The Audi R8 LMS race car has been around for six years now, dominating just about any track it set its wheels on. The German V-10 monster managed to score no less than 60 outright wins and 42 class wins in more than 400 events, making it one of the most successful race cars to wear Audi’s four-ringed badge. Ingolstadt introduced an even quicker iteration of the R8 LMS, dubbed Ultra, in 2012, adding a further 27 trophies to its showcase. The R8 LMS will continue take on tracks the world over in its current setup throughout the 2015 season, but come 2016, the Germans will launch an updated version, based on the second-gen R8.

That’s the word from the Ingolstadt-based company, which confirmed a brand-new R8 LMS is under development, with testing to commence next year. The revised race car will join several GT3 events in 2015, including the 24-hour races at the Nurburgring and Spa-Francorchamps before customer deliveries will begin at the end of the year.

Details surrounding the new-generation R8 LMS are being kept in the vault as of December 2014, but we expect the next car to boast improvements in every department. New building techniques should make it lighter than its predecessor, while aerodynamics will be pushed to the limit. It’s safe to assume the track-prepped supercar will keep its 5.2-liter, V-10 engine, but a host of upgraded internals will make it lighter, more powerful and more fuel efficient as well.

Note: Audi R8 LMS pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 LMS.

Why it matters

The R8 LMS is an outstanding racer with more than 500 top-tier races, 80 outrights victories, and 49 class wins on its resume. I can’t think of any modern-day racer that can match the R8’s success, and I may have to go back a few decades to find a car that was so popular with privateers. The R8 LMS deserves an equally impressive successor, and knowing Audi and its massive efforts in the motorsport department, a new track monster is about to rise.

Sure, we still have to wait until 2016 to see it tackle tracks at full blast, but that’s not say 2015 will be devoid of R8 LMS action. The next-gen racer will hit the track for intensive testing, while the current model will show up in impressive numbers on courses all over the United States, Europe and Asia. Additionally, the current R8 LMS Ultra is not dated by any means!

Audi R8 LMS

2013 Audi R8 LMS Ultra Exterior AutoShow
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The R8 LMS Ultra is the most extreme iteration of Audi’s only supercar to date, featuring a bevy of body and drivetrain upgrades that make it quicker, more agile, and, unfortunately for those of us that aren’t professional racing drivers, illegal for road use. A revised hood, a front bumper spoiler, new side sills, a larger rear wing and a race-specific rear diffuser all set it apart from the road-going R8.

A track-ready suspension system and more efficient brakes are also part of the package that makes the R8 LMS a popular choice in the Blancpain Endurance Series and the World Pirelli Challenge championship. Behind the bolstered seats lurks Audi’s familiar 5.2-liter, V-10 engine, but modified and tuned to withstand 24-hour-long stints. Output sits at 562 horsepower, 12 ponies more than the road-legal R8 V-10 Plus, and it’s routed to the rear wheels — no Quattro all-wheel drive for the LMS — by a six-speed sequential gearbox operated via paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.

The fact that no less than 26 R8 LMS Ultras have been fielded during the 2014’s Blancpain Endurance series, Blancpain Sprint series and World Pirelli Challenge speaks volumes of the car’s popularity with privateers and gentlemen racers.

Press Release

AUDI AG is proud of another year of record sales. In motorsport, the brand with the four rings is poised for growth as well. The world of Audi Sport which, in addition to the motorsport commitments in factory-backed and customer sport, includes the RS models, the Audi R8 and the Audi driving experience, will be featuring even greater diversity in the 2015 season.
“Success on the race track, more than ever before, has become an important tool to thrill customers,” said Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich on Wednesday on the occasion of the Audi Sport Finale at the Audi Forum Neckarsulm. “That’s why our motorsport program will be extended further next year. In the new Audi Sport TT Cup, young drivers will be given an opportunity to enter motorsport with Audi.”

The one-make cup of AUDI AG will line up on the grid at a total of six events in Germany and Austria, doubling up with the DTM. 165 drivers from 30 nations have applied for the Audi Sport TT Cup. The selection process for the 18 available slots has already begun.

The winner of the Audi Sport TT Cup can look forward to support in the company’s GT program that will be in focus next year. The car to follow the successful Audi R8 LMS is ready to race. Audi will be subjecting the new GT3 sports car to tough testing in selected endurance races before customer deliveries begin at the end of 2015. Tests in the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring (Germany) and at Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) will be the highlights.

In top-caliber racing Audi opts for continuity. In the internationally popular DTM touring car series and in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with its pinnacle event of the season at Le Mans (France), Audi will be competing with a minimally changed driver line-up.

Only the place that has become vacant due to the retirement of Le Mans record winner Tom Kristensen will be filled – and, as usual at Audi, with a driver from the brand’s own young-driver promotion program: Oliver Jarvis (GB) will move up from the third Le Mans car into the WEC regular driver squad and contest the full WEC season in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

In the WEC, Audi continues to rely on Audi Sport Team Joest as in the past. The most successful Le Mans team of all time will be fielding two further-developed Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars in all eight races. An additional R18 will be entered in the 6-hour race at Spa and in the Le Mans 24 Hours, with GT driver René Rast (D) completing the line-up for these events.

Responsibility for fielding the total of eight Audi RS 5 DTM cars will be assumed by the seasoned Audi Sport Teams Abt Sportsline, Phoenix and Rosberg. Three DTM Champions – Mattias Ekström (S), Mike Rockenfeller (D) and Timo Scheider (D), who have won nearly half of all DTM titles for Audi since 2004 – will continue to spearhead the DTM squad.

In Jörg Zander (50), Audi Sport will have a new Head of Technology starting on January 1. Zander, who holds an engineering degree, has more than 20 years of experience with major automobile manufacturers and renowned race teams under bis belt. In 2009, Zander became self-employed on starting his own engineering office that used to work for Audi Sport as well. His successful predecessor Dr. Martin Mühlmeier will be switching to production development at Audi.

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