It turns out we were right about Audi’s mysterious R8 debut in Paris. The German automaker is today introducing a new evolution of its R8 LMS race car, called the R8 LMS GT3, Audi Sport’s fourth race car in the last four years.
This new version of the vehicle has been “tailored closely to the customer requirements” as far as technologies and operating costs are concerned. This means that engineers and designers have spent a significant amount of time discussing the car with customers in the pre-design stage for the 2019 specification. Interestingly, aside from the cup-winning pro teams, Audi even met amateur drivers with class victories from all over the world.
“In developing the evolution of the car, we’ve put even greater focus on our customers and their needs,” says Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, commented during the introduction of the car in Paris. “The pre-design stage for the second evolution of our current model generation centered on many discussions with our teams.”
The team remained focused mostly on the aerodynamic aspects of the car which, combined with improved cooling, should result in a greater consistency under heavy driving conditions. What’s even more important, the service intervals for the clutch and transmission are now longer and should save professional and amateur teams money. Audi also claims moderate modifications have been made to the overall concept of the car, but these remain invisible to the naked eye.
Audi Sport says the first customers' cars, priced at €398,000 with VAT included (approximately $458,000 at the current exchange rates), will be delivered in early November this year. You can either order a brand new R8 LMS or retrofit your first-gen car with the evolution kit, which will cost you €28,000 ($32,250). The cars will be homologated for FIA races from January next year.
Gallery: 2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3 at the Paris Motor Show
Audi Sport customer racing presents its fourth new model in just four years: Following on from the radically new second-generation Audi R8 LMS (2015), the Audi RS 3 LMS TCR touring car (2016) and the Audi R8 LMS GT4 sports car (2017), the evolution of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, 2018. Michael-Julius Renz, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH, and Chris Reinke, Head of Audi Sport customer racing, revealed the model with the international exhibition visitors looking on. The new version of the model, successful worldwide in sprint and endurance racing, is tailored closely to the customer requirements regarding technology and operating costs.
Bathurst, Daytona, Dubai, Laguna Seca, Nürburgring, Sepang and Spa: Ever since the Audi R8 LMS made its debut in 2015, it has engraved its name in the winners’ lists of the major endurance races. Worldwide championship titles, plus international success in the FIA GT World Cup and Intercontinental GT Challenge complete the track record for the young winning car. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement for Audi Sport: “In developing the evolution of the car, we’ve put even greater focus on our customers and their needs,” says Chris Reinke. “The pre-design stage for the second evolution of our current model generation centered on many discussions with our teams.” In addition to the pros who are successful with the race cars, amateur drivers have also clinched class victories or overall titles in America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.