Designed for dynamics: The Audi R8 V10 RWS (2018)
The high-performance sports car is the first production model from Audi with rear-wheel drive and is limited to 999 models.
Exterior design and body
The new Audi R8 V10 RWS is 4.42 meters (14.5 ft) long and 1.94 meters (6.4 ft) wide both as a Coupé and as a Spyder. With the cabin positioned a long way forward, the elongated rear and a wheelbase of 2.65 meters (8.7 ft), from the very first glance, the vehicle proportions clearly illustrate the technical concept of this mid-engine sports car. Its characteristic design details include sharp lines and edges, as well as a two-section side blade. This is intersected by the continuous shoulder line, which emphasizes the taught lines of the body. The upper side blade (on the Coupé) is painted in glossy black, while the lower blade is the same color as the vehicle. Large air inlets with vertical fins and LED headlamps flank the wide, low, single-frame grille, which has a three dimensionally sculpted look. Honeycomb grilles in matte black accentuate the puristic appearance of the new R8 variant.
On request, Audi can deliver LED headlights with laser spot. These double the range of the high beam. This option also includes dynamic turn signals in front; these come as standard in the LED tail lights. The look at the rear is dominated by the diffuser and the matte black ventilation grille of the engine compartment.
The aluminum fuel cap features embossed lettering. When the driver opens it, he or she can insert the fuel nozzle directly into the fuel pipe like a racing car without having to unscrew a cap. The optionally available racing stripe of the Audi R8 Coupé V10 RWS is inspired by the Audi R8 LMS GT 4 – it is Misano Red and runs along the bonnet, roof and rear section.
Lightweight construction: Audi Space Frame (ASF)
For the Audi R8 Coupé V10 RWS, the curb weight (without driver) is limited to 1,590 kilograms (3,505.3 lb). That is 50 kilograms (110.2 lb) less than the Audi R8 Coupé V10 with quattro drive, which requires additional components compared to the rear-wheel drive variant, such as a cardan shaft, multi-plate clutch and front-axle differential. The decisive factor in the consistent lightweight construction concept is the body, which features an ASF (Audi Space Frame) design.
Thanks to a multi-material mix, this weighs only 200 kilograms (440.9 lb) and comprises 79% aluminum and 14% CFRP.
Spyder: Convertible top open in 20 seconds
The lightweight soft top of the Audi R8 V10 RWS Spyder tapers into two fins. These stretch the fabric so that it harmonizes perfectly with the athletic design of the high-performance sports car, in much the same way as the CFRP hood compartment does. An electrohydraulic drive opens and closes the soft top in 20 seconds at vehicle speeds of up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph). The rear window, which is lowered into the bulkhead, can be retracted and extended electrically.
The R8 Spyder V10 RWS weighs 1,680 kilograms (3703.8 lb) (curb weight, without driver), 40 kilograms (88.2 lb) less than the R8 Spyder V10.
The V10 mid-mounted engine of the Audi R8 V10 RWS delivers 397 kW (540 hp). It delivers its maximum torque of 540 Nm (398.3 lb-ft) at 6,500 revolutions per minute. The 5.2 FSI engine accelerates the coupe from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds) and achieves a top speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph) (Spyder: 318 km/h [197.6 mph]).
V10 power: Immense power and immediate responsiveness
The immediately responsive 5.2 FSI is a high-performance engine that is systematically designed for high speeds. As soon as the engine is started, it revs to 2,500 rpm in fractions of a second.
When under load, the naturally aspirated ten-cylinder engine develops its own unmistakable sound – a throaty snarling and roaring. The firing sequence is 1 – 6 – 5 – 10 – 2 – 7 – 3 – 8 – 4 – 9.
The crankshaft is designed as a common pin shaft: The connecting rods of the opposing pistons engage with a common crankpin, which results in alternating firing intervals of 54 and 90 degrees. This sequence is a key factor in producing the unique, motorsport-like sound.
The V10, which is produced in the Hungarian Győr engine plant, is extremely compact. The engine oil temperature is regulated by its own radiator, and comes from a dry sump. Born in motorsport, this principle allows an extremely low installation position of the engine, which ensures a low center of gravity. The pump module employs multiple suction stages, thus ensuring lubrication under all conditions – even with lateral acceleration in the 1.5 g range that the R8 V10 RWS can achieve.
Special combustion process: FSI plus MPI (Multipoint Injection)
In addition to direct injection into the combustion chambers (FSI), the V10 uses an additional injection into the intake manifold (MPI). Two newly developed control units share the complex calculation work in accordance with the master-slave concept and control the dual injection.
Only the MPI injection is used in the partial load range. The fuel evaporates very well thanks to the strong vacuum in the intake manifold, which results in clean combustion. In the medium load range, the intake manifold injection and direct injection share the work equally. At the full load range, around 85% of the fuel injection is performed by the FSI system at a pressure of up to 200 bar. The directly injected fuel swirls intensively. This cools the walls of the combustion chambers and thus reduces knocking. The remaining MPI share increases the filling ability and contributes to the increased performance.
The cylinder on demand (COD) technology considerably increases efficiency. At low to medium loads, it shuts down the cylinders of the left or right bank in the upper four gears by deactivating the injection and ignition.
In addition to the COD system, the 5.2 FSI features other efficiency technologies. If the “comfort” mode is active in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system – which is fitted as standard – and the speed is over 55 km/h (34.2 mph), the 7-speed S tronic switches to freewheel when the gas pedal is released. It then opens both clutches, and the high performance sports car coasts. Immediately before pulling up, the engine’s start/stop system completely switches off and the subsequent restart is smooth.
Power transmission and suspension
Behind the ten-cylinder engine is a 7-speed S tronic. The commands are transmitted purely electronically – shift by wire. The driver can change gears via the selector lever or the steering wheel rockers, or alternatively, they can allow the S tronic to switch to programs D and S itself. At the push of a button, the Launch Control Program controls the engagement of the clutch at about 4,500 rpm from a standing start – thus transferring the power of the V10 to the road with controlled tire slip.
The S tronic dual clutch transmission is very compact. Its thermal management system, which cooperates with the engine, uses an oil-water heat exchanger mounted on the gearbox. The mechatronic unit is constructed as a separate block, and actuates and lubricates the high-tech gearbox. Just one oil pump is enough to supply the wheel sets, clutches and the integrated limited slip differential.
The purely mechanical rear-axle differential lock improves the traction and driving dynamics – it has a 25% lock effect on traction and 45% on thrust. This makes it precisely tailored to the dynamic and puristic character of the new Audi R8 V10 RWS. The mid-mounted engine is positioned close to the vertical axis in the center of the vehicle so that the sports car remains stable on the road, even during rapid changes of direction. The axle load distribution is 40.6:59.4 (Spyder: 40.4:59.6).
Adjusted suspension for maximum driving pleasure
The tailoring of the suspension and driving dynamics to the rear-wheel drive concept ensures maximum driving pleasure. The specific suspension setup and the control systems enable controlled drifts when the driver selects “dynamic” mode in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system and activates ESC sport mode. When the limit is reached, the ESC stability control will engage safely.
The aluminum double wishbone suspension – a classic design principle from motorsport – guides the wheels. Rubber-metal bearings transfers the lateral forces into the body while ensuring good elasticity in the longitudinal direction. The track is 1,599 millimeters (63.0 in) on the rear axle, and 1,638 millimeters (64.5 in) on the front axle.
The new electromechanical power steering tuned for the rear-wheel drive enables precise handling. It provides differentiated feedback from the road and at the same time saves a significant amount of energy compared to a hydraulic steering system. It has a steering ratio of 15.7:1, and the effect of the power steering is based on the speed being driven and the mode selected in Audi drive select.
The new Audi R8 V10 RWS is fitted as standard with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with a five-spoke V-design painted in black. The front tires are 245/35 and the rear tires are 295/35. Direct tire pressure monitoring comes as standard, along with temperature monitoring.
Large brakes are located behind the wheels. The standard steel discs have wavy contours (wave design), which makes them particularly lightweight. They are internally ventilated and perforated. Stainless steel pins bind the discs to the aluminum chambers, which prevent the transfer of temperature peaks. The front axle features eight-piston fixed calipers and discs with a diameter of 365 millimeters (14.4 in), while the rear axle features four-piston calipers and discs with a diameter of 356 millimeters (14.0 in). The electromechanical parking brake is applied to two separate floating calipers.
The lightweight construction concept of the Audi R8 V10 RWS is reflected in the streamlined style of the interior. The dominant element is the monoposto arc that surrounds the cockpit. The instrument panel has a looks as if it is floating and houses the shaped control units of the automatic air conditioner. The “1 of 999” indicates the limited quantity of new Audi R8 V10 RWS vehicles available.
The driver and passenger sit in low-mounted sport seats. These are covered with leather and Alcantara. Bucket seats are available on request. Behind the seats in the Coupé, there is storage space of 226 liters (8 cu ft), which adds to the 112 liter (4.0 cu ft) luggage compartment in the vehicle front end.
Audi offers different variants of the fine Nappa leather interior. This includes dynamic diamond stitching that makes the seats look particularly slim – as the diamonds get larger from top to bottom. The range is completed by two leather packages and four Alcantara designs for the headliner, including two with diamond stitching.
In addition, the Audi exclusive range offers comprehensive options for further customization of the interior. For example, lighting and customization is available for the aluminum sill panel strips. Customers can choose between a wide range of coverings, decorative trims and colors – the choice is almost endless.
Display and controls
Those who want to drive fast and safely need full concentration – which is why the operating concept of the new Audi R8 V10 RWS is fully focused on the driver. Just like in a racing car, the driver can access all the important functions from the steering wheel without having to look away from the road. The standard R8 sport steering wheel with multifunction plus integrates two satellite buttons for starting and stopping the engine and for Audi drive select.
The Audi virtual cockpit, a 12.3-inch TFT monitor, presents all the complex calculations and information in high-resolution graphics. The driver can switch between three different interfaces in the display. Infotainment mode shows the navigation map or lists from the Telephone, Radio and Audio sections in a large central window, flanked by the rev counter and tachometer as small round instruments. In the Classic view, the instruments are the same size as analog displays and the middle window is correspondingly smaller.
There is also a Performance view specially designed for racetrack use. This view is dominated by a central rev counter. It also serves as a shift indicator – when the 7-speed S tronic is in manual mode, its scale is highlighted in color at higher revs. As the rev speed increases, green, orange and red segments are activated. As soon as the engine reaches its limit, the entire scale flashes red.
The driver can use the multifunction buttons to position additional displays to the left and right of the rev counter. The power and torque output of the 5.2 FSI are displayed as percentages, while a g-meter visualizes the forces acting on the car and reaches up to 1.5 g. A lap timer records up to 99 laps and compares the times against each other. The status of important technical components is also shown, such as the temperature of the tires, engine oil and transmission fluid, as well as the tire pressure.
Infotainment and Audi connect
The infotainment system is operated via the round rotary push button on the center console. The optional MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch is a particular highlight of the infotainment system. This integrates a touchpad on the rotary push button, which allows the driver to write, scroll and zoom into the navigation map. As with a smartphone, the operating logic is designed as flat hierarchies, including the MMI search. This is available for all main menus, and generally offers responses after just a few letters are entered.
The system can be controlled via the steering wheel, the MMI terminal on the console of the center tunnel, or via natural voice control, which understands simple commands and queries. In the Spyder model, three small microphones integrated in the seat belts as standard make telephone calls and voice control particularly easy and ensure the highest audio quality. The infotainment system also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Highly connected: Audi Connect and the myAudi app
The Audi Connect Navigation & Infotainment module is the perfect companion, bringing the Internet and numerous services to the two-seater via LTE. The portfolio ranges from navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View to travel, traffic and parking information. The driver can also access his or her Twitter account and can retrieve online news. The information is displayed in the Audi virtual cockpit, and the system is operated using the MMI system.
The same also applies to the many functions of the free myAudi app. This allows online media streaming through the Amazon Music and Napster services, as well as online radio.
The Audi smartphone interface integrates iOS and Android cell phones into a specially developed environment in MMI via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Audi phone box connects the smartphone to the vehicle antenna for improved reception quality and inductively charges the smartphone via wireless charging according to the Qi-standard.
Audi has fitted the new R8 V10 RWS an extensive range of standard equipment. LED headlights and the dynamic rear turn signals come as standard, while the laser spot for the main beam and dynamic front turn signals are available as an option.
Other standard features include the comfort climate control system, the anti-theft alarm system, LED interior lighting, keyless access, the optical parking system, and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. On request, Audi can supply an interior lighting package, the main beam assist, the cruise control system, a storage package and a reversing camera.
As passive safety features, the Coupé features two frontal airbags, two head side airbags and two chest side airbags, along with the integral head restraint system. The Spyder features two frontal airbags and to side airbags for safety purposes. Two strong steel profiles, pre-loaded with springs, serve as an Automatic Rollover Support System.
Bang & Olufsen Sound System – including loudspeakers in the head restraints
As an alternative to the standard Audi sound system, a Bang & Olufsen system, in which a 550-watt amplifier controls 13 loudspeakers, is also available. The subwoofer is located in the front bulkhead near the right, front wheel housing. Clasps made from anodized aluminum fasten the bass woofers in the doors, and when it is dark they are illuminated with LED accent lighting. Two of the 13 speakers are fitted in each of the head restraints, both in the R8 sport seats and R8 bucket seats. The Symphoria algorithm, which Audi developed in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute, adds significant depth to the sound.
The Audi R8 V10 RWS is produced under the management of Audi Sport GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of AUDI AG, at the “Audi Böllinger Höfen” site in Heilbronn – very close to the tradition-rich location of Neckarsulm. Up to 500 highly-qualified employees work here at the 30,000 m2 production site.
The R8 production is organized as a flexible factory – where Audi Sport GmbH is further expanding its competence with regards to small batch production. Self-driving assembly skids, known as driverless transport systems (DTS), are not only used to carry the finished, painted body, but also for assembly, and replace the classic conveyor technology system. The DTS transport system has autonomous navigation that uses environmental features and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) as well as high-performance capacitors. During assembly, the employees perform a large proportion of the manual activities in 15 cycles.
Flexibility is extremely important at the “Audi Böllinger Höfen” site – alongside the series models, the employees also produce the R8 LMS GT4. This demands a permanent transfer of technology from the motorsport sector, as well as very strong qualifications due to the complexity of the work processes.
Before delivery, every new high-performance sports car must pass a demanding acceptance process. This is followed by a quality inspection on the factory’s own test track and a test drive on public roads. Only then is the new Audi released for delivery to the customer.
Limited to 999 models, the new Audi R8 V10 RWS continues the exclusive history of the R8, now available for the first time with pure rear-wheel drive. The story begins in 2007 with the launch of the first-generation
Coupé, followed in 2010 by the Spyder. Together, both variants have resulted in more than 34,000 sales. They demonstrate the high-tech competence of Audi and its strong connection to motorsport.
With the second R8 generation, Audi Sport proves its credentials again – the engineers developed the new Audi R8 LMS GT3 race car together with the production models. As a result, more than 50% of all parts from the R8 LMS are also found in the R8. The Audi R8 LMS GT4 has an even higher number of identical parts to the Audi R8 Coupé than the GT3 sports car, with around 60% of the same parts being used.
The close collaboration between the race engineers, motorsport professionals and developers has significantly increased the performance of the road version. Renowned awards like the “Golden Steering Wheel” and “Auto Trophy” prove the success of the Coupé.
The mid-mounted engine in the Audi R8 and R8 Spyder is a classic concept in motorsport and is part of the sporting DNA of the brand. Even the Grand Prix racing cars of the Auto Union back in the 1930s had engines above the rear axle – a revolutionary step at the time.
Audi R8 V10 RWS – 5.2 FSI
Engine: V10 cylinder gasoline engine with combined intake manifold fuel injection and direct gasoline injection
Displacement in cc: 5,204
Max. power in kW (hp) at rpm: 397 (540) at 7,800
Max. torque in Nm (lb-ft) at rpm: 540 (398.3) at 6,500
Maximum speed in km/h (mph): 320 (198.8) (Spyder: 318 (197.6))
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h in s (0 to 62 mph): 3.7 (198.8) (Spyder: 3.8 (197.6))
Combined consumption in l/100 km (US mpg): 12.4 (198.8) (Spyder: 12.6 (197.6))
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km (g/mi): 286–283 (460.3–455.4)
Drive: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission: 7-speed S tronic transmission