It looks relatively commonplace in today’s world, but the Audi R8 caused quite a stir when it was unveiled in 2006. It seemed so different from the box-shaped sedans everyone was used to, despite the fact that the car was a dream to drive. From that time, the R8 V10 has been made a flagship for the company’s road cars and a key plank of its customer racing activities. This proud tradition remains unchanged with the new R8 LMS GT4.
Just like all R8’s, the LMS GT4 uses a naturally-aspirated and powerful V10 engine engine. In order to adhere to FIA regulations, its power is limited to 495 horsepower (or 364 kW), even though that may change if the car turns out to be considerably quicker than its competitors. Reliability is a crucial aspect of race cars, though this may seem boring to many of us. The suspension of the regular, road-going version is equipped with double wishbones across all four wheels, which are necessities for racing. Adjustable stabilizers and racing-specific, compression-adjustable and rebound dampers round off the suspension system. A newly-designed steel disc braking system that features modified brake calipers works in tandem with an advanced ABS control system to guarantee flawless deceleration. In addition, the LMS GT4 does not use Quattro’s famed all-wheel drive system, but instead, has a rear-wheel drive. Power is transmitted to the wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission system.
Audi states that the V10 engine (fitted in R8’s GT3 version) only needs to go on maintenance after traveling 6,214 miles (10,000 kilometers) while the first rebuild is required when it clocks 12,428 miles (20,000 kilometers).
While that may not be acceptable for a road car, it is quite good for an explosive race car. On the other hand, 60% of the racer’s parts are similar to those of the regular model, so it is reasonable to expect better durability. Both cars are produced at the same factory located in Böllinger Höfe (Germany) and Audi believes this will bring down the production costs for both car versions, in addition to lowering repair costs.
Apart from reliability, the LMS GT4 will be quite fast. It will reach 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in a little more than four seconds while its maximum speed is just over 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour). Of course, that will change depending on the aerodynamics system, but it is quick for a car with a diffuser on the back and a huge wing.
Throughout, Audi has put a lot of emphasis on security when it comes to its racers, and this trend is maintained with the LMS GT4. Fuel is contained in a 31-gallon (118-liter) cell and the seat is in a unit that has been approved by the FIA. The car also has a built-in fire suppression system and there is a hatch in the roof that assists rescue teams to reach an immobilized driver in case of an accident. With respect to drivers, they will have a multifunctional steering wheel that has a data logger which gives a comprehensive analysis of the various laptimes.
The LMS GT4 debuted at the New York Auto Show that is currently running.