Audi has delivered the two initial examples of the RS3 LMS customer race car to Cadspeed-Racing and Speed Factory Racing Team. The sedan will hit the track in mid-January in the TCR class at the 24 Hours of Dubai.
“Following successful development and testing, production of the RS 3 LMS was launched at the end of November,” said Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport customer racing.
RS3 LMS uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 326 horsepower (243 kilowatts). The engine gets the sedan to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 4.5 seconds, which is actually four tenths slower than the new 394-hp (294-kW) RS3 Sedan with a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder. Audi Sport also fits them with track-scraping front splitter, large wing, and a body kit with fenders that use all of the TCR category’s 76.8-inch (195-centimeter) maximum width.
The RS3 LMS is Audi’s entry in the recent crop of vehicles for the TCR touring car category. The models race in their own dedicated series for Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Additionally, there are classes for them in some endurance events, like the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. The rules stipulate that the competitors must use production-derived four- or five-door vehicles. The engine must have a single turbocharger and displace between 1.75- and 2.0-liters.
Audi offers the RS3 LMS in three forms. For 129,000 euros ($134,360), racers can get a version with a sequential six-speed racing transmission. Buyers who opt for an S tronic direct-shift transmission pay 109,000 euros ($113,530). Finally, the company has a club sport variant for 99,000 euros ($103,000) that’s not eligible for TCR competition but should still make a great track car.
Volkswagen Group apparently sees an opportunity in the TCR category because in addition to the RS3 LMS its brands offer the VW Golf GTI TCR and SEAT Leon Cup Racer TCR. Other models available to racers include the Kia Cee’d, Opel Astra, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and many others.
Gallery: Audi RS3 LMS First Delivery
Deliveries of the Audi RS 3 LMS have begun
Handover of the first two Audi RS 3 LMS cars to customer teams in Neuburg
First racing commitment in customers’ hands in Dubai in the middle of January
Three variants of the Audi RS 3 LMS available
Audi Sport GmbH delivered the first two Audi RS 3 LMS cars in Neuburg on Thursday. Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH, and Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, handed over the new TCR touring cars to Cadspeed-Racing and Speed Factory Racing Team, whose season will start as early as in the middle of January 2017 in the 24-hour race in Dubai.
“Following successful development and testing, production of the RS 3 LMS was launched at the end of November,” says Chris Reinke. “The delivery of the first cars to customer teams is a special moment for this project that is still young. We are delighted about the great demand and already very excited about the first races of the RS 3 LMS in the customer’s hand.”
The Audi RS 3 LMS has been developed by Audi Sport GmbH for the burgeoning TCR touring car category for which more and more fielding opportunities exist around the globe. By now they include the new TCR Middle East debuting as part of the 24-hour race in Dubai from January 12 to 14, 2017. For the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and the VLN Endurance Championship dedicated classes for TCR touring cars have just been established as well.
The Audi RS 3 LMS puts customer sport at Audi on an even broader base than before. Together with the Audi R8 LMS GT3 sports car that is the market leader in its segment, Audi Sport GmbH concurrently offers two customer race cars for the first time. A 243 kW (330 hp) four-cylinder two-liter TFSI engine accelerates the Audi RS 3 LMS in about 4.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h. The purchase price for the TCR variant with a sequential six-speed racing transmission is 129,000 euros (plus VAT). Additionally, Audi Sport GmbH offers a TCR version with an S tronic direct-shift transmission for 109,000 euros (plus VAT) and a club sport variant for 99,000 euros (plus VAT) which further expand the possible uses of the RS 3 LMS.