Audi gave its naturally aspirated supercar a facelift about a year ago and now the cosmetic revisions are being applied to the LMS GT4 specification of the glorious R8. The track-only machine borrows roughly 60% of its components from the road car and is manufactured in the same location at Böllinger Höfe at the Neckarsulm factory in Germany. It’s been a massive success for privateer drivers, having secured 17 titles all over the world since its launch for the 2018 motorsport season.
Its 5.2-liter V10 engine is dialed at up to 488 horsepower to comply with the regulations, and is hooked up to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission. Debuting on the revised model is the possibility to change the ABS and traction control by choosing from one of the eight different settings accessible by using the two rotary switches mounted in the center of the steering wheel. Speaking of which, Audi Sport has swapped out the old steering wheel to replace it with the one installed in the 630-horsepower GT2 version of the R8 race car unveiled earlier this year.
Gallery: 2020 Audi R8 LMS GT4
The revised version of the R8 LMS GT4 comes at the right time taking into account there are currently 27 different series it can compete in, with most being full-season championships that take place in America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South Africa. It’s also eligible to compete in standalone events, such as the grueling 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Dubai.
The R8 LMS GT4 has more in common with the RWD version Audi debuted yesterday as the race car also sends its power to the rear wheels. Unlike the R8 V10 RWS based on the pre-facelift model that served as a limited-run special edition, the new addition to the range is a permanent fixture. Lighter and cheaper than the Quattro-equipped R8, it’s available both as a Coupe and as a Spyder with the FSI engine producing 562 hp and 413 lb-ft (560 Nm) like on the previous rear-wheel-drive R8.
The race car: Audi R8 LMS GT4
The GT4 race car, which is directly derived from the production model with about 60 percent carry-over parts and, like the road-going version, is being produced at Böllinger Höfe at the Neckarsulm location is exclusively intended for privateer drivers. Since 2018, the previous model has clinched as many as 17 titles worldwide in racing, and now the freshly refined version has arrived. With visual cues taken directly from the production model, the new race car impresses with driving dynamics having been enhanced once again. The 5.2-liter V10 engine, delivering up to 364 kW (495 hp) as specified by the regulations, powers the race car via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Two innovations make it easier for drivers to battle for points and trophies even in challenging conditions. For the first time, the ABS braking and TC traction control systems can be precisely adjusted. The program characteristics allow for eight different settings, respectively, which the driver can individually select, depending on weather, track conditions and tire grip, etc. in racing. For this purpose, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is equipped with the steering wheel of the GT2 racing version. The two rotary switches for ABS and TC are centrally located in the steering wheel, directly within the drivers’ view. This allows them to immediately respond to new challenges and to configure their personal setup of both systems while keeping their eyes focused on the race track. As most GT4 racing series prescribe driver changes, individual preferences can be easily and accurately selected before and after the pit stop. With these enhanced setup options, the drivers of the Audi R8 LMS GT4 are now even more competitive. Currently, there are 27 fielding opportunities in America, Asia, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Most of them exist in full-season championships, but also in stand-alone events such as the 24-hour races at the Nürburgring and in Dubai. The Audi Sport Seyffarth R8 LMS Cup in Europe and the Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup with rounds in Asia and Australia offer entrants the opportunity to compete against each other in identical cars. In the remainder of the events, the Audi R8 LMS GT4 is pitted against the competition of up to eleven models from other manufacturers. Fields of 40 entrants and more are not uncommon in GT4 racing.