After releasing a teaser on Instagram, Audi has finally unveiled a new variant of the R8 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This is the Audi R8 V10 RWS, where the last bit of its name stands for Rear Wheel Series (not rear-wheel steering!).

Yes, this is a rear-wheel drive R8, and it will be offered in limited number – 999 units with both Coupe and Spyder variants. All of them will be built exclusively by hand at the Böllinger Höfe R8 factory.

Like the rest of the current R8 line-up, a 5.2 litre V10 petrol engine powers the new variant. It serves up 540 hp and 540 Nm of torque, similar to non-plus versions, and is paired with a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission (no quattro here).

This combination is enough to get the R8 V10 RWS from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds (3.8 seconds for the Spyder). These times are slightly slower than the all-wheel drive version – 3.5 seconds for the Coupe and 3.6 seconds for the Spyder.

While the engine may be the same, the R8 V10 RWS Coupe is 50 kg lighter than the regular R8, largely thanks to the removal of AWD bits like the propshaft, multi-plate clutch and centre differential. The R8 V10 RWS Spyder is 40 kg lighter than its all-wheel drive equivalent. To ensure rear-wheel drive fun, the car also gets special tuning tweaks and axle load distribution of 40.6:59.4 (Coupé) and 40.4:59.6 (Spyder).

According to Audi, these revisions along with the car’s control systems, “allow for controlled drifts” if the driver chooses ‘dynamic’ mode in Audi drive select and sets the Stabilization Control ESC to ‘Sport’. “The ESC intervenes reliably at the limit,” so be rest assured there.

The limited-edition R8 also gets its fair share of distinct cues like matte black air apertures and Singleframe grille, while the sideblades get a two-tone look (gloss black/body colour).

Fitted standard are black-finished, 19-inch, cast aluminum wheels in a five-spoke V-design, with 245/35 tyres up front and 295/35 at the rear. You can also specify optional red film for the hood, roof and rear end, similar to the R8 LMS GT 4 race car.

Moving inside, there are sport seats covered in leather and Alcantara for the driver and passenger, with bucket seats available as an option. The dashboard also bears an emblem ‘1 of 999′, indicating the limited number of units.

“The R8 V10 RWS is made for purists. A limited-edition special model for customers with an appreciation for essential driving enjoyment, the R8 V10 RWS is an absolutely exclusive offer. With its mid-mounted V10 engine and rear-wheel drive, it successfully brings the driving concept of our R8 LMS racing car to the streets,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport.

The Audi R8 V10 RWS will be available for order in Germany and other European countries from autumn 2017, with deliveries set to take place in 2018. Prices start at 140,000 euros (RM703,627) for the Coupe and 153,000 euros (RM767,445) for the Spyder.