Announced back in 2011, the R8 LMS Ultra is preparing for the 2013 racing season with a series of upgrades that make it even more aerodynamic. The new R8 LMS Ultra made its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and can now be ordered at a price of €339,000 (about $440,000 at the current exchange rates).
When viewed from the front, you will need to look very careful to notice all the updates the model received. Audi installed a new under-floor element that channels the air even more precisely into the two wheel arches, while the new form of the exterior mirrors will help improve the drag coefficient. At the rear, the diffuser received a new design: it is divided into a center section and two channels running to both the left and right in order to achieve optimum diffusion of the air. Also, on the exhaust system the tailpipes are relocated to exit upwards.
The car’s front suspensions also received a new geometry that helps reduce the tendency to dive excessively under braking. As no surprise, Audi also installed new wheels made in forged aluminum, each weighting 1 kg (2.2 lbs) less than the previous versions. As a weight reduction strategy, the racecar has also been equipped with a Makrolon windshield which weighs 3 kg (6.6 lbs) less than a glass element, plus a three-plate sinter metal race clutch that also helps reduce weight.
With all these updates, the R8 LMS Ultra is now ready to score another 18 championship titles!
Updated 06/28/2013: Audi dropped a new video explaining the success story behind the R8 LMS Ultra. Enjoy!
The customer racing racecar based on the Audi R8 celebrated winning its 18th championship title at the end of 2012, on top of this to date come three overall victories in 12-hour races as well as five winner’s trophies from 24-hour races.
In order to stay in the winner’s circle in 2013, the Audi R8 LMS ultra appears with a new aerodynamic configuration and with many optimized details. The modified airflow is particularly striking at the rear: the wing retained its original geometry but is now mounted differently and repositioned. The customer racing racecar is equipped for the first time with a ‘hanging mounted’ wing as it has been commonplace for some years now on Audi’s sports prototypes and DTM touring cars. This solution is aerodynamically more efficient. The wing is also less sensitive to oblique incident airflow. The rear edge now protrudes 100 millimeters beyond the rearmost point of the rear bumper.
The rear diffuser is a new development. It is divided into a center section and two channels running to both the left and right in order to achieve optimum diffusion of the air. The exhaust tail pipes are relocated to exit upwards.
The front-end aerodynamics are redesigned to be more efficient, even if the changes are barely noticeable. A new underfloor element channels the air even more precisely into the two wheel arches. The inner wheel arches are ventilated through louvers above the front wheels in the front cover. The exterior mirror’s new form helps to improve the drag coefficient further. The top speed of the Audi R8 LMS ultra could be increased as a direct result of the improved aerodynamic efficiency.
New front suspension geometry reduces the racecar’s tendency to dive excessively under braking. It was not necessary to modify the suspension components for this purpose. Only their mounting points on the chassis are redesigned.
The new wheels combine several advantages: the forged aluminum wheels can now be fastened using a steel nut as used in the DTM. This optimizes the pit stops significantly. Thanks to the FIA homologation, this solution, which was previously only permitted for the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and Spa, may be used in all series’. In addition, every new wheel weighs around one kilogram less than the cast magnesium version.
Furthermore, Audi has harmonized the equipment levels of the sprint and endurance R8 LMS ultra versions. The Makrolon windshield weighs three kilograms less than a glass element, the three-plate sinter metal race clutch saves even more weight. Both components are now standard in the sprint version.
Audi continues its strong customer based model policy with all the 2013 innovations: every component can be retrofitted to existing cars; this is however now optional – as was not the case in the regulation in 2012. The new Audi R8 LMS ultra sells for 339,000 Euro (plus VAT). Delivery of the racecars commenced in February 2013.