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Gasp! Audi’s rumored R8 RS could buck tradition with rear-wheel drive

The next-generation Audi R8 is supposed to launch until next year, but the carmaker may already be thinking beyond that.

Once the redesigned supercar arrives in standard form, Audi may build a hardcore RS version, according to Top Gear.

If green-lighted, the R8 RS wouldn’t arrive for some time after the base model’s launch, but when it does, it could be a screamer.

The RS would reportedly pack a tuned 5.2-liter V10, with power output to rival the Lamborghini Huracán’s 610 horsepower.

The car could also be subjected to a weight-loss program, removing some luxuries but giving that V10 less to push.

Unlike the current model, the next R8 probably won’t be offered with a manual transmission. However, the R8 RS could ditch the standard quattro all-wheel drive system for rear-wheel drive.

Related: 2014 Audi R8 V10 S tronic review

Lamborghini did this with various Gallardo models and will likely do it again with the Huracán, but it would be an unusual move for Audi, for which all-wheel drive tech is an important part of the brand image.

The RS will need something to help it stand out from the crowd, though, as it will likely be part of a crowded lineup.

In addition to V8 and V10 models, coupes and convertible spyders, Audi may finally put the all-electric R8 e-tron into production, as well as a plug-in hybrid R8.

It all starts next year, when the first versions of the second-generation R8 are expected to roll out of the factory.