The new AUDI R8 GT is the most powerful RWD one ever
No other Audi is closer to motorsports than the R8. The R8 V10 engine is nearly identical to the R8 LMS racecar engine developed in parallel with only specific regulation adjustments made on the racecar. Compared to the R8 V10 performance RWD model with 562 horsepower, Audi Sport GmbH engineers heightened the performance of the R8 GT model to 602 horsepower – now matching the R8 performance quattro model.
An unmistakable engine tone resonates from the high revving 5.2-liter 10-cylinder engine that produces 413 lb-ft. of torque and a max engine speed of up to 8,700 rpm. As a result, the new R8 GT accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds and reaches a top track speed of up to 199 mph. One unique design element of the R8 GT is the valve covers of the engine which are painted black.
For the first time, Audi Sport GmbH is offering a Torque Rear mode on the R8. Drivers can access seven characteristic curves stored in the traction control system (ASR) offering different levels of support – Level 1 provides maximum support with reduced engine torque, which leads to a low level of wheel spin, while Level 7 provides only minimum support with increased engine torque, which leads to a high level of wheel spin.
The desired Torque Rear mode level can be set by turning the control satellite on the Alcantara® wrapped steering wheel. This function adapts to the advanced driving skills and conditions presented on the road or on the track, while rapidly calculating data from the wheel speed sensors, steering angle, accelerator pedal position, and the selected gear. The incremental adjustment allows the drivers to gradually increase their own skills.
Another distinctive addition to the R8 GT is a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with even faster shift times – allowing drivers to choose their personalized level of ESC support, enabling controlled and simultaneously precise oversteering. The gearbox provides for an even more impressive acceleration in all gears thanks to an altered gear ratio compared to the R8 performance RWD models.
The R8 GT remains largely produced by hand at Böllinger Höfe, and shares the same assembly line and similar engine as the R8 LMS racecar. Compared to the R8 V10 performance RWD Coupe, various weight-saving measures have resulted in an overall weight reduction of around 55 pounds, producing a total curb weight of 3,516 pounds. The LMS racecar-inspired lightweight 20-inch 10-spoke milled-cut forged wheels in high-gloss black are combined with high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires designed for road and racetrack use. The forceful ceramic braking system with red calipers, which is standard equipment in the R8 GT also saves additional weight compared to steel brakes.
Additionally, lightweight R8 GT bucket seats are finished in leather and Dinamica and feature integrated speakers as part of the Bang & Olufsen sound system. The standard sport suspension features a CFRP anti-roll bar, made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic, while the two coupling rod connections are made of red anodized aluminum to protect against corrosion. This dynamic suspension reduces weight while increasing road-holding and cornering dynamics.
In order to differentiate the new Audi R8 GT from its relatives, the special model is equipped with exclusive add-on parts. First, all of the exterior emblems are painted in black including the distinctive “R8 GT” lettering in the rear. The track-inspired Carbon aero kit is finished in high gloss and was initially developed in the wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics and increase downforce at the front and rear axle – generating better stability and faster cornering speeds on the track. In total, the Carbon aero kit consists of the following attachments: front splitter, flics, side skirt covers, cW-elements on the sides of the rear bumper, a diffuser, and a rear wing with gooseneck suspension, which ensures optimum wing underflow improving aerodynamic efficiency.
The new R8 GT is available in three colors, totaling 50 of each: Tango Red Metallic, Daytona Gray Metallic, and Mythos Black metallic. For the interior, Audi Sport GmbH continues to praise its homage to the first R8 GT from the 2012 model year. The interior is crafted with an Audi exclusive interior in a combination of black and red. This includes red seatbelts – only previously available in the R8 GT from 11 years ago. The floor mats and the R8 bucket seats feature the lettering of the special model in black and red. Customers can also find the sequential numbering of their R8 GT in the middle of the selector lever, partially matted in the carbon inlay.
Compared to the global setting, the U.S. market adds several components that amplify the performance character and equipment level of the R8 GT. Carbon side blades, door side sill inlays, and exterior mirror housings complete the motorsport touch to the exterior. Further added equipment includes a sport exhaust system, Audi laser lights, dynamic steering, Bang & Olufsen sound system, and an Audi exclusive diamond stitched headliner with red contrast stitching.
The new Audi R8 GT will start arriving at dealerships in early 2023. The MSRP starts at $249,900 plus destination, paint, and gas guzzler tax.