I think they were trying to get a wide range of potential track cars in there. Some people will just want a totally stripped out track car as they've got a garage full of 4x4s, estates, comfy GTs etc., and some will only want one car on their drive which is where the RS comes in I suppose.
Evo's opinion on the new Rs has changed since its launch, they are allot more critical about it only being fwd ? your right it was never going to be the fastest track car. Too heavy and a lazy torquey engine.