This vision in Suzuka Gray Metallic is the 2022 R8 Spyder V10 Performance RWD, the rear-wheel drive version of Audi's iconic supercar.
Ditching Quattro all-wheel drive means this car is lighter and cheaper. It also means its handling is also slightly friskier.
Regardless of the number of driven wheels, the R8 features one of the best engines you'll find anywhere, at any price: A glorious naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10.
In rear-drive spec, the R8 generates 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque -- slight decreases versus its Quattro brethren.
This strikingly bright interior is known as Express Red. It features optional quilting on the seating surfaces.
I don't think you'll miss those extra ponies, or notice that 60 mph smacks you in the face from a standstill in 3.5 seconds instead of 3.3.
This RWD Spyder version costs more than the fixed-hardtop Coupe. It's priced from $162,395 including gas-guzzler tax and delivery fees.
That's a lot of money, but it's much cheaper than the more heavily contented Quattro version, which runs over $52,000 more before options.
Of course, you lose out on features like the Quattro's magnetic ride-control adaptive suspension, along with variable-ratio adaptive steering, electronic supervision of the limited-slip differential, carbon-ceramic brakes and laser headlamps.
That's a long list of things to go without, but you can add some of the equipment back in by raiding the options list and in truth, you probably won't miss a lot of it.
The way the V10 revs to its 8,700-rpm redline and the way those glorious sounds carry across LA's famed canyons is etched in our memories.
The R8 is getting on in years, but the driver-focused interior still looks and works very well.
The only screen is the Digital Cockpit gauge cluster in front of the driver -- there's no central infotainment display.
I'm a dyed-in-the-wool manual-transmission junkie, but this seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox doesn't just work well, it's genuinely fun using the paddle shifters in manual mode.
Provided you opt for the contrasting side blades, this small dashboard badge is one of the only visual telltales that the R8 you're looking at goes about its business without front drive axles.
Yep, there are laser beams for headlamps. Don't worry, you won't shoot your eye out.
The R8 V10 range competes against upper-end Porsche 911 models, as well as the McLaren GT, Mercedes-AMG GT and other entry-level supercars and high-end sports cars.
"X" marks the spot of eXcellence.
Handling and steering feel are slightly more vibrant in this RWD model.
That said, one of the R8's defining characteristics has always been how livable it is everyday -- an unusual attribute for a supercar. Quattro AWD is part of that usability.
Audi has already said that the next R8 will go all electric. It'll no doubt be quicker, capable of blinding performance metrics. It'll also be better for the environment. That said, I'm not sure it'll be more characterful or more entertaining to drive, however.
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