Audi Reveals Lighter, Faster R8

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Audi revealed a street-legal, track-oriented version of its R8 supercar, similar in concept to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Dubbed R8 GT, the car will get a tuned version of the V10 engine found in the current R8 range-topper, a stiffer chassis, revised aerodynamics and weight-saving components.

Some of the engineering ideas derive directly from the R8 LMS race car. Audi will build only 333 units of the GT, which is powered by a modified version of the R8 V10’s 5.2-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine. It’s the same unit used by the Gallardo Superleggera but with a different exhaust system.

It develops 42 more horsepower than in the R8 V10, for a total of 560 hp, and has a power-to-weight ratio of 367 hp/tonne, 39 hp per tonne more than the 911 GT3 RS. Torque is also up by 7 lb to 398 lb-ft. at 6500 rpm. The power is sent to the four wheels via a modified R-tronic robotized manual gearbox and a viscous coupling that provides a 15 percent front/85 percent rear torque split. When needed, more power is sent to the front, up to a maximum 30/70 split.

Audi claims the R8 GT will hit 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the R8 V10 and 0.4 seconds faster than the 911 GT3 RS. Top speed is 199 mph (319 km/h). That's remarkable considering the fact that the car weighs 1525 kg, 135 kg more that the 911 GT3 and 185 kg more than the Gallardo Superleggera.

On the outside, the GT differs from other R8s by its front splitter, carbonfibre ‘winglets’ on the corners of the front bumper and a fixed rear wing. Inside, the R8 GT gets unique instrument graphics, more Alcantara, a fresh gear knob and new door sills. Optional equipment will include a roll cage, four-point race belts, fire extinguisher and kill switch for the battery.

The R8 GT is expected to cost around $216,600 (EUR163,649) in Europe, with the first deliveries to take place next spring.

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