Ever since Audi systematically destroyed the rally world with its first Sport Quattro at the end of the 1970s, its product lineup has been all about all-wheel drive – almost. For the hardcore True Believers of the driving world, the ultimate expression of going fast is a mid-engine car with the rear wheels driven, which can be pitched into the desired attitude by assiduously booting the throttle. This limited-edition GT from Audi is all about that kind of driver-vehicle interplay. Just 30 copies of the Audi R8 Panther edition, the vanguard of the rear-drive R8 model line and are highly individualize to accentuate their exclusivity.
At this level, the profile is as important as the performance, and the R8 Panther positively pounces in this regard. Each car will be finished in Panther Black crystal-effect paint, with matching scarlet-trimmed 20-inch wheels. The full leather interior follows the same theme, its black hides stitched in crimson, an environment that includes shell-type competition seats. The gear selector, headliner, and specific steering wheel with selectable controls are covered in Alcantara. For entertainment, R8 Panther buyers get a standard Bang & Olufsen sound system featuring 13 speakers and 550 watts. Speaking of power, the motivation comes from a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10 capable of 532 horsepower, which can get the Panther to 60 MPH in 3.6 seconds, with a top end of 201 MPH. It goes on sale this month with an MSRP of $183,300.