The Audi R8 LMS GT4 stands for production-based racing and features a product upgrade for the 2020 season. The race car that is directly derived from the road-approved sports car is powerful, offers a high level of safety yet remains economical in terms of purchasing cost and cost of ownership. It is the ideal race car for amateur drivers and completely in line with the spirit of the GT4 regulations that carry on a great tradition of fascinating road-going sports cars for GT racing. After an electronic stability program has facilitated driving since 2019, eight-level control systems for ABS and traction control will start to enhance handling once more in 2020.
The close kinship between the refreshed version of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 and the current production models is instantly visible. The current front apron with its redesigned flicks, the modified front splitter and rear apron, plus the new side skirts even visually distinguish the model year 2020 from the previous version, plus it features upgraded technology.
The V10 engine delivering up to 364 kW (495 hp) continues to power the Audi R8 LMS GT4 unchanged. Its output results from the Balance of Performance rating that is designed to ensure fair competition between all race cars of the GT4 class. The 5.2-liter naturally aspirated engine is produced by Audi Hungaria at the Győr location and only receives a new exhaust system, the restrictor plate prescribed by the regulations and modified mapping of the production-level electronic control unit (ECU).
As quattro four-wheel drive is prohibited in the GT4 class, Audi Sport utilizes a 7-speed double-clutch transmission combined with rear-wheel drive. Two electro-hydraulically operated wet-type multi-plate clutches ensure shortest shifting events without tractive force interruption. A mechanical limited slip differential is used on the rear axle. This form of power transfer, which has been adopted from road-going cars, holds up to all loads in racing as well.
The suspension of the road-going version featuring double wishbones on all four wheels offers perfect prerequisites for racing. Rebound- and compression-adjustable racing-specific dampers and springs, as well as adjustable stabilizers, complete the suspension system. A steel disc braking system for racing with modified brake calipers in combination with the ABS control system ensures optimum deceleration. For the first time, the intervention of the anti-lock control system can be adjusted in eight levels. Special brake cooling ducts at the front and rear guarantee braking stability also in racing. Like the ABS system, the TC traction control system can be adjusted to individual preferences by the driver starting in 2020. The electronic stability program in turn enhances active safety by means of brake interventions at the limit.
For the steering system, Audi Sporthas adopted the hydraulic rack-and-pinion unit from the GT3 model, albeit with an electrically operated pump. In model year 2020, customers start receiving the steering wheel from the GT2 model with the rotary switches for the ABS and TC functions. In spite of the cost benefits offered by the 5-hole cast aluminum wheels they have been specifically designed for racing purposes. Audi Sportalso offers a tire pressure warning system as an option.
In terms of passive safety, Audi Sporttraditionally sets high standards. In addition to standard equipment such as a fire extinguishing system, safety nets for the driver and crash foam in the doors, Audi Sportexceeds the minimum requirements in many areas. The Audi Sport customer racing PSO3 safety seat represents the most recent evolution of the PSO1 model. It is standard equipment in the GT4 model as well as in the Audi customer racing models for GT3, GT2 and TCR racing. Like in the GT3 version of the R8 LMS the PS03 seat is mounted to the safety cage using the so-called 6-point fastening which results in additional safety. The safety nets are attached to the seats for optimum connection, and the 6-point harness corresponds to the GT3 standard. The axial and height adjustable steering wheel in combination with the seat are optimally suited for diverse body sizes. The team can fit the seat shell in various positions longitudinally, ensuring a safe and comfortable setup for each driving posture. A roof hatch facilitates rescue operations following an accident. To reduce the loads acting on the driver’s spinal column, the helmet can be removed upward and a Kendrick Extrication Device applied. Inside the car, the steel safety cage is mounted at six points to the Audi Space Frame (ASF) featuring an aluminum-CFRP mixed-material construction, plus there are two connections to engine bay braces. Audi Sport delivers the R8 LMS GT4 with an FT3 safety fuel cell for which a dripless rapid-refueling system is an available option.
In the ergonomically designed cockpit, the driver can activate and adjust various driving functions via the steering wheel and the center console. An air conditioning system is standard and particularly helps amateurs and gentlemen drivers maintain their concentration even across longer racing distances. Like in the GT3 version of the R8 LMS the pedals by means of a pneumatic release system can be longitudinally adjusted in several steps. A central multi-function display within the driver’s view and a data logger create transparency with respect to operating conditions and data analysis.
The body components are largely identical to those of the production car but have been optimized to support the race car’s aerodynamics and thermal management of the cooling and braking systems. The redesigned front air intakes feed the radiator, air conditioning condensers, and the brake and cockpit ventilation systems. The race car’s aeropack, for instance in the areas of the front splitter and the rear wing, also benefits from the geometry of the Audi Sport Performance Parts.
The GT4 race car is closely oriented to the production model. Its chassis is produced at the same manufacturing facilities as the one of its road-approved sibling. Consequently, there are synergies for the Audi R8 LMS GT4 in terms of production and the Group-wide pool of components as well as service and maintenance – directly benefiting the customers.