The coupe makes its competition debut at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in may.
Audi expands its offerings for customer racers with the introduction of the new R8 LMS GT4 just before the New York Auto Show. The track-only coupe will make its competition debut at this year’s 24-hour race Nürburgring from May 25 to 28.
The R8 GT4 offers interested drivers a factory-fresh race car. Audi Sport builds them on the same line as the street version, and they share 60 percent of the same components road model, including the 5.2-liter V10. Due to the competition homologation under GT4 rules, the mill produces 488 horsepower (364 kilowatts) in this specification instead of 540 hp (403 kW) from the standard supercar.
The new racer looks a lot like the street version but with some competition-spec upgrades. There's now a revised hood and dive planes at the front corners. A hatch in the roof allows the driver to get out in case of a crash. A large, oval exhaust now exits in place of the rear bumper. A large wing towers over the back of the coupe, too.
Teams can’t try out the R8 GT4 on their favorite circuit quite yet, though. Audi plans to develop the car on the track throughout the 2017 racing season. The company plans to deliver the first of them to buyers before the end of the calendar year.
The R8 GT4 expands on Audi’s existing race offerings such as the quite popular R8 LMS GT3 that competes in series like the GTD class of the Weathertech Sportscar Championship. The firm also introduced the RS3 LMS for competition in various events’ TCR class.
GT4-spec race cars are quite similar to their road-going counterparts, and many automakers are offering them to track-loving drivers. The R8 joins vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG GT, Chevrolet Camaro, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Ford Mustang, and BMW M4 among the choices available to amateur racers looking for a thrill.