Audi R8 GT3 coming to Essen Motor Show
The Essen Motor Show is not usually part of the big auto show circuit and can sometimes get overlooked. But car premiering in Essen that may make us wish we booked tickets to Germany is Audi race car version of the R8 called the GT3.
The car will compete in the GT3 racing class (hence the name) and meets all FIA requirements. This means R8 GT3 ditches the all-wheel drive system from the normal R8 for a rear drive set up. The R8 GT3 also gets a six-speed manual transmission and the V8 engine is boosted to 500 hp (up from 420.) Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, the huge rear wing and body kit are exclusive to the GT3 as well.
Press release after the jump
Audi is set to present a world premiere at the Essen Motor Show from November 28 to December 7: the brand with the four rings will be unveiling a race version of the Audi R8 with over 500 horsepower. During the press conference on November 28, Audi will also be presenting its plans for the 2009 motorsport season. This year’s winning Le Mans car and Timo Scheider’s victorious DTM car will be lining up in Essen alongside numerous attractive production models.
The version of the Audi R8 specially developed for customer teams will be celebrating its world premiere in Essen. From fall 2009, therefore, Audi Sport will for the first time offer a racing car that was specifically developed for customer use.
“Ever since the Audi R8 was unveiled we’ve been inundated with inquiries about a race version. With the Audi R8, we will offer customers a racing car packed with sophisticated technology and characteristic Audi quality, but which is nevertheless easy to handle,” says Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. The first prototype completed its first tests in mid-August with Audi works driver Frank Biela at the wheel.
The new GT sports car will be joined in Essen by other successful members of the Audi motorsport family: this year’s winning Le Mans car, the Audi R10 TDI driven by Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish, and the Audi A4 DTM in which Timo Scheider clinched the championship title just a few weeks ago. On Friday, November 28 at 2 pm, the Audi motorsport boss will be appearing on AUDI AG’s stand in Hall 3 to report for the first time on Audi’s plans for the 2009 season.
The motorsport highlights will also be accompanied by an attractive selection from Audi’s current model range. The production R8 together with the RS and S models are the link between motorsport and series production. In Essen, the brand with the four rings will be showing the Audi R8, the Audi RS 6 Sedan, the Audi TTS Coupé as the top-of-the range model in the TT line, the Audi S3 as the top model in the A3 line and the Audi S4 as the sporty highlight in the A4 family. The S4 will be celebrating its German show premiere in Essen. It will be joined there by the Audi Q5 3.0 TDI quattro, the Audi Q7 V12 TDI quattro and the Audi A5 Coupé 2.0 T quattro.