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.
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 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.
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.
2016 Audi R18
Until the 1980s, Audi wasn’t an important name in motorsport, with its most successful race cars having been built in the 1930s when the brand was part of Auto Union. Things changed dramatically when the Quattro was introduced in 1980, spawning models that went on to dominate the rally scene and the Pikes Peak hill climb. After laying low in the 1990s, Ingolstadt decided to tackle prototype racing and created a series of vehicles that went on to dominate the competition, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its most important racer, the R18, hit the motorsport scene in 2011 and went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans four times in a row before being defeated by the Porsche 919 Hybrid in 2015. For 2016, Audi has redesigned the R18 from the ground up.
Launched at the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Training Center in Munich, the R18 is a significant departure from its predecessor. The LMP1 prototype features not only new aerodynamics, but a modified hybrid system and an optimized TDI engine as well.
“With our new Audi R18, we’re setting a clear signal: Audi continues to put the pedal to the metal in motorsport, deliberately relying on TDI – the world’s most successful automotive efficiency technology – at Le Mans,” said Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
Long story short, the TDI powertrain has become more powerful while requiring less fuel. For 2016, Audi is switching to a higher hybrid energy class, so to compensate for the need to process even more energy, the hybrid system now relies on a lithium-ion accumulator as opposed to the flywheel energy storage system that was used from 2012 to 2015 and has redesigned the cars motor generator unit. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and look at what is going on with the 2016 Audi R18.
Updated 03/22/2016: Audi dropped the final specifications figures on its brand new R18 race car that will race in competitions like FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Audi R18.
After first entering the GT3 fray with the R8 LMS in 2009 and following it up with the slightly improved R8 LMS Plus a few years later, Audi is recommitting to its GT3 customer-racing program with the all-new 2016 R8 LMS. Based on the redesigned 2016 R8 road car, this thing looks positively ferocious.
Though GT3 cars are intended to be factory-supported customer race cars, and are for the most part, the class has become the stage for a global proxy battle between an unprecedented number of major manufacturers. BMW, Ferrari, Bentley, Aston Martin, Mercedes-AMG, Lexus, Porsche, Lamborghini, Nissan and McLaren are all major players, and most either recently introduced new GT3 cars or have new ones on the way.
Despite all that competition, the first-generation R8 LMS excelled in the class, collecting 26 GT3 Championship wins and 23 titles in other international classes. It won seven 24-hour races, including two wins in the torturous Nürburgring 24. With 130 cars sold to customer teams worldwide, it’s arguably the most successful and popular GT3 car in the world. So, the new one has a lot to live up to.
And we won’t have to wait long to see if it will. Entries during the 2015 season have already been confirmed for the Nürburgring 24 in May and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps in July, with more likely to come. We can also expect to see it racing on our shores, possibly in the Pirelli World Challenge series and in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship after the GTD class fully embraces the FIA’s global GT3 specifications in 2016.
Updated 09/09/2015: The new Audi R8 LMS can now be ordered by customers, and the first deliveries will be made by the end of the year. Audi’s GT3 sports car is priced at 359,000 euros (plus VAT) - $400,000 at the current exchange rates, with a starter and parts package increasing the total price up to 398,000 euros (plus VAT) - $444,000 at the current exchange rates.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi R8 LMS.
One look at this outlandish wagon is all you need to realize its owner is not normal. The exterior bristles with carbon fiber, asserting itself with jet-fighter-like aerodynamics, while the extended wheel arches hug enormous wheels over a lowered-stance that suggests a very firm suspension. Hidden by the stickered bodywork is a turbocharged powerplant pumping out close to 1,000 horsepower. But despite all these sacrifices to the deities of speed and performance, the owner claims this RS6 is a daily driver, perfect for a run to the ski slopes.
That’s because the owner is blogger, product designer, pro skier and certified car nut Jon Olsson. Olsson has done some pretty outlandish stuff when it comes to automobiles, with notable acts of insanity including the modification of a Lamborghini Gallardo LP540 for snow shuttle duty and the sliding of the Ultima GTR-based Rebellion R2K up a powder-packed mountain.
With a history like his, it should come as no surprise that Olsson is a fan of high-performance, AWD Audis. “I have always loved the crazy wide body style of the DTM cars and its been a dream to build a similar car for the road, but I also need a car that has enough space to carry all my ski gear to the slopes, so the decision was made to see what we could do with an Audi RS6,” Olsson states in his blog.
The result is a unique example of what the best tuners in the world are capable of when given permission ( and the budget) to break free from convention.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi RS6 DTM By Jon Olsson.
If someone asked me to name Audi’s most successful race cars 20 years ago, my answer would’ve been simple: the Auto Unions of the 1930s and the Quattro rally car. Come 2015 and things are a bit more complicated, as Audi has become a dominant force in the endurance racing scene since 1999. It all started with the R8R and the R8 LMP, before Audi switched to diesel power with the R10 TDI and the R15 TDI. In 2011, the Germans introduced the R18, also motivated by a turbodiesel engine, but this time around paired to an electric motor. The R18 alone won 15 major endurance events in 2014,including four 24 Hours of Le Mans races, taking Audi’s Le Mans tally to 13 and making it the second-most successful manufacturer after Porsche. With the 2015 World Endurance Championship right around the corner, Audi is launching a revised version of the R18 that aims to take the nameplate’s success to a new level.
As with each revision, the R18 received a reworked body with improved aerodynamics, a more powerful hybrid drivetrain, a less thirsty diesel powerplant, and new technology inside and out. The 2015 R18’s official track debut is set for April 12th at the 6 Hours of Silverstone race, but, until then, let’s have a closer look at what Audi had to share about its latest endurance track car.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro.
Usually, evolution is a gradual process, even in motorsport. Little mutations here and there, slight advantages gained from experimentation, all adding up to big differences over time.
Every so often, though, there’s that one car you can point to as a defining moment when everything changed. Sometimes, a car comes along that’s so radical, so revolutionary, that its influence reverberates well past its lifetime. The Audi Quattro is one such car.
The reason is simple, and can be summed up in a single, three-letter acronym: AWD.
Before the Quattro, rally cars used only two wheels for traction, resembling something closer to circuit racers than the all-wheel monsters we know today. The Quattro changed that. Despite misgivings about the weight and complexity of AWD systems, the Quattro almost immediately proved its worth on the international rally scene when it was first put into competition, going on to hand Audi the Manufacturer’s Championship title in 1982 and 1984, as well as winning the Driver’s Championship in 1983 and 1984. After the Quattro, rally racing veered heavily towards the implementation of AWD and never looked back.
But in addition to resounding success in motorsport, the Quattro also helped usher in the era of AWD for production passenger vehicles. With its capabilities proven on the grueling stages of the WRC, Audi’s new driveline became a prominent feature on its road cars, offering superior grip no matter the conditions.
It’s a car filled with technological breakthroughs and history. And now, one example is up for auction.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1982 Audi Quattro A1 Group B Rally Car.
The Audi TT’s history with motorsport began in 2000, two years after the first-generation coupe was introduced. The TT debuted in Germany’s DTM series (German Touring Car Championship) and spent no less than four years fighting against race-spec versions of the Mercedes-Benz CLK and the Opel Astra. The Audi TT met success for the first and only time in 2002, when Laurent Aiello clinched the driver’s championship. Audi, however, failed to win the constructor’s championship that year. During its lifetime, the TT was also raced in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge and the SCCA World Challenge race series. As we venture into the 2015 model year, Audi is launching yet another race program for the TT, this time in the form of a single-make series.
The new sport will run alongside the DTM championship starting 2015, with all competitors to drive the new Audi Sport TT Cup. The latter is essentially a beefed-up TT coupe boasting an aerodynamic body kit similar to the R8 LMS Ultra’s and a race-spec interior. The drivertrain, on the other hand, is sourced from the road-going TTS model in an attempt to reduce development and building costs. Read on for the full details on Audi’s brand-new, entry-level race car.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport TT Cup.
As with most iterations of the Audi R18 race car, this year’s e-tron quattro machine has just received a number of updates ahead of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The endurance event is scheduled to take place in mid-June in France.
Unlike the version used throughout the 2014 World Endurance Championship, the Le Mans racer’s body has been optimized for minimal aerodynamic drag, an essential property on Circuit de la Sarthe — an unusual track that consists of several long straights and high-speed turns.
The Le Mans body might not differ much at a first glance, but a closer look reveals the Germans have altered the fenders, which now have opening on the inside instead of at the top, and elongated the body at the rear, with the wing no longer hanging above the diffuser. Lastly, the exhaust configuration has also been changed and the tail pipes are now located above the diffuser, instead of exiting to the right and left of the huge central fin.
Through these updates, the R18 e-tron quattro will be capable of higher speeds, and aim for faster laps and average race speed. Last year, factory driver Andre Lotterer achieved an average speed of 150.37 mph on his fastest lap.
Audi will field three teams in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race with the goal of winning its fifth consecutive even and the 12th title since 2000.
The powertrain of the R18 e-tron quattro in Le Mans configuration remains unchanged, with a revised, V-6, diesel engine motivating the rear wheels and with an e-tron quattro hybrid system spinning the front axle.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R18 e-tron quattro Le Mans.
The competitiveness of the Audi R8 LMS ultra in GT world championships lends itself to the widely known belief that the car is as good a racer you can get. That competitiveness is expected to continue in the 2014 season, specifically at the Nurburgring 24 Hours where as many as eight R8 LMS ultra cars are tipped to compete.
Ahead of the actual 24-hour race this coming June, the R8 LMS ultra was put through the paces over the weekend in qualification for the endurance race. While it failed to upend the BMW Z4’s dominance, don’t expect for one second that the R8 LMS ultra won’t be a contender when the real race at the "Green Hell" commences this coming June.
All in all, five teams will be fielding the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, with some notable drivers in the mix, including Le Mans winners Frank Biela, Marcel Fässler, Stéphane Ortelli, and Marco Werner. These four drivers have accounted for 11 wins at the ’Ring, and will be complemented by former GT1 World Champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock, defending FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoo, and three-time Porsche Supercup Champion René Rast.
That’s as good a lineup to drive the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. It’s going to face some stiff challenges, especially with the BMW Z4 and the defending-champion Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in the fold. But don’t expect the R8 LMS ultra to just sit idle and let the rest get the spoils. The racer is tipped and ready to make some waves when the endurance race kicks off this coming June.
Click past the jump to read more about Audi R8 LMS ultra.
Although its domination at the 24 Hours of Le Mans already spans over 14 years, Audi has been struggling to win the manufacturers’ title in the German-based DTM racing series for a couple of seasons now.
Audi clinched the drivers’ championship five times the past seven seasons, but since BMW returned to DTM in 2012, Ingolstadt has yet to triumph in the constructor’s category. With the 2014 season opener just a month away, the Germans have unleashed the updated RS5 DTM racer that will take on both BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Improving an already-successful track car is not an easy task, especially given DTM’s strict regulations, so Audi had to focus on redesigning the vehicle’s aerodynamic package. In other words, it’s all in the little details, especially those that are basically invisible from the outside.
But aside from these performance-enhancing updates, Audi also opted to add some production parts from the road-going 2014 RS5, such as the honeycomb front grille and air ducts for the engine and the braking system, to its DTM race car.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 DTM.