Making its debut at the same time as the new R8* production car model is the new edition of the Audi R8 LMS – a GT3 race car. Specialists from motorsport and production collaborated closely in its development. As in the first generation, the share of common parts is just under 50 percent, and both cars have made significant performance gains. The body of the R8 LMS is manufactured together with the production model at “Audi Böllinger Höfe”.
The body of the GT3 race car is based on the point-reinforced multimaterial ASF that is made of aluminum and CFRP. It is supplemented by a safety cage that is assembled before the body gets its roof. The Audi safety seat, known as the PS1, is solidly joined to the chassis, which increases rigidity. The steering column and pedals can be adjusted. A new type of CFRP element in the rear body protects the driver in case of a rear 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 (2,700.7 lb).
The race car’s V10 engine is nearly identical to the production car engine; it only omits the manifold fuel injection. Its power output is around 430 kW (approx. 585 hp) – depending on the specific race regulations and the air restrictor that is specified in them. Audi is planning on 20,000 km (12,427.4 mi) as the engine rebuild interval. The newly designed six-speed transmission, which is pneumatically shifted via paddle shifters, is around 20 kg (44.1 lb) lighter than the previous unit; the clutch features electrohydraulic activation. Classic, lightweight race car wishbones guide the wheels, which are 18 inches in size according to race rules. The race car also uses special steering components and wheel bearings.
Special strength: aerodynamic efficiency
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 underbody – that is covered by large smooth panels – generates strong downforce, which enables a smaller rear wing. Compared to the previous model, the aerodynamic drag coefficient has been lowered 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. Just ten weeks after its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, the R8 LMS claimed victory at the Nürburgring – making a dazzling entrance on the 24 hour racing scene.
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.