Remember those rumors about a more powerful and lighter Audi R8? Here’s the car we were talking about: the Audi R8 GT, a special edition limited to a total of 333 units and priced at $198,000. We didn’t think Audi would bless the U.S. with this baby, but we are actually getting about a third of those units sent over to us. Sweet!
As we mentioned earlier, the Audi R8 GT is a lighter car. In fact, it dropped about 220 lbs from a total of 3,582.51 lbs. In order to accomplish this weight reduction Audi added a windshield made of thinner glass and a bulkhead between the passenger cell and engine compartment. The window located in the rear hatch is made of strong, lightweight polycarbonate. Other additions that make this vehicle more lightweight are a fixed rear wing, thinner sheet metal and additional cutouts, a long rear hatch, a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) rear bumper and sideblades, lightweight carpeting accounts, and the glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) chassis in the bucket seats.
Another change to this skinny Audi R8 GT is the added power. The 5.2 FSI V10 has been tricked out to deliver a total of 560 HP and 540 Nm (398.28 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, from 0 to 124 mph in 10.6 seconds, and a top speed of 198.8 mph. This spicy engine comes with a sexy exterior body that comes in 4 different colors: Samoa Orange metallic, Suzuka Gray metallic, Ice Silver metallic, and Phantom Black pearl effect.
We are so thankful that the rumors were true because this car ended up being everything we anticipated it would be. Unfortunately, we think the closest the U.S. will get to having a peek at this car is through the online configurator which we hope they will produce.
UPDATE 04/19/2011: The Audi R8 GT will finally be released on the streets! In just the past few days, Audi has provided its first customers with their long awaited R8 models. The very first from a total of 333 units was delivered to its owner in the UK. He received a Phantom Black R8.
Hit the jump for more details on the Audi R8 GT.
In standard form, the Audi R8 is a formidable competitor to any other exotic supercar, but even more changes have been added for the GT. The major dimensions remain the same with the car being only 4.04 ft. high, 14.53 ft. long, and 6.33 ft. wide. Other cars at this level of performance produce great amounts of downforce at high speeds and Audi has been able to increase the R8’s downforce without increasing its low 0.36 drag coefficient. Further increasing the performance is the use of carbon fiber for the front splitter, side blades, diffuser, and rear wing. This material is extremely strong while remaining low weight and Audi has opted to leave most of it exposed from the paint coat to the rest of the car.
Other elements that are more cosmetic than anything else have also been added to the new GT. The frame of the front grille, including the struts and slats of the air intake are painted matte titanium gray. The grille itself is matte black. The R8 GT will be made available in 4 new colors: Samoa Orange metallic, Suzuka Gray metallic, Ice Silver metallic, and Phantom Black pearl effect.
The interior has also been given some new performance inspired elements and includes plenty of options. As opposed to many other high performance cars, Audi has kept many of the creature comforts including automatic climate control, power windows, navigation system, and a 465 watt Bang & Olufsen sound system. The ergonomic feel of the original R8 interior is still very much apparent and the sporty touches give it a racecar-esque feel. Alcantara is used heavily and adorns the steering wheel, roof pillars, knee pad, parking brake lever, and bucket seats. Helping your R8 GT to stand out even further is the addition of an “R8 GT” badge that can be placed in several locations including the numbered badge (1 of 333) placed on the aluminum shift lever.
For those who think the R8 GT is still a little too tame there will also be a race package. It has a bolt-in roll bar that can be extended to a full cage. Four-point seatbelts for road-use finished in red or black, a fire extinguisher, and battery kill switch round out the enhancements that allow you to play race car driver on the weekend.
A standard V10 Audi R8 is already using the Audi Space Frame technology that weighs a mere 462.97 pounds. This body is made by hand at the Neckarsulm plant and utilizes aluminum body panels and a lightweight magnesium engine frame. The R8 GT has been on a diet and lost even more weight than its counterpart thanks to several new pieces. The windshield has been made thinner and the passage between the passenger compartment and engine bay uses a polycarbonate window which together shave off nearly 20lbs. Another big enhancement is the use of Carbon reinforced Plastics (CFRP) for the rear hatch, which alone saved 14.55 lbs. This material has also been used on the rear bumper and side blades to save another 15 lbs.
The interior also offered a place for Audi engineers to make some improvements. The carpet was replaced with a lighter weight material that got rid of an amazing 17.42 lbs. The new racing bucket seats use a glass-reinforced plastic chassis that helps them to save an additional 69.45 lbs. Carbon fiber is also available for several other smaller areas of the car lending to a lighter weight and a sporty look.
Engine and Performance
Slight changes to the V10 and its electronic controls have yielded some considerable performance increases. The 5.2-liter now makes 560 hp and 398 lb-ft. of torque at 6,500rpm. The figure of 6.00lb.hp is quite impressive and this new Audi can reach 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds. The powerful, high revving engine is capable of taking the car to a top speed of 198.84mph. This masterpiece is created in the plant in Hungary, utilizes dry sump lubrication, 90 degree cylinder angles, and weighs only 568.79 lbs. Making the extreme performance of this car even more special is that Audi has been able to make this exotic more environmentally friendly than the competition as the R8 GT gets a combined 17.17 mpg.
Power is transferred to all four wheels via the 6-speed R tronic sequential gearbox. This system is capable of making shifts in 1/10 of a second and also features two manual shift modes controlled via the paddle shifters. Ensuring that all the power meets the road effectively is the launch control system and Audi Quattro all-wheel drive. As opposed to other road going Audi models, the Quattro system is rear-biased. The engineers have opted to send 85% of the power to the rear axle and 15% to the front under perfect conditions. This decision was optimal due to the car’s 43:57 weight distribution.
The chassis has been optimized through the use of a manually adjustable coilover setup. The body can be lowered 10 millimeters which, in conjunction with higher front and rear camber rates, give the GT more agile handling. The new 19-inch wheels are even available with Cup racing tires for the real enthusiast. Behind the new design sit 6-piston calipers biting down on nearly 15-inch internally ventilated discs. The final piece to this race track puzzle was allowing the driver to select to turn off the ESP traction control completely.
Audi of America has announced prices for the 2012 R8 GT sports car. The lightest, fastest, and most powerful entry in the Audi supercar lineup will be limited to only 333 units, with the US market only getting 90 of them. Prices will start from $196,800.
That high price gives the Audi plenty of competition from the same companies that the R8 was originally poised against. The Mercedes SLS AMG provides comparable statistics in nearly every category and has a longer racing heritage. The new Ferrari 458 Italia would also have to be considered in this price range, because if you can spend $196,800 on an Audi than you definitely have the $220,000 for a prancing horse. The Ferrari will also reach 0-60 in nearly the same time at 3.4 seconds, but can get over the magical 200mph mark. The Audi certainly attracts its own loyal crowd and has been well received by almost every critic. The R8 GT will certainly only expand its reputation and easily attain the 333 customers.
The most powerful Audi R8, the V10 GT was also taken to the one track that really matters; the Nurburgring. With Horst von Saurma behind the wheel this ultra-sexy sportscar clocked in a time of 7:34, making it a direct competitor for the Porsche 911 GT3 RS that reported a time of 7.33.
More power from the V10
Track oriented performance enhancements
Slight increases in speed to 5.2 FSI