Audi R8 LMS Successor Ready to Race
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!
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.