Audi has announced that the first UK deliveries its eagerly-awaited and limited-edition rear-wheel-drive R8 RWS will begin next month.

The R8 RWS (Rear Wheel Series) is the first rear-wheel-drive Audi ever, with all its previous cars being either all-wheel-drive (Quattro) or all-wheel-drive. Both a Coupe model and Spyder (convertible) version are available.

Just 999 are being produced globally, while it is also lighter than the Quattro version – 50kg for the Coupe and 40kg for the Spyder.

Audi launched the model after acknowledging that drivers all have personal preferences when it comes to which wheels are driven, and also following the success of the R8 LMS GT3 racing car.

Despite it lacking the all-wheel grip of the all-wheel-drive version, it’s only marginally slower, although is powered by the same 5.2-litre V10 engine that produces 533bhp and 540Nm of torque.

The RWS is able to get from 0-60mph in 3.5 seconds and 3.6 seconds on the Coupe and Spyder respectively – only 0.2 seconds slower than the V10 Quattro. It has a top speed of 199mph (Coupe) and 198mph (Roadster).

All R8 RWS’s are built at the brand’s Böllinger Höfe Audi Sport production plant in Heilbronn, Germany.

The RWS can be distinguished from the standard R8 by its matte black grille and matte black air apertures at the front and rear of the car.

It remains just as well equipped as the all-wheel-drive version, with standard kit including LED front and rear lights, Virtual Cockpit – Audi’s driver-focused infotainment system – Alcantara and leather-trimmed sports seats and 19-inch alloy wheels.

While the RWS has been available to order since September last year, the first UK deliveries are starting in March.

Prices for the model start from £112,450 and £121,140 for the Coupe and Spyder respectively, making it over £13,000 cheaper than the all-wheel-drive model.