2018 Audi R8 RWS first drive: Rear-wheel drive rarity

All-wheel drive systems in sports cars like the Audi R8 are a little like boxing gloves, in that the added safeguards give the people behind them the confidence to attack past their usual means. A bare-knuckle pugilist is less likely to put hand-bones vs face-bones to the test with a full force skull punch, but shod them with a padded mitt, and they’ll have no issue ringing the other guy’s bell all night long.

Similarly, give a driver a car that has the front wheels aiding the rears by doing some of the driving, and they’ll probably feel braver on a track’s more harrowing features. The difference is, a boxer won’t walk away from a victory with a sense that using gloves is sort of cheating. You’ll hear many a track session tale end with someone mentioning that the all-wheel drive car “did all the work” for those who escaped a circuit unscathed. It’s for these folks that Audi now offers the R8 RWS, the first rear-wheel drive version of its famous sports car.

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