Audi may bring its rear-wheel drive R8 to the US as a 2021 model

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The rear-wheel drive Audi R8 went from a limited edition to a permanent fixture in the lineup, but it is not currently sold in the United States. That may be about to change.

EPA fuel-economy listings show the rear-wheel drive Audi R8 as a 2021 model. Listings for “2WD” versions of the 2021 R8 coupe and Spyder appear online alongside the all-wheel drive models. An EPA listing doesn’t necessarily mean a model will come but it’s a pretty good indicator.

We reached out to Audi for comment, and a spokesman declined to make a statement.

In case you were wondering, the EPA listings show slightly better gas mileage for the rear-wheel drive variants. The rear-wheel drive models are both listed at 17 mpg combined (14 mpg city, 23 mpg highway), compared to 16 mpg combined (13 mpg city, 20 mpg highway) for the all-wheel drive models.

Note that this is the only indication so far that the rear-wheel drive R8 will be sold in the United States. Audi hasn’t made any announcements about the model.

2020 Audi R8 V10 RWD

2020 Audi R8 V10 RWD

In other markets, rear-wheel drive R8 retains the all-wheel drive model’s 5.2-liter V-10 and 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, but the engine has a slightly lower output. It’s tuned to produce 532 horsepower and 298 pound-feet of torque, compared to 562 hp and 406 lb-ft for the base all-wheel drive R8.

In related news, Audi filed a trademark application for the name “R8 Green Hell” in Europe earlier this year. Referencing the Nürburgring’s famous nickname, the filing hints at plans for a possible hardcore R8 variant. However, Audi hasn’t commented on that possibility, or if it even plans to use the name. Automakers sometimes trademark names without a specific model in mind for them, as a way to secure names for possible future use.

A potential Green Hell model could serve as the swan song for the current-generation R8. Reports have indicated that Audi may replace the R8 with an electric car, or at least a vehicle with some form of electrification.

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