Now here’s a holiday gift you’d likely love to receive – the 2021 Audi R8 Panther edition. Audi says it has “exclusive interior and exterior design elements.” We just call it stealthy and sexy. The catch? Production is limited to 30 examples. So you know, only a few dealerships will have them. Oh, and another hiccup for buyers is the need to shell out $183,300 plus destination and other fees. Ah, what price beauty?
Those that can splurge – or are on the list of an ultra-generous gift giver – will get a lot of bling for their bucks. Oh, and plenty of power, too. Here’s what Audi promises is standard on every R8 Panther edition:
Illuminated door sill inlays.
Black Audi rings and badges.
Carbon fiber exterior mirror housings.
Exclusive Panther Black crystal effect paint.
20-inch five-double-spoke-dynamic design wheels, milled cut, finished in matte black with red trim, with summer performance tires.
Carbon exterior package adds carbon fiber to the engine compartment and carbon sigma sideblades.
Alcantara covered gear selector and parcel shelf.
Bang & Olufsen sound system featuring 13 speakers and 550 watts.
Racing shell seats in Crimson red Nappa leather with power adjustments.
Audi exclusive R8 embroidered floor mats with Crimson red leather edging.
Audi exclusive steering wheel in leather/Alcantara with crimson red 12 o’clock marker.
Audi virtual cockpit, Audi smartphone interface, Audi phone box (requires compatible smart device) with a signal booster, and MMI navigation plus.
Carbon interior package adds carbon-fiber high-gloss surrounds for both the virtual cockpit and the air vents, as well as the center console.
Audi R8 Panther Edition: Engine & Powertrain
Audi clocked the R8 Panther edition at a top track speed of 201 mph. The automaker powers it with a naturally-aspirated FSI V10 engine with 532 horsepower and 398 lb-ft. of torque. As you’d expect, it’s quick off the mark, rocketing from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The sport exhaust system amplifies the sound of the V10 engine and can be adjusted using the dedicated satellite button on the steering wheel or via the Audi drive select settings.
And yes, it’s rear-wheel drive, but with more than a bit of an edge for a streetcar. Audi notes it has solid rear, not hollow, axles, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, and an increase in rear negative camber. The electromechanical power steering – which the automaker said is “free of torque steer” – allows precise handling even as you shift from different drive modes like Dynamic, for example. Drivers can even place the stability control system into a Sport mode.
Audi R8 Panther Edition Pricing
You probably remember Audi offered 100 units of the RS 5 Panther edition back in 2019. Audi priced that edition at $88,995. The 2021 R8 Panther Edition moves the MSRP to a whopping $183,300. You’ll also pay a $1,495 destination charge, $1,700 gas guzzler tax, sales taxes, title, options, and dealer charges.
Still – if you’re looking for a splurge, the Audi R8 Panther Edition is your car. If you want an R8, but don’t want to spend that much, then have a look at the 2021 Audi R8 RWD.
Nancy Dunham is a life-long journalist whose work appears in many national automotive and general interest magazines and accompanying websites. Her dad was an executive with Western Auto Supply Co. (sold to Sears), so the smell of tires still brings back a flood of childhood memories. She lives in Austin, Texas with her cat Prudence.