The Audi R8 LMS GT3 was launched back in 2009 and since then, has gathered up a number of accomplishments, including 115 victories and 12 national or international titles. That being said, customer feedback has provided Audi with a wealth of knowledge to improve the R8 LMS even further, leading to the new and improved 2012 R8 LMS Ultra.
The 2012 R8 LMS Ultra has received new doors made of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) in combination with high-energy absorbing new crash foams, a new PS1 safety seat developed by Audi, and an updated transmission, clearly addressing weight, safety, and handling.
As far as mechanical updates are concerned, the R8 LMS Ultra is still powered by a 5.2 liter V10 engine that delivers a total of 570 HP, but the company has now installed a new exhaust system equipped with race catalytic converters to help improve the engine’s characteristics. There is also an optimized cooling system, a larger engine oil cooler, and transmission fluid cooler that have been added, while the oil cooler for the steering hydraulics that used to be installed at the front is now located in the vehicle’s mid-section and the air vents have been enlarged.
Aerodynamics for the Audi R8 LMS Ultra were also addressed with a wider front hood equipped with additional louvers, a new rear wing, and a new front plate with optimized diffusion under the front end. The chassis has also been updated in several steps and the car now sits on 12" front wheels wrapped in Michelin tires.
The 2012 Audi R8 LMS Ultra is now available for a price of 329,900 euro (about $445,000 at the current exchange rates). Deliveries will begin in March 2012.
Updated 12/20/2011: Audi has announced today that the R8 LMS ultra will also be competing in the FIA GT1 World Championship next year. There will be two cars signed for the race by Team WRT. "We very much welcome the decision of the FIA World Motor Sport Council on December 7th in favour of the GT3 cars," emphasises Werner Frowein, Managing Director of quattro GmbH. "In the future, this vehicle class will not only stand for high-calibre national and European customer sport but also for the world’s pinnacle in GT racing. We are delighted that Team WRT has submitted its entry for the World Championship and will be representing the colours of Audi Sport customer racing."