Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Audi R8 finale set to be road-going GT3 track car

A limited-run, road-going GT3-spec Audi R8 looks to be in development as a swansong to the V10 supercar, which is months away from retirement. 

A prototype spotted testing at the Nürburgring suggests one final version of the R8 is inbound, seemingly based on the R8 GT3 track car, which has raced successfully in high-profile series such as the World Endurance Championship, Intercontinental GT Challenge and the GT World Challenge Europe since launching in 2013.

The R8 GT3 racer was developed in partnership with Scherer Sport, a sub-brand of the Scherer group, which sells race-ready Audis for competitive use and track days, similar to Ferrari’s XX programme. The outfit also develops its own racing programmes for the Nürburgring and in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM).

Professional German racing driver Frank Stippler is said to have been behind the wheel for these late-stage track outings.

The final edition of the R8 – rumoured to be limited to 100 units when it launches in 2024 – is expected to be effectively a road-going version of the R8 GT3 Evo 2, launched in 2022.

The V10 badging worn by this prototype suggests it will use a variation of the most powerful R8’s powertrain: a 5.2-litre unit working via a seven-speed DSG transmission and four-wheel drive. The standard car packs 525bhp and 406lb ft, but the GT3 racer ramps that up to 577bhp and 406lb ft for a 0-62mph time of 3.0sec and a top speed of 177mph. 

It remains to be seen how faithful the road-going GT3 car remains to the racer’s make-up. 


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