X

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance RWD Is a Legal Stimulant

Audi's sublime supercar is no less characterful or rewarding with the removal of two driven wheels.

skype-headshot
skype-headshot

Chris Paukert

See full bio
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
1 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

This vision in Suzuka Gray Metallic is the 2022 R8 Spyder V10 Performance RWD, the rear-wheel drive version of Audi's iconic supercar.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
2 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

Ditching Quattro all-wheel drive means this car is lighter and cheaper. It also means its handling is also slightly friskier.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
3 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
4 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

In rear-drive spec, the R8 generates 562 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque -- slight decreases versus its Quattro brethren.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
5 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

This strikingly bright interior is known as Express Red. It features optional quilting on the seating surfaces.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
6 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
7 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

This RWD Spyder version costs more than the fixed-hardtop Coupe. It's priced from $162,395 including gas-guzzler tax and delivery fees. 

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
8 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
9 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
10 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
11 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
12 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

The R8 is getting on in years, but the driver-focused interior still looks and works very well.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
13 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

The only screen is the Digital Cockpit gauge cluster in front of the driver -- there's no central infotainment display.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
14 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
15 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
16 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

Yep, there are laser beams for headlamps. Don't worry, you won't shoot your eye out.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
17 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
18 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

"X" marks the spot of eXcellence.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
19 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

Handling and steering feel are slightly more vibrant in this RWD model.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
20 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
21 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

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.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
22 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

Keep clicking or scrolling for dozens of additional images of the 2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance RWD.

2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
23 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
24 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
25 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
26 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
27 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
28 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
29 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
30 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
31 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
32 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
33 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
34 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
35 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
36 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
37 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
38 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
39 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
40 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
41 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
42 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
43 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
44 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
45 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
46 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
47 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
48 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
49 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
50 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
51 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
52 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
53 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
54 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
55 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
56 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
57 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
58 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
59 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
60 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
61 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
62 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
63 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
64 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
65 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET
2022 Audi R8 Spyder V10 Performance
66 of 66 Chris Paukert/CNET

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV Is a Slippery Sedan With Strange Details

More Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV Is a Slippery Sedan With Strange Details

14 Photos
2023 Cadillac Lyriq Comes Out Swinging

More Galleries

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Comes Out Swinging

46 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

81 Photos
The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
2022 Genesis G80 Sport Is a Compelling New Trim

More Galleries

2022 Genesis G80 Sport Is a Compelling New Trim

37 Photos