Audi will use the Essen Motor Show which starts later this week to unveil the motorsport version of its all conquering R8 sportscar.

"Ever since the Audi R8 was unveiled we've been inundated with inquiries about a race version. With the Audi R8, we will offer customers a racing car packed with sophisticated technology and characteristic Audi quality, but which is nevertheless easy to handle," says Head of Audi Motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich.

The four-wheel-drive system found in the production version has been replaced with a more conventional GT rear-wheel drive system to confirm with strict FIA standards . It also features a newly developed six-speed sports sequential gear box, a huge rear wing and a modified front end.

Additionally the german premium car maker will use the press conference at Essen to reveal its plans for the 2009 motorsport season which is expected to include the R8's entrance into the GT3 category. Attendees will also get the opportunity to see this year's Le Man winning R10 TDI and Tim Schneider's DTM winning A4.

Audi R8 Race Version Set for World Debut at Essen