Audi's hardcore GT version of the R8 Spyder in action at the Nurburgring

Audi’s lightweight, more focused GT version of its R8 Spyder has been spied testing at the Nürburgring ahead of its launch in early 2012.

Engineering ideas proven on Audi’s R8 LMS racer are included in the road car. The R8 GT Spyder will use the same 552bhp, 398lb ft 5.2-litre V10 engine as its coupé sibling. Its top speed will be 193mph, 6mph less than the coupé’s.

See the latest Audi R8 GT Spyder spy pics

Audi is likely to limit the soft-top GT Spyder to similar numbers as the coupé. It built 333 of those, 33 of which came to the UK.

In the coupé GT, power is channelled to all four wheels via a beefed-up version of Audi’s six-speed R-tronic robotised manual ’box and a viscous coupling that provides a 15 per cent front/85 per cent rear torque split as standard.

Read Autocar's Audi R8 GT coupe first drive

Weight savings of 95kg were made on the coupé with a new carbonfibre liftback, fixed rear wing, modified brake calipers, reduced engine-bay sound deadening and a lighter windscreen fashioned from thinner glass.

Externally the GT is distinguished by a front splitter, carbonfibre winglets on the corners of the front bumper and the large fixed rear wing. Standard R8 chrome features are remade in matt grey.

Inside, there are unique instrument graphics, a new shift lever, a liberal splashing of Alcantara and new door sills.

See all the latest Audi R8 reviews, news and video

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