Shedding the pounds and upping the power.
Winning the “World Performance Car” award in both 2008 and 2010 was a great accomplishment for Audi’s R8. Add on 23 racing victories and three championships for the R8 LMS, and it would seem that Audi is satisfied with the cars success. That is until the Audi R8 GT walks off with even more honors for its enhanced performance.
The biggest challenge facing Audi was cutting weight from an already trim sports car. Built using the aluminum Audi Space Frame (ASF) the R8 5.2 FSI already comes in at a slim 3,582.5 pounds. Audi engineers however were able to reduce weight by 220 pounds through the use of lighter materials such as Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP). The sideblades, rear bumper, rear hatch are all made from CFRP and reduce weight by 29 pounds. A diet of thinner glass and sheet metal along with a lighter battery and brake system made the pounds melt away further. Inside, new glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) bucket seats slashed 69 pounds while lightweight carpeting (yes, carpeting) tapered off another 17 pounds. After all of the creative weight-saving modifications, the R8 GT weighed in at a slender 3,362 pounds.
Audi’s powerful 5.2 liter V-10 powers the R8 GT, but has some added punch. An additional 35 horsepower and 7.3 lb-ft of torque come thanks to changes in the engine electronics. Weighing in at just 569 pounds, the hand built V-10 features a 90 degree cylinder angle and dry sump lubrication, enabling a lower mounting point. Wearing red cylinder head covers, the 560 horsepower V-10 powers the R8 GT to 62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and to 124 mph in only 10.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 199 mph.
Distinguishing the Audi R8 GT from the R8 model range are a number of exterior enhancements. The face of the GT is meaner with a matte black grille and matte titanium gray air intakes. Downforce is generated at the front from a new carbon double lip splitter and carbon fiber composite curved side flics. The iconic sideblades and side mirrors are constructed from lightweight matte carbon, and give the R8 GT an unmistakeable appearance. At the rear, the R8 GT is both striking and bold. A matte carbon fixed rear spoiler improves rear downforce along with the new rear diffuser. The newly designed CFRP bumper features large wheel well vents, and two large tailpipes that bellow the V-10’s power. Though the Audi R8 GT produces more downforce than the production R8, the GT still retains the low drag coefficient of the production car.
To compliment the added power and reduction in weight, Audi has given the GT a more racing-oriented chassis. A new coilover suspension can be manually adjusted, and lower the R8 GT by 10 mm (0.39 in.). An aluminum double-wishbone suspension is used with greater front and rear wheel camber rates for more agile handling. A revised ESP stabilization program is used, and can allow for oversteer to occur.
Audi uses powerful forged wheels to compliment the carbon fiber ceramic brake system. The brake discs weigh over 19 pounds less than similar steel discs, and provide unrelenting stopping power and resist brake fade. Painted red, the anodized aluminum calipers clamp down on 14.96-inch front and 14.02-inch rear discs. The titanium-look five twin-spoke “Y” design wheels measure 8.5 J x 19 at the front and 11 J x 19 at the rear, and wear 235/35 and 295/30 wheels. Audi also offers high-performance cup tires for optimum dry road traction.
Even though the Audi R8 GT has gone through a weight saving diet, the interior doesn’t suffer. Climate control, power windows, and a navigation system are all standard. Soft alcantara covers the bucket seats, steering wheel, headliner, roof posts, knee pad, and brake lever. The bulkhead, door liners, and instrument cowl wear a slightly rough synthetic material designed to look like sharkskin. Matte aluminum door sill trims greet occupants with an R8 GT badge.
Numerous interior and exterior options are available ranging from alternative wheels, interior and exterior carbon trims, and optional colored accents. Additionally, Audi offers a racing package with a bolt in roll bar, four-point seatbelts, battery kill switch, and a fire extinguisher. A full roll cage is also available for added safety.
Only 333 examples of the Audi R8 GT will be produced. German pricing will start at €193,000 (+/- $256,000 USD). The performance-oriented R8 will be available in Samoa Orange metallic, Suzuka Gray metallic, Ice Silver metallic, and Phantom Black pearl effect. Audi has not released plans for U.S. availability.
Displacement: 5.2 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-10
Cylinder Angle: 90 degrees
Crankcase: Aluminum-silicon alloy
Lubrication: Dry sump
Fuel Injection: FSI gasoline direct injection
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Engine Weight: 258 kg (568.79 lbs)
Bore x Stroke: 3.33 x 3.65 in.
Maximum Horsepower: 560
Maximum Torque: 398.28 lb-ft. at 6,500 RPM
Engine Redline: 8,700 RPM
Power Output (per liter of displacement): 107.6 hp/l
Fuel Mileage (combined): 17.17 US mpg
Type: Six-speed R tronic sequential manual transmission
Drive: Quattro permanent all-wheel
Acceleration 0-62 mph: 3.6 seconds
Acceleration 0-124 mph: 10.8 seconds
Top Speed: 198.84 mph
Suspension and Chassis:
-Aluminum double wishbones
-Hydraulic, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering
-Manually adjustable coilover suspension
-Higher front and rear camber rates
Wheels and Brakes:
Wheels: Forged, five twin-spoke “Y” design in titanium-look finish
Front Wheels: 8.5 J x 19
Rear Wheels: 11 J x 19
Front Tires: 235/35
Rear Tires: 295/30, optional 305/30
Optional Tires: Cup tires
Brake Discs: Carbon fiber ceramic, internally ventilated
Front Brake Discs: 14.96 inches
Rear Brake Discs: 14.02 inches
-Air intakes in matte titanium gray
-Front grille in matte black
-Carbon double-lip front splitter
-Carbon fiber composite side flics
-Matte carbon sideblades
-Matte carbon side mirrors
-“GT” badge on front fenders
-Matte carbon fixed rear wing
-CFRP rear bumper
-Carbon fiber composite rear diffuser
-Steering wheel, headliner, roof posts, knee pad, parking brake lever, and bucket seats in alcantara with contrasting stitching
-Dashboard, bulkhead, door liners, and instrument cowl in synthetic sharkskin-look material
-Arch in cockpit made of matte carbon
-Instrument cluster with “R8 GT” logo
-CFRP and aluminum selector lever
-Body colored inlays in door liners and center tunnel
-Matte aluminum door sills with “R8 GT” logo