2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a great place to go if you want to see some of the world’s most revered racing cars of the past as well as a vast array of modern machinery and peeks into the future. The festival that takes places annually since 1993 on the grounds of the Goodwood House is also the place favored by some manufacturers to unveil their new products. The 2019 edition was chosen by Audi as the perfect occasion to pull the wraps off Audi Sport’s latest creation: the 640 horsepower Audi R8 LMS GT2, the most powerful racing car Audi has ever sold through its Customer Racing department. It’s designed for a new formula of Grand Touring racing that slots between GT3 and GT4 and caters for amateur racers looking for hight output machinery that’s quick down a straight line and easy to manage through the twisty bits.
Audi is a pragmatic company. Audi doesn’t put out a product for a class it doesn’t think will succeed. When Audi finally built a GT3-spec car, the class had been around for three full seasons, and it showed no signs of slowing down with more cars joining in (that same year Alpina debuted a B6-based contender, for instance) at a steady pace. Then there was the R8 LMS GT4, the GT3’s baby brother, its more pedestrian relative that is still tremendously fast (it puts out somewhere between 580 horsepower and 600 horsepower sans limiter, as much as the GT3 car without restrictions) and also expensive.
The RS3 LMS followed suit, the first sedan built by Audi Sport, one that, again, was built to be raced in a burgeoning category: TCR Touring Cars. The RS3 arrived in 2017, three years after the TCR format was first introduced. This is what makes the R8 LMS GT2 the odd one out. It’s the first Audi Sport-built car to be launched before any cars built to this ruleset ever took the track. So Audi must already know that it will be a success.
The 2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2 Is the R8 We Deserve For the Road But Can’t Have
The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed was the stage for many impressive firsts and among them has been the worldwide debut of Audi Sport Customer Racing’s latest product, the ludicrous Audi R8 LMS GT2. With 640 horsepower, it’s faster than its GT3 and GT4 brethren but, somehow, it slots in between the two. Audi Sport says it’s the most potent car to come out of the Customer Racing program, and you’ll be able to see it on track next year as Stephane Ratel Organization (SRO) will allow the GT2 class to compete in series like the GT Sports Club in Europe and the GT World Challenge America across the Atlantic.
Racing has a tendency to become more and more expensive as time goes on. The pattern is as follows: a sanctioning body or a championship organizer proposes a new ruleset for a new category that’s supposed to replace an older, prohibitively expensive one. Everyone involved is happy, the new class is launched, it becomes popular, and as it starts to gain momentum, the cars evolve pushed by factory involvement and, in a matter of years, they become too expensive, and we’re back to square one. This is, broadly, what happened with the (still) highly popular GT3 formula that turned, from one category catering for amateur drivers, to one that comprises the bulk of today’s leading sports car and luxury car manufacturers, many of them pouring serious amounts of money in developing race cars able to win on the world stage. Let’s see how GT2 plans to fix this issue. In a way...
Audi’s New Four-Cylinder Race Engine is a 610-Horsepower Beast
Audi just unveiled an incredibly powerful 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine for its Audi RS5 DTM racing car. With a power output of 610 horsepower and half the weight of the 4.0-liter, V-8 it replaces, the new engine does not only provide 110 horsepower more than before, but it also slashed the weight of the DTM racer to 2,200 pounds. However, DTM practically summoned it with the change of rules in the DTM championship.
With the new DTM championship season warming up to start in May, the manufacturers are getting ready to compete following the new set of rules. The most significant change is the decision to dismiss the 4.0-liter, V-8, naturally aspirated engines in favor of the new, 2.0-liter, turbocharged fours. All in a move to close the gap between the road cars and its racing avatars in the DTM. What is more, DTM capped the power output for engines used in racing cars to 620 horsepower (plus 30 horsepower more for the push-to-pass maneuvers). That means that Audi did what the regulations allowed. If regulations allowed that this turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine could have up to 1,000 horsepower, Audi would make it like that. It happened already.
2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3
Audi is one of the most successful manufacturers in the highly-popular GT3 arena which attracted most of the world’s top manufacturers since the class debuted in 2006. The German manufacturer rolled out an update for its second-generation R8 LMS which promises to build on an already strong base.
This New Audi R8 LMS GT3 Serves as a Preview for the 2020 Audi R8 Road Car
Audi unveiled at the Paris Motor Show the Evo version of its ultra-successful R8 LMS GT3 race car ahead of a 2019 debut in competition. The R8 LMS Evo also shares some design cues with the upcoming 2020 Audi R8 road car.
The most popular sports car racing category of the past decade, FIA GT3, designed for production-based sports cars and supercars with revised aerodynamics and performance just got a new stablemate. It comes from Ingolstadt, and it is the Audi R8 LMS Evo which is an updated version of the second generation R8 LMS which debuted three years ago.
The car will debut in competition worldwide next year with the R8 LMS Evo expected to run in championships in Asia, Europe, North-America, and Australia. Customers will be offered the choice of either acquiring a brand-new race-ready R8 LMS Evo or just the aerodynamic kit and mechanical upgrades that can be applied to 2015-spec R8 LMS cars.
2018 Audi RS 5 DTM
Any fan of touring car racing has undoubtedly heard of the DTM series, but for those of you out there still drawing a blank, I’ll start things off with a little background info. The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, or DTM for short, is Germany’s premier touring car race series, often pitting the big three German makes of Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz against one another on circuits around Europe. Audi Sport had a very impressive performance during the 2017 season, snagging a slew of titles and achieving its “most successful results of all time,” according to the team. However, the 2018 season is now upon us, and with it, a variety of regulation changes shake up the competitive landscape. So, how did Audi adapt to the revisions compared to Merc and BMW? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 5 DTM.
Audi turned the E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo Concept into a real-life, drivable track car and this lucky fella gets to take it around a track. We should all be so lucky. The real question is whether or not you’ll ever be able to get used to hearing a car make the noise this thing does...
Audi Raises the Bar to Heights Unseen as it Unveils its New Formula E Car, the e-Tron FE05
A daring idea back in the early 2010s, the Formula E championship for all-electric single-seaters became a reality in 2014 when the first season commenced. Audi is one of the few automakers that battled for the win in all four seasons up until now, and it’s getting ready for the next championship with a second-generation race car. It’s called the E-tron FE05, and it was just unveiled at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.
The fifth season for Formula E is upon us, and Audi Sport is ready to dish out some electric-bred hell on the track. In preparation for the fifth season, Audi has prepared its second-gen racer with a new livery that is just downright hard to look away from. Check out Audi’s latest twitter post below along with some higher-resolution images in the gallery at the bottom.
Audi Steps Up To Formula E With E-Tron FE04
The high-tech slab of open-wheel speed machine you see before you is the Audi E-Tron FE04, the Four Ring brand’s very first all electric race car. The FE04 just made its big debut in Neuburg, Germany, and will be used in Audi’s re-doubled efforts in the all-electric Formula E race series. That makes Audi the first German brand to enter the Formula E fray with a full factory-backed effort. Audi says the FE04 will be used as a test bed for new and upcoming technology that will eventually trickle down to its production vehicles, raising hopes that battery motivation alone will be enough to whet the appetites of future Audi performance enthusiasts.
“Following quattro, TFSI, TDI, hybrid drive and many other innovations, our single-seater race car is a portent of our product offensive in the field of electric mobility that we are ringing in with the Audi e-tron in 2018,” says Peter Mertens, Member of the Board of Management, Technical Development at Audi AG. The brand says it’s planning on offering as many as 20 new battery-assisted models, including both hybrids and all-electric models, by the year 2025. While the FE04 will use a spec chassis, per regulations, the FE04 is still an opportunity for Audi to develop it’s know-how with a new electric motor, transmission, and some suspension bits, as well as the software needed to run it all. Look for the FE04 to make its competition debut in Hong Kong this coming December, with pre-season testing taking place in Spain.
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2017 Audi R8 LMS GT4
Audi made a bunch of wise marketing decisions in recent years, one of them being the R8, essentially a Lamborghini with different body work and a more affordable sticker. But, while the road-going R8 is somewhat successful, its race-spec counterpart has already achieved iconic status with several wins in just about every racing series out there. The R8 LMS has been incredibly popular among private teams in recent years and it’s not surprising that Audi is looking to expand the lineup as much as possible. The latest version to join the family is the LMS GT4 and made its debut at the 2017 New York Motor Show.
As the name suggests, the LMS GT4 was developed for production-based racing and derived from the road-legal R8 V10. It’s more affordable than the world-beating GT3 and it’s eligible for every racing category under GT4 regulations. The GT4 European Series is arguably the most important competition under these regulations and brings together a massive number of cars. Vehicles that the R8 will compete against include GT4-spec versions of the Chevrolet Camaro, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, KTM X-Bow, and Porsche Cayman, just to name a few.
The new race car will make its on-track debut at the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 25. The R8 LMS GT4 will also compete in North America, Asia, and Australia throughout 2017. Production will begin in the second half of the year with first deliveries to be made by the end of 2017.
“Audi Sport GmbH is one of the leading manufacturers offering cars in the GT3 and TCR customer sport categories. Now we’re targeting the GT4 class at exactly the right time. These fast-growing business segments and the DNA shared by our race cars and production vehicles underscore our ambition to become a true global player in the high-performance league," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director of Audi Sport.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Drivetribe Takes A Spin In The Audi R18 LMP1: Video
Prototype racers are on another level. The technology and engineering that goes into these machines is simply baffling, making them not only unbelievably fast, but incredibly reliable as well. These aren’t some point-and-squirt drag racers that need a complete engine overhaul every 1,320 feet. Don’t get me wrong – I have massive respect for Top Fuel cars, but compared to an endurance prototype, you could call them a little… delicate. After all, competitors in the top class of the World Endurance Championship are expected to run at 200 mph for hours on end, all while dodging traffic through variable track conditions. Audi knows all about that kind of action, as evidenced by its dominating performance in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which the Four Rings has collected a record-setting 13 wins in the past 17 years. But now, Audi has decided to exit the WEC to instead focus on Formula E, leaving us with this – the R18 LMP1. Drivetribe recently had a go behind the wheel, and documented the experience with this 8-minute, 11-second video.
After a little history and background, Drivetribe’s Jethro Bovingdon gives us a break down of the specs, from the diesel hybrid powerplant and AWD system, to the materials and suspension under the skin. Bovingdon then straps into the fighter jet-like cockpit, fires it up, and puts it around Audi’s test track in Neuburg, Germany.
Understandably, Bovingdon doesn’t go 10/10’s, but getting an insider’s perspective and hearing about the experience is a treat nonetheless. “Even on a freezing day on treaded tires, it beats a GT3 car on slicks for braking and cornering, and accelerates in the lower gears like a P1 GTR running nitrous,” Bovingdon explains enthusiastically. “It’s simply the purest, most exciting driving experience I’ve ever had.”
Audi To Pull Out Of WEC After 2016 Season
The possibility was floated last week, but now Rupert Stadler — Chairman of the Board of Management over at Audi — has made it official. After one of the most dominant runs in endurance racing history, Audi is pulling out of the FIA World Endurance Championship at the conclusion of the current 2016 season. This means a lot of things for a lot of people, but the gist of it is this: the German automaker will no longer compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
It really is the end of an era, and it was a dominant one at that. In the 18 years that Audi competed in Le Mans prototype racing, it won the most prestigious endurance race 13 times. Just as impressive, is the fact that it secured a total of 106 wins out of 185 races it contested, setting numerous records along the way, inducing the first to win with a TDI engine in 2006 and the first to win with a hybrid engine in 2012. Audi’s dominance in endurance racing was also felt in the US as the team secured nine consecutive American Le Mans Series titles, a run that extended from 2000 to 2008.
And just like that, the German automaker’s tenure in the WEC is over, all thanks to the massive cuts parent company Volkswagen has had to deal with since the diesel emissions scandal broke.
To be fair, Audi’s withdrawal from the WEC doesn’t spell the company’s complete separation from competitive racing. It’s still going to be involved in Formula E with a fully-factory backed team after spending past seasons working with Audi tuner ABT Sportsline and component builder Schaeffler. On top of that, it’s still going to compete in the DTM until further notice, and a decision on its participation in the World Rallycross Championship has yet to be made. So, in the meantime, that too will continue.
But, as far as Le Mans and the WEC are concerned, it’s time we prepare for a future without one of the most dominant outfits in the series.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
2017 Audi RS3 LMS
Launched in 2013, the A3 Sedan is the latest iteration of the compact hatchback that Audi introduced way back in 1996. Essentially identical to the five-door save for the extra bodywork at the rear, the sedan features the same interior and drivetrains. The four-door gained a performance-oriented S3 version in 2015, while the range-topping, RS3 was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
While the RS3 Sedan was rumored for quite a few years and was somewhat expected to debut in 2016, its official launch brought a huge surprise from Audi, in the form of the RS3 LMS. Named after the race-spec, already iconic R8 LMS, the RS3 LMS is the first factory-built race car based on the A3 sedan and was developed specifically for the TCR series.
If you’re not familiar with the competition, it’s a new touring car championship that debuted in 2015. Promoted as a cost-effective spin-off of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the TCR series is sanctioned by the FIA and based on a three-pillar concept that includes national and continental championships, along with the global TCR International Series. All three tiers function under the same technical regulations.
The Audi RS3 LMS will compete in the top-tier TCR International Series, which has been disputed by several brands in 2016, including Alfa Romeo, Ford, Honda, Opel, Peugeot, Seat, Subaru, and Volkswagen. The beefed-up sedan will debut in the 2017 season as a customer race car backed by Audi Sport, the company’s motorsport division.
"With the Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport customer racing, in a very short time, managed to build a successful customer sport program alongside the factory commitments in the WEC and the DTM. The Audi R8 LMS has since become the market leader in its segment. We have the same plans for the Audi RS 3 LMS, which offers customers an attractive opportunity to get started in fascinating Audi racing," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director at Audi Sport.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 3 LMS.
Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap
Audi is offering a fresh racing car for apex-oriented customers with the new track-ready RS3 LMS, transforming the updated four-door sedan into a bona fide competition vehicle. The RS3 LMS joins the Audi R8 LMS in the automaker’s lineup of out-of-the-box grid stars.
The Audi R8 LMS was first introduced in 2009, offering privateers a chance to rocket around in genuine GT3 style at events like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. However GT3 racing is expensive, and as an alternative, the RS3 LMS arrives primed and ready for the TCR International Series, which is considered a more cost-effective entry to the world of touring car racing.
Drawing on experience gained in such high-profile series as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the RS3 is outfitted with all the usual go-faster goodies. The suspension was massively upgraded, while large wheels and enormous brakes were fitted in the corners. The fenders were hugely flared, and new aero keeps it planted.
Inside, it’s all business, all the time, with a back-to-basics layout, carbon-fiber steering wheel, and digital instrumentation.
Behind the polished rings on the grille, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine that’s turbocharged to 330 horsepower. Acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, while top speed is rated at roughly 150 mph. Interestingly, that’s quite a bit slower than the road-going RS3, which uses a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine to make 400 horsepower and hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 174 mph.
But don’t worry – this thing will still melt your face in the corners, and as such, it needs to be safe. That means it’s got an FIA-spec fuel tank, safety cell, PS3 safety seat, FIA-approved window nets, and a rescue hatch in the roof.
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