Hardcore 560bhp supercar will be limited to just 333 units; from £124k; on-sale this summer
5 May 2010

Audi has released new images of its hardcore 560bhp GT version of the R8 supercar, which will go head to head with the Porsche 911 GT3 and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.

Just 33 of the hot R8 GTs are headed to the UK from a planned total production run of 333, a number Audi UK is already saying is not enough.

See the official Audi R8 GT pics - now updated

Three years after the R8 burst onto the supercar scene, the GT version will match a more powerful V10 engine with a stiffer chassis, revised aerodynamics and weight-saving technology.

Some of the engineering ideas have been proven on Audi’s R8 LMS racer, seen at last week’s Silverstone round of the FIA GT championship.

The GT wasn’t originally planned to be part of the R8 line-up, but Audi has responded to customer demand for a more focused version of the mid-engined coupé along the lines of the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

As well as being a quick road car with sufficient tractability and compliance for road use, the R8 GT will also be suitable for track days and club competition events.

Optional equipment will include a bolt-in roll cage, four-point race belts, fire extinguisher and kill switch for the battery.

At the heart of the R8 GT is a modified version of the R8 V10’s naturally aspirated, direct-injection 5.2-litre petrol engine — essentially the same unit used by the Gallardo Superleggera but with a different exhaust system.

Distinguished by unique red cylinder heads, it has been tweaked to deliver an additional 42bhp, at 560bhp. That endows the R8 GT with an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 367bhp per tonne, some 39bhp per tonne more than the 911 GT3 RS. Torque has risen by 7lb ft to 398lb ft at 6500rpm.

These heady reserves are 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.

When more front-end traction is needed, the viscous coupling diverts drive forward to a maximum 30/70 split. Audi has also equipped the GT with a standard mechanical locking rear differential with 25 per cent lock-up under acceleration and 40 per cent on the overrun.

Audi claims the R8 GT will hit 62mph from a standstill in just 3.6sec — 0.3sec faster than the R8 V10 and 0.4sec inside the official time of the 911 GT3 RS.

The 199mph top speed is 2mph quicker than the R8 V10 and 6mph more than the Porsche. Weight savings of 95kg have been made with a new carbonfibre liftback, fixed rear wing, modified brake calipers, reduced engine bay sound deadening and a lighter windscreen fashioned from thinner glass.

Polycarbonate replaces the glass in both the rear window and rear liftback. However, at 1525kg the GT is still 135kg heavier than the 911 GT3 and 185kg more than the Gallardo Superleggera.

The R8’s chassis has also been reworked, with firmer springs and dampers that lower the ride height by 10mm, while the ESP has been recalibrated; 19-inch alloy wheels wear 235/35 rubber up front and 295/30s at the rear.

Externally the GT is distinguished by a front splitter, carbonfibre ‘winglets’ on the corners of the front bumper and the fixed rear wing.

Standard R8 chrome features are remade in matt grey. Inside, there are unique R8 GT instrument graphics, a newly designed shift lever, a liberal splashing of Alcantara and unique door sills.

The R8 GT is expected to be priced at around £142,000 — a hefty premium over the R8 V10 FSI’s £103,265 list price. The order book opens in the summer, and the first cars will be delivered in the spring of next year.

Greg Kable

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Comments
33

1 May 2010

With the power of the R8 GT and Lambo Superleggera, i'd have have thought the 911 GT2 would have been a more natural rival. Still, these hardcore models appear superb and I can't wait to see the replacement for the 430 Scuderia. Who'd bet against Merc and McLaren following suit with a lightened and more focused SLS and MP4!

2 May 2010

Sweet, but what's the fixation with the GT3? Lanehogger's right: The Porsche in a category below this ride in power an performance. It's natural rivals will be the GT2 (when it's out), 458 Scuderia, MP4/12 (no need for lighter versions for this one) and, corporate ironies aside, the Gallardo Superleggera.

Now, a lighter, higher output R8 V8 GT (RS5 engine already...uuh, ready), that would be the contender for the GT3 RS. If Porsche does the niche of a nich thing, why not Audi (despite them being now in the same group)?

2 May 2010

Great car, but how relevant will it be to the marketplace if only 33 are destined for here. Just seems a tiny number to make it a distinguising model for car buyers who look at this and have it down as a potential choice. As its going to be so rare, I guess it'll be even more unlikely these will be used the same way on the roads as a correspondent 911 or Gallardo

2 May 2010

Similar number of v-spec GTR coming from japan.

2 May 2010

As VW emulates the misguided imperialism of British Leyland it can only be heading for disaster; why sell a car from one brand it owns that is in direct competition with another from another brand they own?

2 May 2010

I'm obviously the only person dribbling enviously at this then. I'd love one!

2 May 2010

I think audi has done a great job with the R8. I think that if i had money i would get that and spider now that would be great. The other thing i do not get is why the only producing (Just 33 of the hot R8 GTs are headed to the UK from a planned total production run of 333). I think if i was audi i would say that we would produce 500 a year and do it for the next 3 years because that would make sence. Oh yeah the other i got to say is that where is the V8 spider because that would great so come audi bring out the V8 spider !!!

2 May 2010

I prefer the Porsche, the Audi looks like any other R8.

2 May 2010

[quote Los Angeles]

As VW emulates the misguided imperialism of British Leyland it can only be heading for disaster; why sell a car from one brand it owns that is in direct competition with another from another brand they own?

[/quote]

This is about the only thing that can be thrown at VW. Says more about the criticizer than VW.

By the way you may as well ask why does Akzo Nobel have Sadolin compete with Sikkens at the premium end of wood coatings. Er, because they're dominant commercially and technicallly, whereas BL were sh!t commerically and technically. Spot the difference.

2 May 2010

"15 per cent front/85 per cent rear torque split as standard"

Not much longer until we have the first RWD drive Audi then...

As it is a very limited model they can afford to defy all logic with the pricing (just as Porsche did with the Boxster Spider) but if I was spending £150,000 it would have to be a Gallardo everytime, even if it is the 'base' model. I suspect Audi knows this which is another reason for the very limited production. They would rather increase the numbers if demand is there, then have to - heaven forbid - discount the car to shift a aircraft hanger full of them.

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