (COD) technology also boosts efficiency. At low to medium load, it immobilizes the cylinders of a bank in the upper four gears by deactivating injection and ignition. The driver is not aware of the transition; the cylinder bank is immediately activated once again when more power is required.

In the engine of the R8 V10 performance RWD12, the power is transmitted to a lightning-fast seven-speed S tronic transmission. The driver can change the gears himself or let the dual-clutch transmission do the work in the D and S programs.

At the push of a button, Launch Control applies the clutch at around 4,500 rpm when accelerating from a standstill – the power of the V10 hits the road with perfectly controlled slip. When the Audi drive select dynamic handling system is placed into comfort mode and the car is traveling at speeds above 55 km/h, the seven-speed S tronic shifts into freewheel mode, known as coasting, when the accelerator is released. It then opens both clutches – the high-performance sports car rolls along in a relaxed and efficient manner. 

The CHASSIS: powerful driving dynamics for enthusiasts

The axle load distribution of 40:60 and a suspension and driving dynamics setup specially adapted to the rear-wheel drive make the car tremendously fun to drive. The RWD sports suspension features double wishbones and a passive differential lock. A suspension setup specially adapted to the rear-wheel drive allows controlled drifts in ESC “Sport” mode. The CFRP stabilizer on the front axle in conjunction with the sport suspension result in neutral self-steering behavior in combination with rear-wheel drive.

Dynamic photo Colour: Daytona gray metallic

Electromechanical rack-and-pinion power steering is standard in the new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD21.The Audi R8 comes standard-equipped with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The system can control important technical elements such as the engine, transmission, and steering. A total of four driving modes can be selected: auto, comfort, dynamic, and individual. Dynamic mode is designed for maximum driving enjoyment – it supports spontaneous steering and offers slight oversteer.

Audi can deliver the vehicle with dynamic steering, which includes a superposition gearing. It varies the gear ratio depending on the speed between 10.5:1 and 15.8:1. Compared with the electromechanical version, the dynamic steering system requires significantly less steering wheel rotation, especially at lower speeds, such as when driving on winding serpentine roads, narrow hairpin bends, but also in city traffic or when parking.

The R8 V10 performance RWD21 rolls off the production line with 19-inch wheels on which 245/35 tires are mounted at the front and 295/35 at the rear. Alternatively, milled 20-inch wheels are available in a five-V dynamic design with three different surfaces. They are fitted with 245/30 tires at the front and 305/30 tires at the rear. Cup tires with the sizes 245/30 R20 at the front and 305/30 R20 at the rear are optionally available.

The steel discs of the new Audi R8 V10 performance RWD21 are internally ventilated and drilled. They feature wave-shaped contours in order to reduce their weight – also known as wave design.

Eight-piston fixed calipers and discs with a diameter of 365 millimeters handle braking at the front axle, while four-piston calipers and discs with a diagonal of 356 millimeters are used at the rear axle. Audi will equip the car with red brake calipers instead of the black ones on request.

The Audi R8 V10 performance RWD21 decelerates with optional 19-inch brake discs made of carbon-fiber-reinforced ceramic, which are particularly temperature-resistant and durable. Their cooling channels ensure that heat is dissipated quickly, and the friction rings are bolted to forged aluminum pots. They measure 380 millimeters in diameter at the front (with six-piston fixed calipers) and 356 millimeters at the rear (with four-piston calipers). The brake calipers are available standard in red, blue, or anthracite.

The EXTERIOR DESIGN: expressive and inspired by racing

A passenger compartment positioned far forward, accentuated wheel arches, a wheelbase of 2.65 meters, and a long back – no other production model from Audi is conceptually and visually closer to a race car than the 4.43-meter-long R8. Designed using the Audi Space Frame (ASF) construction method, the body lays the foundation for the Audi R8’s consistent lightweight design concept.

Horizontal lines give the front of the high-performance sports car its ultra-wide look. The wide and flat Singleframe radiator grille features a matte black finish and bears the R8 emblem. Above the wide front splitter are the large air intakes that are divided into two sections by distinctive vertical winglets. Flat slits under the front hood are reminiscent of the brand’s iconic Audi Sport quattro. LED headlights with 37 LEDs each are equipped standard and partially dimmed. The Audi laser light, which nearly doubles the range of the high beam, is optionally available; a blue LED makes it visible from the outside. The laser light is combined with the dynamic turn signals in the front.

The side view of the R8 V10 performance RWD21 appears streamlined and focused, with sharp lines outlining aerodynamically shaped surfaces. The sill trims extend the front splitter visually and give the R8 a flat, sporty appearance. In the engine compartment, the air filter is located under a new, three-part cover, optionally available in plastic or carbon.

The soft top on the Audi Spyder R8 V10 performance RWD21 is perfectly integrated into the design line; it extends into two fins that stretch the fabric. Weighing just 44 kilograms, it contributes to the vehicle’s low center of gravity. An electrohydraulic system opens and closes the top in 20 seconds at speeds of up to 50 km/h. When opened, it folds in a Z-shape into a flat storage compartment above the engine, the cover flap of which is made of CFRP. The rear window is separate from the soft top in the CFRP bulkhead and can be electrically raised and lowered. Two powerful steel sections pretensioned by steel springs serve as rollover protection.

The horizontal lines also dominate the rear of the R8. The engine compartment’s air outlet grille, which features a honeycomb design, runs across the full width of the vehicle. With its distinctive fins, the diffuser surrounds the exhaust system’s glossy black and elliptically shaped tailpipes.

Personalization is a hallmark of the Audi R8 V10 performance RWD21 – its paint fan contains ten colors, including Ascari Blue Metallic, a color previously reserved for the R8 V10 performance quattro34. The Audi exclusive program allows customers to choose the paint job of their choice. The sideblades are offered in five colors and the custom paint finish; the Spyder’s soft top is available in three colors: black, brown, and red. 

The INTERIOR: focused on the essentials

The sleek lines of the new R8 V10 performance RWD23 also dominate the interior. Its most striking element is the monoposto. The large, contoured arch runs around the area in front of the driver’s seat, creating the atmosphere of a race car cockpit. A freestanding housing houses the Audi virtual cockpit, and the entire instrument panel appears slim and light. The comfort air conditioning system’s control knobs are visually inspired by aircraft turbines, while the air vents, with their vertical slats, are reminiscent of race cars.

In the Audi R8 V10 performance RWD23, the driver and front passenger sit on electrically and pneumatically adjustable and heated sport seats. The R8 V10 performance RWD23 comes equipped with bucket seats with electric height adjustment and manual forward/backward adjustment. The pedals and footrest in this model are made of stainless steel, while the trim is made of carbon fiber. A total of 226 liters of storage space is available behind the seats. It complements the 112-liter luggage compartment under the front hood.

Interior; Color: Tango red

Both the sport and bucket seats can be upholstered in fine napa leather, Alcantara, or diamond stitching upon request. Audi Sport fulfills almost every wish through the Audi exclusive customization program. Optional comfort features in the new Audi R8 include an interior light package, high-beam assist, a storage package, and park assist plus with a rear-view backup camera. Standard features include automatic comfort air conditioning, an anti-theft alarm system, LED interior lighting, a comfort key, and cruise control.

The driver sits in the Audi R8 V10 performance RWD23 like they would in a race car. The entire operating concept is focused solely on the driver. The driver can operate every essential function without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. The multifunctional R8 leather steering wheel plus offers two or, in the “performance version,” four control satellites to operate Audi drive select, start the engine, and activate performance mode and engine sound. Information from the MMI navigation plus appears in the Audi virtual cockpit.

Its display measures 12.3 inches diagonally, and the driver can switch between views using the “View” button on the steering wheel. The performance view places a large tachometer in the center of focus. Various displays can be placed around it, such as for power, torque, g-forces, lap times, engine and transmission oil temperatures, as well as tire pressure and temperature.

PRODUCTION: Manufactured at Böllinger Höfe

The R8 V10 performance RWD23 is manufactured – predominantly by hand – at the “Böllinger Höfe” sports car production facility in Heilbronn, not far from Neckarsulm, Audi’s second location in Germany. The Audi R8 has been manufactured here since 2014, and in 2019 the factory was expanded as well as upgraded and converted to accommodate the Audi e-tron GT4.

As a result, Audi’s two most powerful and fastest production models of all time are now being built here. “Manufacturing two vehicles that are so technologically different on one assembly line is unique across the group,” noted production manager Wolfgang Schanz. “With the integration of the all-electric four-door coupe, our small-scale production facility at Audi’s Böllinger Höfe has transformed into a highly flexible high-tech production facility that nevertheless retains its small-scale character.”

Audi R8-Manufactory at „Böllinger Höfe“, near the Neckarsulm production site: The Audi R8 Coupé in the checking and finishing area.

The LMS GT4 race car, which is directly derived from the production model and uses around 60 percent of the same parts, is also built at the site.

Up to 1,000 highly qualified employees work in sports car production here on around 40,000 square meters of production space. “Due to the flexibility of the Böllinger Höfe facility, preparations for the production of the R8 V10 performance RWD23 were very straightforward. Together with the team from small-scale production, we were able to integrate the new R8 derivative into the processes without any problems,” remarked Björn Friedrich, Audi R8 project manager


  1. Audi Coupé R8 V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9 (18.2 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295 – 294 (474.8 – 473.1 g/mi)
  2. Audi Spyder R8 V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0 (18.1 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298 – 297 (479.6 – 478.0 g/mi)
  3. Audi Coupé R8 V10 quattro: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.5 (17.4 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 310 (498.9 g/mi)
  4. Audi Spyder R8 V10 quattro: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.6 (17.3 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 311 (500.5 g/mi)
  5. Audi Coupé R8 V10 RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.1 (18.0 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 300 (482.8 g/mi)
  6. Audi Spyder R8 V10 RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.2 (17.8 US mpg); Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 303 (487.6 g/mi)


  1. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295–294
  2. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–297


  1. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–297


  1. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–297
  2. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295–294
  3. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 299–297
  4. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance quattro: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.4–13.3; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 306–304


  1. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9 (18.2 US mpg)*; Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295 – 294 (474.8 – 473.1 g/mi)*
  2. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295–294
  3. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–297


  1. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance quattro: Combined fuel consumption in l/​100 km: 13.1 (18 US mpg); combined CO2 emissions in g/​km: 297 (478 g/​mi)
  2. Audi R8 Coupé V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 12.9; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 295–294
  3. Audi R8 Spyder V10 performance RWD: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 13.0; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 298–297
  4. Audi e-tron GT quattro: Combined electric power consumption in kWh/100 km: 19.6–18.8; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 0

Information on fuel/power consumption and CO2 emissions in ranges depending on the chosen equipment level of the car.

The equipment, data and prices specified in this article refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.

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