Audi is celebrating the launch of its rear-wheel-drive R8 in the U.S. with 30 Panther Edition models. Each Panther Edition will be powered by the same raucous, 532-horsepower, 5.2-liter V-10 engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission found in the R8 since the second-generation launched in 2015. To set these pioneering cars apart, they will only be available painted in Panther Black with carbon fiber side mirror housings, and they’ll all be fitted with 20-inch split-five-spoke wheels finished in black with milled red accents.
Inside, the Panther Edition’s black leather interior will be highlighted with red stitching, and its racing seats will be upholstered with crimson Nappa leather. The red-accented black theme continues with the embroidered floor mats, as well as the leather steering wheel that’s got a crimson Alcantara band to indicate the 12 0’clock position. Other interior details include a diamond-stitched Alcantara headliner and Alcantara-wrapped parcel shelf and gear selector.
The rear-wheel-drive R8 is down a bit on power compared to the R8 Performance that only comes in AWD, but the lack of a front differential also means it’s more than 110 pounds lighter. It should be even more nimble, and we’re sure the 532 horses are more than adequate.
These Panther Edition R8s will begin to arrive in U.S. dealerships this month, which Audi reminds us is just in time for the holidays. They’ll carry an MSRP of $186,495 including destination and gas-guzzler tax if you plan on treating yourself.