Panther Black R8 Panther Edition One Truly Rare Teutonic Cat

2021 Audi R8 Panther Edition

One of 30 made for the U.S. market, 2021 R8 Panther Edition wears namesake Panther Black paint over Crimson Red and black interior.

The R8 stands out among the Audi family for its status as a supercar. While other Audis have flexed their muscles before, they also could comfortably hold a family of four. The R8, on the other hand, delivers a more intimate experience for two. Or, on the track, just the driver.

Speaking of the track, Audi built a rare version of its rear-drive R8 for the 2021 model year: the R8 Panther Edition. Now, one example is destined for the big tent of Barrett-Jackson this January in Scottsdale, Arizona.

2021 Audi R8 Panther Edition

This R8 Panther Edition is one of 30 made exclusively for the U.S. market, draped in an equally exclusive color named Panther Black. The Audi dropped a year ago around Christmas time, and were the first 30 of the 2021 rear-drive R8 models available. And why rear-drive? Because quattro is still verbotten on the biggest battlefields of competition to this day, like the FIA GT3 class.

2021 Audi R8 Panther Edition

Aside from the exclusive Panther Black, the R8 Panther Edition includes carbon fiber-trimmed mirrors, engine compartment, and side intakes. Even the badging is blacked-out to fit the theme. Each corner features a 20-inch matte black wheels trimmed in red, wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber.

Though no photos of the interior were taken, we do know it has Crimson Red leather seats. Surrounding them, a black leather interior with red stitching, complemented by a diamond-stitched Alcantra headliner. And of course, behind all of that is the 5.2-liter V10 with its 532 horses at the ready. Though V10s sound good out of the box already, the R8 Panther Edition kicks it up a notch with a sport exhaust system to really let it all roar.

2021 Audi R8 Panther Edition

The 2021 R8 Panther Edition is the second big cat Audi introduced into the wild. Back in 2019, 100 RS 5 Panther Edition models descended upon the unsuspecting, all in Panther Black. With nearly 2,100 miles on this V10 so far, this R8 has yet to begin its hunt for prey on the track. By the time its victims notice, it’ll already be too late.

Photos: Barrett-Jackson

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Cameron Aubernon’s path to automotive journalism began in the early New ’10s. Back then, a friend of hers thought she was an independent fashion blogger.

Aubernon wasn’t, so she became one, covering fashion in her own way for the next few years.

From there, she’s written for: Magazine, Insider Louisville, The Voice-Tribune/The Voice, TOPS Louisville, Jeffersontown Magazine, Dispatches Europe, The Truth About Cars, Automotive News, Yahoo Autos, RideApart, Hagerty, and Street Trucks.

Aubernon also served as the editor-in-chief of a short-lived online society publication in Louisville, Kentucky, interned at the city’s NPR affiliate, WFPL-FM, and was the de facto publicist-in-residence for a communal art space near the University of Louisville.

Aubernon is a member of the International Motor Press Association, and the Washington Automotive Press Association.