Remember back in 2017 when Audi released a limited edition batch of rear-wheel drive R8 RWS? Well, it’s back as a permanent fixture now, and can be specified in both coupe and spyder guises. Hooray!

Both cars are powered by the automaker’s 5.2 litre naturally-aspirated V10 engine, producing 540 PS at 6,500 rpm and 540 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission – the car also comes with a mechanical locking differential.

The coupe RWD weighs 1,595 kg, which makes it 65 kg lighter than the R8 quattro, while the spyder RWD weighs 1,695 kg (55 kg less than the quattro). The 0-100 km/h sprint time should be the same as before – the coupe gets there in 3.7 seconds, while the spyder is slower at 3.8 seconds.

Audi says when sport mode is activated, the suspension setup and control system enables “controlled drifting,” while at the same time the power steering ensures “intense contact” with the road. Either way, the R8 RWD sits on mixed tyres – it gets 19-inch wheels up front with 245/35 tyres, while the back gets larger 20-inch hoops shod with 295/35 rubbers.

Design-wise, they are pretty much identical to the quattro counterparts, although a new Kemora Grey colour has been added to the palette. Optional upgrades include carbon styling package for the coupe, and black styling package for the spyder. Inside, the dash now comes with an “RWD” logo.

Production of the Audi R8 is still done largely by hand at the “Böllinger Höfe” production facility in Neckarsulm. The R8 RWD will be launched in European markets at the beginning of 2020, and the base price for the coupe in Germany will be 144,000 euros (RM659k), while the spyder will start at 157,000 euros (RM718k).

Meanwhile, Audi has also taken the veils off the new R8 LMS GT4, made exclusively for privateer drivers. For the first time, the race car’s ABS and traction control systems can be adjusted, allowing up to eight different settings.

The R8 LMS GT4 gets equipped with the same steering wheel that’s found in the R8 LMS GT2 race car, featuring two rotary switches to select ABS and traction control parameters on the fly. This also makes driver swaps convenient, and all their preferences can be saved as presets.