Making its debut at the same time as the new Audi R8 production car model is the motorsport version – the new Audi R8 LMS. Engineers from motorsport and production collaborated closely in its development. As in the first generation of the sports car, the level of shared parts between the two R8 versions is around 50 percent – in addition, both cars have made significant performance gains. The body of the R8 LMS is manufactured together with the production car body at the new Audi Böllinger Höfe handcrafted manufacturing site located near the Audi Neckarsulm plant.
The body of the GT3 race car is based on the point-reinforced multimaterial Aluminum Space Frame (ASF) made of aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), which is supplemented by a safety cage. The Audi PS1 safety seat is solidly joined to the chassis, which increases rigidity. The steering column and pedals can be individually adjusted. A new type of CFRP element in the rear body – similar to the one used on the R8 e-tron – protects the driver in case of a rear-end collision. With the exception of the roof, the exterior skin consists of CFRP, and the homologation weight of the rear-wheel drive race car is 1,225 kg (2700.7 lb).
The V10 engine is nearly identical to the production car engine; it only lacks manifold injection. It outputs around 430 kW (around 585 hp) – depending on the specific race regulations and the air restrictor that is specified in them. The engine rebuild interval is 20,000 km (12,427.4 mi). The newly designed six-speed transmission, which is pneumatically shifted via paddle shifters, is considerably lighter than the previous unit; the clutch features electro-hydraulic activation. Classic race car wishbones guide the wheels, which are size 18-inch according to race rules. The race car also uses special steering components and wheel bearings.
One of the top qualities of the new Audi R8 LMS, which is 4.58 meters (15.0 ft) long and 1.17 meters (3.8 ft) high, is its aerodynamic efficiency. The large diffuser in the large smooth surface of the underbody panels generates strong downforce, which enables a smaller rear wing – compared to the previous model the aerodynamic drag coefficient has been reduced by 20 percent. The flow of cooling air has been improved in all areas – in the front body and in the cockpit.
Today, the new Audi R8 LMS already conforms to GT3 race regulations that take effect in 2016. This year, the new race car will be put through its initial paces by the factory team at international races. The R8 LMS has already won its debut entry at the long-established 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. Audi will be offering the car to interested customer teams from the end of the season.
The equipment and data specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.